JumpTown gets off the ground

| Print |  Email
Archives - December 2009
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

Child care challenge

News
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
0927OHSUhealthystarts-thumbBY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER

Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.


Read more...

The Cover Story

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 27, 2015
01-cover-0915-thumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

How do you put a baby on the cover of a business magazine without it looking too cutesy?


Read more...

Farm in a Box

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.


Read more...

Bendafornia: What’s driving the Northern California migration?

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
bendiforniathumbBY KEN MAES

A huge migration from Northern California has contributed to average 16% growth per year since 1990.


Read more...

Downtime with Jill Nelson

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play wit the CEO of Ruby Receptionists.


Read more...

Wildcards

Guest Blog
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
072815fergusonthumbBY JASON NORRIS

Uncertainty in Greece and China, along with potential interest rate hikes mean investors are looking at the market and nervously questioning where they should be invested.


Read more...

Reader Input: Energy Overload

June 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.


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