Home Archives December 2009 JumpTown gets off the ground

JumpTown gets off the ground

| Print |  Email
Sunday, November 22, 2009
IMG_1231
J.E. Isaac, senior VP of business affairs for the Blazers, says the Jumptown plan will need substantial public investment.

PHOTO BY OREGON BUSINESS
PORTLAND When Paul Allen invested a quarter of a billion dollars in the Rose Garden 15 years ago, he received something large in return: development rights to the 35-acre neighborhood around the stadium. But while Allen and the Blazers have taken good care of their franchise, they have done little to improve the Rose Quarter, which is viewed widely as a missed opportunity. That could change big-time over the next few years.

With Allen's development rights due to expire in November 2010, the Blazers have launched a campaign to redevelop the quarter into "JumpTown," a vibrant and super-green entertainment center. They've hired local architect Rick Potestio and partnered with Nike and the Baltimore-based Cordish Companies to draw up plans involving restaurants, brew pubs, public art, music clubs, a 250-room hotel and an "interactive center" telling the story of how Nike grew from an idea into a $20 billion sports empire. That would be phase one. Phase two would involve waterfront offices and housing — once the real estate markets rebound.

"We're hoping this will be a catalytic project," says J.E. Isaac, senior vice president of business affairs for the Blazers. "If it's done right, it will stimulate a lot of development."

But it won't get done for free. The plan will require a "substantial public investment," Isaac says.

At the center of the property lies the Memorial Coliseum, which is owned by the City of Portland. Mayor Sam Adams has assembled a 32-member stakeholder committee to consider how best to modernize the coliseum, which draws about 450,000 visitors per year but needs upgrading. Early recommendations for the building range from an indoor Pike Place-style public market to a tribal casino with a hotel. Expect a lengthy public process.

Isaac says the Blazers intend to "lead by listening." But there is little doubt who has the inside track in this race. Blazers president Larry Miller, who worked with Nike for 10 years before joining the franchise, says one of his first conversations with Allen focused on redevelopment strategies. Miller's Nike connections helped boost plans for the Nike building, and Miller also initiated the relationship with Cordish, a huge company that has led similar redevelopments in Kansas City, Houston and Louisville.

It remains to be seen how eagerly Portlanders will embrace an out-of-state developer. But a local option may not exist. The recession has been hard on Oregon's big-picture visionaries, several of whom are still struggling to stem the bleeding on the South Waterfront project. Asked what Cordish offers that local firms lack, Isaac gets straight to the point: "Expertise — and money." 
BEN JACKLET
 

More Articles

100 Best Nonprofits announced

News
Thursday, October 02, 2014

100NP14logo4WebOregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.


Read more...

Gender Code

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD

Janice Levenhagen-Seeley reprograms tech.


Read more...

Grape Expectations

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Well-financed outsiders from France and California are buying up vineyards and wineries in the Willamette Valley.


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

The Diaspora

October 2014
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO

Former newspaper reporters move into brand journalism.


Read more...

The Alchemist

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

David Howitt explains why Portland consumer brands like Stumptown and Voodoo Doughnuts are taking the world by storm.


Read more...

Downtime

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS