PDC outlines park block projects

The Portland Development Commission (PDC) summarized its plans for redevelopment of the Park Blocks on Wednesday, but much of the meeting at Portland State was taken up by audience complaints about a proposed housing project at Multnomah Village.

None of the PDC’s Park Avenue Vision impinges on the Portland State campus. The vision statement includes six short-term projects. One is a park bounded by S.W. Park and Ninth, Taylor and Yamhill Streets. It is to be developed on property donated by Tom Moyer and provides a connection between the North and South Park Blocks.

The development will include a surface park with TMT Management owning a below ground parking structure. Completion is scheduled at spring 2009.

Other short-term projects include enhanced street improvements between S.W. Salmon St. and the north side of E. Burnside. Master plan efforts are set to begin in spring 2005.

A garage at S.W. Tenth and Yamhill is said to be creating severe limitations to the adjacent retail environment and positive street activity. BOORA architects are completing a study to determine the feasibility of physical improvements to the building in order to attract retail tenancy.

PDC is also seeking to improve future retail or mixed-use development on the block between S.W. Yamhill and Morrison Streets. The effort may result in an agreement with current property owners, which could include a PDC loan.

PDC is working with developers to renovate the Esquire Hotel building on S.W. Jefferson Street. The PDC may loan the developer $800,000. Their vision would see restaurant and bar service, banquet facilities and new rental housing.

Held at mid-term status is a variety of Park Block improvement projects. One is to redesign O’Bryant Square between S.W. Washington and Stark Streets. Another sees the potential of a high-rise project between S.W. Taylor and Yamhill Sts. Mixed-use development or perhaps underground parking would improve the block between S.W. Stark and Oak Streets.

Currently on hold is a vision for development of the block bounded by S.W. Alder and Washington Streets. This is the crucial block where present owners are not currently interested in selling or redeveloping their property.