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eric cantona Mar 11, 2010 9:22 PM


Originally Posted by crow (Post 4741381)
i agree - this one looks way better. The buildings are more streamlined and less bulky and awkward. The part that is lacking though this is bridging Interstate and really making something of the river - it could even tie in with a sports like theme to it...river taxi, bike and skate rental etc.

if you mean by "bridging" an actual bridge, it's there. if you meant it metaphorically it's important to note that actual development on that piece of property is in the hands of Vulcan (Paul Allen), who own it. it is an absolutely perfect place for a park, but access to the river is difficult due to the presence of trains, and some serious grade differences.

crow Mar 13, 2010 3:45 PM


Originally Posted by eric cantona (Post 4741435)
if you mean by "bridging" an actual bridge, it's there. if you meant it metaphorically it's important to note that actual development on that piece of property is in the hands of Vulcan (Paul Allen), who own it. it is an absolutely perfect place for a park, but access to the river is difficult due to the presence of trains, and some serious grade differences.

I kind of meant both. Carry the grid/street/pedestrian network over Interstate and then drop down onto the river property - old Red Lion location. I understand Vulcan / Paul Allen / Trailblazer owner has control over the property, but with that said there seems a natural synergy to make something happen that engages the river. Seems like a perfect opportunity to make something more about it. Not some theme park of "whatever", but a district that takes advantage of being on the river. I also remember a competition that was awarded to I believe BOOR/A for something to happen there?

RoseCtyRoks Apr 15, 2010 8:16 AM

Memorial Coliseum's future is down to a best-of-three
By Janie Har, The Oregonian
April 14, 2010, 8:40PM
Thomas Boyd/The Oregonian

You could call them Wealthy Spice, Sporty Spice and Arty Spice. On Wednesday, the three finalists with visions for transforming Memorial Coliseum got the Portland City Council's go-ahead to prepare official plans.

An advisory group convened by Mayor Sam Adams last year picked the three concepts to go to the next phase: the Trail Blazers' JumpTown, developer Doug Obletz's plan for a community athletic center, and the Veterans Memorial Arts & Athletic Center.

Each finalist now gets $40,000 from the Portland Development Commission to craft detailed plans. The advisory group will select a winner this spring, with City Council approval expected in early summer.

Adams thinks the city can reinvigorate the Rose Quarter area. His call for a public brainstorm last year yielded 96 ideas -- some out there but most heartfelt: a roller coaster, a public market, a car museum.

"The Rose Quarter has stymied many a mayor and a City Council," Adams said Wednesday. "People are passionate about Memorial Coliseum."

The coliseum is owned by the city but operated by the Trail Blazers, which owns the nearby Rose Garden.

A key component of this phase will be whether the proposal can pay for itself and make money. There's also a question as to how much money the public will give the winning project.

Then there's the question of whether the city has the ability to give moneymaking rights to any group other than the Blazers. The current operating agreement contains essentially a noncompete clause should any other developer be selected.

Here's a look at the three finalists:

Veterans Memorial Arts & Athletic Center

VMAACVeterans Memorial Arts & Athletic Center concept for Memorial Coliseum.
What: Like the Memorial Athletic & Recreation Center but with a lot more room for arts, multimedia and nonprofit office space. Imagine a 500-seat concert hall, jazz nightclub, restaurant and rock-climbing wall.
Who: VMAAC Development Group, Kiewit Building Group and WATG architectural firm
What's to like: Grass-roots mojo. The group's frontman is Matthew Miller, a University of Oregon graduate at work on this for five years. The chairman is Leroy Cameron, a past president of the Jazz Society of Oregon.
Trouble: It's not backed by the Blazers or Obletz, which have muscle at City Hall and a track record in Portland.
Supporters: Portland Youth Philharmonic, Friends of Chamber Music, Theatre Vertigo
Seating: 8,000-seat arena
Veterans memorial: Keeps it where it is, doubles the size
Learn more:


Portland Trail BlazersThe JumpTown concept for the Memorial Coliseum.
What: A glittery entertainment and sports plaza with a nod to Nike and the district's African American roots. The coliseum itself hasn't been the focus but will be in the formal proposal.
Who: Portland Arena Management (Blazers), Winterhawks, developer Cordish Companies
What's to like: It could make money -- the point -- and give the neglected area the economic boost it sorely needs. The Blazers have financial backing and a seamless vision for the district.
Trouble: Portland could end up with a commercial dead zone and a string of unappetizing chain stores. Also, nobody likes a deep-pocketed front-runner.
Supporters: Oregon Music Hall of Fame, Portland Jazz Festival, Oregon School Activities Association, Portland Rose Festival Foundation
Seating: 7,500 to 8,000 seats
Veterans memorial: A park along the river; flexible
Learn more:

