By Christopher Bjorke
The Portland Business Journal
Publication date: June 24, 2022
Portland developers have not been idle.
Projects planned and under construction dot the metro area, including big redevelopments of high-profile real estate along the waterfronts of Vancouver and southwest Portland as well as new residential construction proposals across the region.
To follow are some of the metro’s notable development plans to watch, adding new spaces for housing, entertainment and learning.
Southwest Waterfront housing
A Texas developer has Lone Star State-size plans for a section of the South Waterfront of the Willamette River in Portland. The Alamo Manhattan Blocks would bring about 1,200 residential units, including 58 affordable housing units, along with retail, possibly including a grocery store to the area. The first stages of the project are already under construction, and the development would consist of a mix of mid-rise and high-rise buildings near OHSU.
Developer Matt Segrest said the area would offer residents an inviting contrast to downtown.
“It’s a place where you could comfortably go out and walk your dog any time of day, which is really unique and really juxtaposed against downtown,” he said.
Where: South Waterfront
Pearl apartment tower
Los Angeles-based developer Eran Fields has a rosy view of Portland’s Pearl District. Despite setbacks with the massive Broadway Corridor redevelopment, including the loss of a major developer, Fields has drawn up plans for an $85 million residential tower. The project could include 330-plus living units and 3,300 square feet of retail space in the heart of the bustling residential and entertainment district.
Where: Northwest Hoyt Street and Ninth Avenue
Cost: $85 million
Portland State apartments
Preliminary plans submitted to the city in March sketched out plans for a seven-story, 250-unit apartment development near the Portland State University campus. The proposal is in the first stages of consideration, but if it goes forward, there would be one consequence: the displacement of a food cart pod.
Where: 1900 S.W. Fifth Ave.
Eastside music venue
Beam Development has proposed a 59,000-square-foot, 3,000-seat music venue on Portland’s Eastside at Southeast Main and Southeast Water Avenue. The performance space’s capacity would rival established concert halls like the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and the Keller Auditorium. Developers have eyed the location, on three parcels of land owned by Prosper Portland, in the past.
Where: Central Eastside
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry has ambitious plans for a portion of the Willamette River on the Eastside.
According to plans, the OMSI District would take up 10 blocks and as much as 3 million square feet of mixed commercial and residential space. It would include 1,200 new residential units, a waterfront education park in collaboration with Indigenous communities and serve as a “hub for innovation, arts, culture, science learning and climate action.”
Infrastructure work could start in the next few years with an expected completion date for the project in 2035.
“The OMSI District vision has the opportunity to be transformational for OMSI, the Central Eastside, Portland and Oregon,” OMSI Vice President of Real Estate Preston Greene told the Business Journal last fall. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Where: Willamette River waterfront, south of the Marquam Bridge near OMSI
Concordia University’s sudden closing in 2020 jolted Oregon’s high education sector and also set developers in motion looking for a new use for the university’s campus. The future of the property became clearer in March when the University of Oregon announced plans for a $425 million institute for the treatment children’s mental health, funded with a gift from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Connie Ballmer.
UO trustees approved the university’s purchase of the property for $60.5 million in mid-March.
Where: Northeast Portland
Vancouver Waterfront redevelopment
More than 1 million square feet covering 20 blocks at the site of the former Boise Cascade paper mill on Vancouver’s Waterfront will be transformed into hotels, restaurants and apartments. Plans call for 250,000 square feet of retail space, more than 3,000 units of housing and a 12-story senior living community. A recent milestone was the demolition of the landmark hotel at the site, operating as a Red Lion in recent years.
Where: Vancouver Waterfront
Cost: $1.5 billion