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|Articles - April 2013|
|Monday, April 01, 2013|
BY MICHAEL R. SILVEY
The Oregon Convention Center Phase 1 opened in 1990, and Phase 2 opened in 2003. The Rose Garden opened in 1995, and the last constructed high-rise office building in the Lloyd District opened in 1997. We are now in 2013, and nothing of significance has been built in the three districts for more than 10 years.
What is holding back development? A number of factors are to blame, but there are also glimmers of hope that development may occur over the next few years.
Convention Center Hotel
At nearly 1 million square feet, the Oregon Convention Center is one of the largest convention centers in the U.S. that does not have an adjacent convention center hotel. Portland has made several attempts to build one to no avail. Shortly after the Oregon Convention Center opened, a request for proposal (RFP) process commenced but may not have produced a development agreement. Or if it did, it did not succeed. In 2005 Metro authorized the creation of a financing plan for the development of a 600-room hotel.
That process ended up in a development agreement; however, with the start of the Great Recession in December 2007, that attempt died. They say the third time is a charm. Metro is in the process of negotiating once again for a convention center hotel, this time with a group that desires to build a 600-room Hyatt Hotel. Negotiations toward a financing plan are ongoing, and a development agreement may be approved by this summer. Hopefully, construction will begin in 2014-15.
The area around the Rose Garden is called the “Rose Quarter” and was intended to become an “entertainment district.” A few restaurants initially occupied the adjoining Entertainment Complex Building but eventually failed. Like the convention center hotel, the Rose Quarter has been the subject of various planning studies. The first started in March 2000 and resulted in a report entitled “Rose Quarter Urban Design Plan and Development Strategy.” That plan sparked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the City of Portland and the Oregon Arena Corporation to decide on a development program within 18 months. That planning effort was halted when the Oregon Arena Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2004.
Planning efforts resumed in 2009 when the city and Portland Arena Management LLC entered into another MOU for the construction of a mixed-use development. PAM partnered with The Cordish Companies and proposed a project known as “Jumptown.” With the Great Recession underway, the City started a different planning process by a group known as the Stakeholder Advisory Committee. SAC’s focus in 2010-11 changed to what could be done with the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
While all types of proposals were considered, the ultimate decision was to upgrade the VMC as a spectator facility. The upgrade did start with a new National Hockey League-size ice floor being installed in 2012. Unfortunately, the balance of the proposed upgrade is presently on hold but hopefully will be resurrected later this year.
In March 2012, then-Mayor Sam Adams announced in his final State of the City address that Langley Investment Properties, as local development advisor to American Assets Trust Inc., would be developing 750 apartments, along with retail and parking units, totaling 1.12 million square feet. This project will be on the balance of the Superblock where the Lloyd 700 Building is located. Langley’s website says that ground is to be broken in 2013. Fortunately, there are still eight months left in 2013 for that to occur.
While the Convention Center, Rose Quarter and Lloyd districts have languished for too many years, 2013 may be the year of meaningful development. The Lloyd project looks like the first to start; the VMC redevelopment may get back on track. Also, if the convention center hotel development agreement is inked this year, construction should commence in 2014-15. Portland needs these developments on the east side of the Willamette River in order to avoid the problem, as Gertrude Stein once said, that “there is no there there.”
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
Roy Kaufmann always lands on his feet.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
How conservation stimulates the local economy.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Oregon Business celebrated the 100 Best Green Workplaces with an awards luncheon yesterday at the Nines Hotel in downtown Portland.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well at the Oregon Angel showcase, an annual event for angel investors and early stage entrepreneurs.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Mohan Nair channels a visionary.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
inDinero, a business that manages back-office accounting for startups and smaller companies, recently announced it would relocate its headquarters from San Francisco to Portland. We talked to CEO Jessica Mah about what drew her to Portland and how she plans to disrupt the traditional CPA model.
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Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) will be presenting its third annual Entrepreneurial Summit on Friday, June 5 at Castaway in Portland, Oregon.
On June 13th Mayor Charlie Hales will attend nonprofit organization Dream Change’s inaugural Love Summit and will introduce one of its keynote speakers, Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.
34 spots for food, 17 places to sip, and 7 sites to choose a brew beckon visitors.