|A rendering of the proposed master plan for the Zidell family-owned property in Portland's South Waterfront.(Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects/ZRZ Realty Co.)|
Portland approves 'make or break' South Waterfront deal with Zidell
Calling it the missing puzzle piece to a complete South Waterfront District, the Portland City Council unanimously approved a historic deal Wednesday to subsidize redevelopment of about 30 acres owned by the Zidell family with at least $23.8 million of public money for parks, roads and other improvements.
The PDC would spend about $4.6 million extending Bond Avenue, a key inland north-south route, plus three connections between Bond and Moody. The Portland Bureau of Transportation would also kick in $750,000 toward the effort.
The urban renewal agency also would spend $11.7 million to develop a park along the riverfront, called the South Waterfront Greenway. Additionally, $5 million of urban renewal funds would be used buy land for a city park underneath the Ross Island Bridge. Portland Parks & Recreation is also expected to contribute toward the eventual acquisition. Finally, $2.5 million would be spent on other efforts, such as putting power lines underground.
The deal outlines a multi-phase building boom that would grow the upstart district by 1.44 million square feet of office, residential and commercial space and add at least $210 million to the tax rolls.
"This development agreement is the make or break for the entire area," Commissioner Amanda Fritz said. "If we can get it right, it's going to be a wonderful community to live, work and play in for 100 years or more. If we don't, it'll be a, 'Huh, not quite what we thought.'"
The agreement marks Portland's most sweeping development deal with the private sector in more than a decade. Officials hope to replicate successes from earlier compacts with developers Homer Williams and Dike Dame, who resurrected the Pearl District and later led the high-rise condo craze that jump started the South Waterfront.
But the deal has not been without setbacks and delays, as efforts to secure property for low-rent affordable housing and parks threatened progress. But both sides now say they've reached a fair deal.
"It's had its ups and downs," said Jay Zidell, president of a family business slowly transitioning from barge building to real estate. "We'll all be able to sit around years from now and look back at the great things we've accomplished."
Zidell's acreage straddles the Ross Island Bridge and is the largest undeveloped canvass in the central city, but today it largely remains a no-man's land bookended by marquee projects.
The family's northern property is bounded by the new light-rail line set to open Sept. 12. The southern edge bumps against land held by the region's largest employer, Oregon Health & Science University, and the expensive condo towers that remade Portland's skyline in the mid-2000s.
|Pam Martin | firstname.lastname@example.org|
Build out of the Zidell property will begin with a first phase featuring at least 440,000 square feet over three projects along Southwest Moody Avenue – the only existing road.http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/06/portland_approves_make_or_brea.html
Two of the projects – called Block 1 and Block 6 – must begin construction by no later than July 2017. The third project, Block 4, is expected to have a similar timeline but could begin construction as late as June 2025.
Combined, the three projects are expected to add at least $60 million in assessed value to the tax rolls.
Plans for the larger second phase exist only in broad-brush strokes.
Zidell wants to build at least 1 million square feet of office, commercial and residential space on property north of the Ross Island Bridge and east of the to-be-constructed Southwest Bond Avenue extension.
The first project would begin construction by July 2019 and construction on all phase-two projects would launch by June 2025. In all, the second phase would produce $150 million in tax-assessed value. Read more:
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