Zidell cleanup begins waterfront area renewal

| Print |  Email
Articles - August 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011

By Ben Jacklet

 

0811_OnTheWaterfront_01
Above: Paul Fishman works on the cleanup of the Zidell property south of downtown. Below: The 30-acre Zidell parcel on the Willamette River is undergoing a $20 million cleanup that will create new development opportunities. // Photos by Teresa Meier
0811_OnTheWaterfront_02
The aptly named environmental consultant Paul Fishman has enjoyed a long career at the intersection of the built environment and the natural world. His biggest projects have involved elaborate cleanups that balance the needs of industrial clients facing regulatory pressure and endangered fish in the Willamette River. None has been larger or more complex than his latest, the long-awaited cleanup of the Zidell property along the river between downtown and South Waterfront.

“This is probably the largest private cleanup on the Willamette River to date,” he says as he walks from Zidell headquarters toward a shoreline degraded by PCBs, heavy metals and petroleum waste. “It’s huge. What an opportunity.”

The 30-acre parcel, once used to build and later dismantle World War II Navy ships, has sat as mostly vacant rubble for 16 years as the Zidell family negotiated a cleanup agreement with environmental regulators. With that deal approved in February teams of commercial divers, barge operators and asbestos abatement workers are rushing to bury the pollution of the past and set the stage for urban development. The $20 million cleanup coincides with nearby efforts to build a light-rail bridge over the river and a pedestrian bridge over I-5, turning a former dead zone into a hive of activity.

Contractors have removed upland “hot spots” of pollution and are capping the riverbank with sand and rock armor to seal off the contamination, followed by “habitat gravel” for the fish. Landscaping will follow, along with street grids and eventually, the city’s newest neighborhood. The Oregon University System is developing a life sciences research center at an adjacent property owned by OHSU, and plans are being hatched for as many as 20 new mixed-use towers, park blocks, green spaces and a waterfront bike path. The Zidell barge-building facility will remain for a while but will likely be dismantled eventually.

ZRZ Realty, the holding company for the property, plans to develop the area piece by piece, following the market. “This is the next really interesting part of the city to develop,” says ZRZ’s Matt French.

Fishman and Zidell are consulting with environmental officials to make sure the fast-moving cleanup meets the company’s obligations. They expect to finish by November 2012. Then begins the work of building an urban center from scratch, at a time when the city’s real estate market may be recovering — or not.

 

More Articles

5 ways successful people kickstart the day

The Latest
Thursday, April 02, 2015
coffeethumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Are mornings the most productive part of the day?  We ask five successful executives how they get off to a good start.


Read more...

Picture This

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

As a general rule, the more people with autism can be provided with visual cues, the better they will be able to understand and manage their environment. It’s a lesson Tom Keating learned well. The 61-year-old Eugene grant writer spent 31 years taking care of his autistic brother James, and in the late 1980s developed a spreadsheet that created a series of nonsense characters that grew or shrank depending on how much money James had in his account. 


Read more...

Biker dreams

The Latest
Friday, May 15, 2015
bike at ater wynn-thumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.


Read more...

An uncertain future

Guest Blog
Thursday, May 21, 2015
norristhumbBY JASON NORRIS | GUEST BLOGGER

Uncertainty is a part of doing business, whether in through the lens of investment opportunities and risks or the business of running an enterprise.


Read more...

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

Hall of Flame

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

A Power Lunch at Oswego Grill.


Read more...

Downtime with the director of Barley's Angels

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play with Christine Jump.


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