Montgomery block developer reveals proposal at PSU

The Gerding/Elden Development Company and Portland Development Commission officials held an open meeting at Portland State Wednesday to discuss the company’s proposal to develop the Montgomery blocks just east of PSU.

If Gerding/Elden does receive the project, they plan on a four-stage development program to complete the project. The first two stages will consist of developing two high-rise condominium buildings in two blocks of the Montgomery area.

Lisa Abauf, in the Development Department of the PDC, said the commission was looking for a company to build middle-income housing for the area, as well as space for retail use.

Mark Edlen, of Gerding/Elden Development, said the goal is to make these condos cheaper than a condo in the The Civic, which is currently selling for around $250,000. He said the price of the new area is still uncertain, but the company is trying to keep the price close to $225,000.

Elden said the first block area, at Fourth and Harrison, would likely be the where the company would first start. If PDC approves their proposal, Elden said work would begin November of this year.

The second section will consist both of a condominium and the development of a streetcar line, similar to Portland State’s Urban Plaza. This streetcar line is part of the PDC’s development of the Fifth and Sixth Street Bus Mall into a light rail line.

The next phase of the Gerding/Elden proposal is dependent on state approval of funding for PSU to develop on the current PCAT site. If PSU does receive the funding the university requested, Gerding/Elden may develop the site.

The final stage, Elden said, is if the inclusion of the block including St. Michaels Church were acquired. Plans for the possible development of that site were not revealed at the meeting.

Gerding/Elden plan to use the first floors of the condominium buildings in part as retail space. Elden said they hope to bring the same vitality to this area of the city that the company helped bring to the Brewery District, where they worked on multiple buildings.

If the company builds both buildings, there will be roughly 600 total housing units in the development area.

The development company submitted the only proposal to the PDC for development in the Montgomery blocks, after the commission issued a Request for Proposals in February. The PDC Board will notify the company on May 10 whether they receive the development project.