Proposed OMSI District in East Portland will cost $120 million to build

OMSI District

This 24-acre and $120 million project would span up to three million square feet — it would include things like retail, office space, hospitality and housing.

By Daisy Caballero


Publication date: August 19, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland’s central eastside may be getting a makeover — a $120 million makeover to be exact.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry district (OMSI) presented its latest proposal to the Portland Design Commission on Thursday. 

OMSI officials say this project has been in the works for the last decade.

“The city is in a strange place right now,” said Preston Greene, Vice President of real estate at OMSI. “So, we are looking for a project that benefits everybody, it has community aspects, it brings in our community partners, and we’re hoping for a win from the city to create these jobs and investment within the city.”

Photo Credit: ZGF Architects

The 24-acre and multi-million dollar project would span up to three million square feet and would include things like retail space, office space, hospitality and affordable housing alongside a waterfront education park along the Willamette River.

They’re planning to split the $120 million dollar building investment three ways —between OMSI, a private developer and public funding.

Photo Credit: ZGF Architects

“It’s a transformative project that has the ability to be a win-win for everyone in the city,” said Greene. “And I don’t think we see those projects very often and so, for us, it’s a really exciting time to see this come through fruition.”

But it’s not just new infrastructure that will be built — this project will also bring new jobs. 

OMSI Economic Impact With New Project
Photo Credit: OMSI

KGW was told this project would bring a total of 16,300 jobs and $2.5 billion within the construction process. While the long-term goal is adding 8,400 permanent jobs and bringing in $1.2 billion dollars annually — when the project is fully complete.      

“The master plan process within the city of Portland is a new process,” said Greene. “We are only the third project to be this far along in the process. The other two projects are the city of Portland’s Broadway project and the River Place project across the river here.”

OMSI District
Credit: ZGF Architects

Greene says they’re happy with how Thursday’s presentation played out and he’s hoping the city sees the value in investing in the community.

He says if they get the green light they could start building new infrastructure within the next two years. 

Video Credit: KGW