Memorial Athletic & Recreation Center

TVA Architects Inc. The Memorial Athletic & Recreation Center concept for Memorial Coliseum.
What: A tricked-out public recreation center with space for college and high school sports, NHL-size hockey rink, a 152-meter velodrome, and a competition-level indoor track. Traveling athletes could train, along with seniors, moms and kids.
Who: Portland developer Shiels Obletz Johnsen; Brailsford & Dunlavey; TVA Architects; Peter Meijer Architect
What's to like: A center for kids and residents could be a real civic boost for the area, which sits at freeway and TriMet crossroads. Revenue from sporting events would pay for community programs.
Trouble: The existing bowl would come out. Also, the team has made noise that it could withdraw because the Blazers have an unfair edge.
Supporters: Onward Oregon, a progressive group; fans of track and field
Seating: Flexible 6,500- to 8,500-seat arena
Veterans memorial: Enhanced memorial on the east plaza
Learn more:

-- Janie Har

bvpcvm Jun 25, 2010 1:11 PM

Blazers, city will soon discuss developing Rose Quarter's empty lots

Published: Thursday, June 24, 2010, 9:00 PM Updated: Thursday, June 24, 2010, 9:02 PM
Ryan Frank, The Oregonian
View full size

Benjamin Brink, The Oregonian

A mass of concrete parking garages and asphalt currently greet Rose Quarter visitors along North Broadway and Benton Avenue. The Portland Trail Blazers' concept for an entertainment district would turn the parking lots and empty plots into an area of high-rise hotel rooms, offices, shops, restaurants and an interactive Nike museum.

On a summer day in 1993, Portland Mayor Vera Katz and Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen piloted backhoes to unearth the city's next riverfront district.

Katz and Allen celebrated the team's new $262 million arena. But just as important, executives said, the team planned to dig up nearby parking lots and build restaurants, shops and more.

Seventeen years later, Allen and the Blazers enjoy a successful home court in the Rose Garden. But the surrounding district is still a garden of blacktop.

The reasons are as long as a halftime beer line.

For starters, the Rose Quarter -- like many U.S. stadium districts -- isn't easy to rebuild into a walkable Hawthorne-style neighborhood of shops and housing. The 40-acre site is virtually unreachable by foot, fortified by a freeway, a busy street and a river.

On the Blazers' side, team executives scaled back their ambitions after the initial Rose Quarter restaurants folded in the 1990s. The team then tumbled into trouble that occupied executives' attention. Remember the Jail Blazers and the Rose Garden bankruptcy? In the meantime, Allen missed out on the biggest real estate boom of his lifetime.

On the city's side, politicians couldn't decide whether to tear down the Blazers' old home, the Memorial Coliseum. Without a decision, city leaders weren't able to broker the type of public-private deal that produced the Pearl and South Waterfront districts during those 17 years.

The Rose Quarter delays continue today.

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Portland Trail Blazers

The Portland Trail Blazers' design for the proposed JumpTown district in the Rose Quarter, looking east from downtown Portland toward the Rose Garden. The plan includes an interactive Nike museum, a boutique hotel, offices, restaurants and a 500-seat theater.

Last week, Mayor Sam Adams called off a competition among the Blazers and two other groups to remake the 1960 coliseum for the 21st century. He said each idea had a fatal flaw.

That leaves Adams where the city started in 1993: at the negotiating table with the Blazers.

Both sides must answer some key questions:

Is there a City Council majority willing to make a deal to be ready when the economy improves? Is Paul Allen -- worth $13.5 billion and one of the Northwest's richest men -- ready to play ball? If so, can the City Council and Allen find a compromise the public supports and can afford?

1993 deal

To understand what hasn't happened in the Rose Quarter, rewind to that 1993 summer.

The City Council and Allen's company had just signed a public-private deal to build a new arena and keep the Blazers in town for 30 years.

Under that deal, private investors put up 87 percent of the $262 million project. Allen himself chipped in $46 million plus future debt payments, and the city added $34.5 million for two parking garages and other improvements.

Team owners in other cities had won deeper subsidies or bolted for cheaper suburban stadiums. But Allen gave Katz what she wanted: a modern, privately funded arena in the city's center next to a light-rail line.

In exchange, the city gave Allen's company some control over what happened in the rest of the district, which the city owns. Allen won the right to manage the Memorial Coliseum and exclusive rights to propose new buildings in the Rose Quarter. With his visions spreading across Interstate Avenue to the riverfront, Allen also bought the old Red Lion motel.

The deal gave Allen the power to shape the city's eastside skyline. But it also required him to get City Hall's approval to do anything.

When the arena opened in 1995, the Rose Quarter's flaws quickly scuttled the team's real estate plans.

