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

Corner Office: Marv LaPorte

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

The president of LaPorte & Associates lets us in on his day-to-day life.


Read more...

The short list: 5 hot coffee shops for entrepreneurs

Contributed Blogs
Friday, November 14, 2014

CupojoeBY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.


Read more...

Top stories in 2014

The Latest
Thursday, December 18, 2014
10-listthumb

2014 was a year of wild contradictions, fast-paced growth and unexpected revelations.


Read more...

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


Read more...

The clean fuels opportunity

News
Monday, November 10, 2014
111014-dirtyfuel-thumbBY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.


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