Blazer games and Disney On Ice attracted enough people to fill the district's restaurants and bars. But when the arenas sat empty, so did the tables at Jody Maroni's Sausage Kingdom.

The Rose Quarter, in newspaper headlines, became the Ghost Quarter.

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Inside the Rose Garden, Allen turned around the Blazers franchise. The team got out of the police blotter and back into the playoffs. Fans rewarded Allen with 115 consecutive earsplitting sellouts.

Outside the arena, Allen and the city haven't turned around the Rose Quarter. The fans are now gone for the season, leaving just a stiff breeze, the whir of freeway traffic and a lone lighted storefront.


So what will the city and Allen do to jump-start the Rose Quarter?

For the first time in years, the two sides have a development concept to debate. Drawings for the Blazers' JumpTown idea show high-rises sprouting from vacant lots.

Team president Larry Miller began working on the idea after Allen brought the arena out of bankruptcy in 2007. But a revived Rose Quarter didn't catch the public's attention until two years later.

Adams proposed razing Memorial Coliseum for a Triple-A baseball stadium. The mayor eventually dropped the idea amid public protests, but his proposal sparked a public debate. Adams cast an open call for Portlanders' ideas for the coliseum and led a 32-person task force to review them. They whittled dozens of ideas to three before the mayor halted the process last week.

Instead, Adams will focus on the Trail Blazers, the company that, by city contract, controls the coliseum through 2023 and the Rose Quarter development rights for a few more months.

The Blazers say they're eager to refine their concept to fit the ambitions of the city and its residents. "We're flexible," said J.E. Isaac, the team's senior vice president of business affairs.

Adams, who has worked on the Rose Quarter since he was Katz's chief of staff in the 1990s, said the Blazers "have been much more engaged than they ever have been."

But that doesn't mean a deal is imminent.

People inside and outside City Hall remain skeptical about whether Allen and the Blazers can produce an idea that will fly in a city that gives its residents so much authority in public-private deals.

The Blazers brought on The Cordish Co. of Baltimore to help design JumpTown. The current idea would be anchored by an interactive Nike museum and include a boutique hotel, offices, clubs, restaurants and a 2,500-seat concert hall.

Critics say Cordish relies on chains to anchor its food and entertainment centers, which they say runs counter to Portland's indie culture.

"It's the Walmart of entertainment," said city Commissioner Randy Leonard. But Isaac said: "We feel like we put together an all-star team of interested companies. We have the best opportunity in a generation to accomplish an active neighborhood."

Taxpayers would have to help pay for whatever the Blazers design.

Isaac declined to disclose any financial estimates, saying he's still working on them. But he told city officials that the total cost of an earlier proposal would have been $100 million to $150 million.

As for the public subsidies, the city's urban renewal agency has budgeted $5.4 million. But the city has the capacity to offer more than $50 million if it takes on riskier debt in one urban renewal district and redraws another district's boundaries to swoop into the Rose Quarter.

Adams said he worries about whether Allen and his partners will put up enough private money to make the deal work. The Rose Quarter development would be a blip on Allen's balance sheet. But Cordish is prepared to put up all the private investment unless Allen chooses to join in, Isaac said.

Allen and his real estate company, Vulcan Real Estate of Seattle, have stayed out of the planning work even though they are leading a 60-acre development in Seattle's South Lake Union. Isaac said Allen is deferring to Cordish, which Isaac said has expertise in entertainment districts.

To get a deal done, the city and Blazers will have to get past 17 years of mutual frustration. Each side still points to the other to explain the Rose Quarter's failure.

David Postman, Allen's spokesman, said: "The city seems to be slow to figure out what the path to completion is. The private commitment is there."

Leonard, the city commissioner, said: "Anyone who would argue that the city isn't doing its part is disingenuous. The real problem is people of means not being willing to step up."

Allen, through his spokesman, declined to be interviewed. But Steve Patterson, the Blazers former president, said Portland politicians need to strike a deal that provides a reasonable profit and worry less about perceptions that they've caved to a billionaire.

Patterson said: "Paul's lost $1 billion since he's owned the Trail Blazers, largely in the years since the Rose Quarter was built. You need a different perspective from the public side if you're going to have development there."

Adams and the Blazers will soon begin months of public meetings and high-stakes negotiations.

The Blazers' rights to develop the city's Rose Quarter land expire in November, a deadline that Adams will surely use as leverage. The Blazers, he said, have already asked for an extension before they start more detailed planning work.

For now, there seems to be one thing all sides agree on.

"The status quo of parking lots," Adams said, "is unacceptable."

-- Ryan Frank

© 2010 All rights reserved.

crow Jun 25, 2010 5:33 PM

Whatever happened to the design that BOOR/A proposed for the waterfront / old Red Lion site. I believe they competed for that project and were picked.


PacificNW Jun 25, 2010 10:32 PM

Have the Allen group and the city explored the possibilities of combining their vision of a headquarters hotel for the convention center and Rose Quarter? The Rose Quarter and CCenter are within easy walking distance....above and/or underground.

MightyAlweg Jun 26, 2010 10:53 AM

"Last week, Mayor Sam Adams called off a competition among the Blazers and two other groups to remake the 1960 coliseum for the 21st century. He said each idea had a fatal flaw. That leaves Adams where the city started in 1993: at the negotiating table with the Blazers." -The Oregonian

Wait, so that whole process of having people submit bids was all for nothing? The whole thing was called off by the mayor? Just like that?

What was the point then exactly? And how does he think that will be productive to getting development going in that dead part of town? :koko:

Okstate Nov 12, 2010 4:20 AM

Some new info from the DJC:


PDC, architect unveil vision for Rose Quarter
POSTED: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 at 09:18 AM PT
BY: Nathalie Weinstein
Tags: Mayor Sam Adams, Memorial Coliseum, Portland Trail Blazers, Rose Quarter

(Map courtesy of the Portland Development Commission)

One year into the city of Portland’s largest planning project since the South Waterfront District, a few things are certain about the Rose Quarter: Memorial Coliseum will stay, the Trail Blazers will keep their development rights (pending approval by City Council) and North Broadway will be the district’s front door.....

urbanlife Nov 15, 2010 10:23 AM

Is it me or does this plan look like it doesn't change much about the current area other than pointing out where there currently could be a tower?

The pedestrian connection over the I-5 seems like the only real thing that is being proposed for the area.

Though I still think the city should be working with the PPS with trying to purchase their current property and moving them to a more efficient building. Which would be a great move for the city to finally acquire a decent location for a future ballpark when Portland one day gets baseball back....cause that would make sense for the city, unless of course Randy Leonard has forgotten all about baseball after everyone shot down his two stupid location proposals.

zilfondel Nov 15, 2010 11:01 PM

Open house tonight:

Joint Open House: Rose Quarter and N/NE Quadrant Projects

Memorial Coliseum, 4:30pm - 7pm

zilfondel Nov 19, 2010 9:24 AM

Ok, I don't think anyone missed out by not going to this. Just a community outreach meeting, the PDC is basically "back to the drawing board" and is eliciting community comments.

I gave them my $.02

eric cantona Nov 19, 2010 8:24 PM

I've come to the conclusion that the PDC, and the Mayor's office as well, don't have any real say in what will happen here. the Blazers are driving the bus. let's just hope that don't drive it off a cliff like they did during the original development of the RG/RQ.

the PDC graphic shows very little that hasn't been shown before, and is essentially meaningless. the ped crossing of I-5 has been around for nearly a decade on a number of plans. the tower is the only "new" item. any guesses on the likelihood of that happening in the next decade? interestingly, they seem to have lifted the notion of a memorial terrace on the west side of the MC from one of the alternate RFP responses that I had worked on. I must say, it is a spectacular idea...

which brings up another personal annoyance with this "process". during the review the 90+ proposals for the MC/RQ, Mayor McCheese announced late in the game that they were only going to consider those that dealt specifically with the MC only. he said that this round of proposals would not be able to address the greater quarter, and that there would be a separate RFP out (this winter, I believe he said) for development of the RQ. from my understanding the quarter is now wholly in the hands of the Blazers. at least for the next six months.

"ever have the feeling you've been cheated..."
J. Rotten

bvpcvm Dec 17, 2010 2:27 AM

A new six-story residential building proposed for this parking lot.

Here's the development application.

tworivers Dec 18, 2010 5:21 PM

No on-site parking. :tup:

2oh1 Dec 18, 2010 8:01 PM

Sweet! Now, if only someone would develop the grassy lot across the street. Is that used for overflow event parking? Or...? I've always wondered.

zilfondel Dec 18, 2010 9:34 PM

There was a proposal from AMAA for a highrise office tower. That was about a year or 2 ago

Sioux612 Dec 19, 2010 3:21 AM


Originally Posted by zilfondel (Post 5098176)
There was a proposal from AMAA for a highrise office tower. That was about a year or 2 ago

MarkDaMan Feb 1, 2011 7:10 PM

Portland school district site attracts PDC
POSTED: Monday, January 31, 2011 at 03:50 PM PT
BY: Nick Bjork
Daily Journal of Commerce

The Portland Development Commission has targeted the next big site it wants to redevelop. The problem is that its present tenant isn’t looking to move.

The city agency late last week identified an 11-acre parcel - and its 365,435-square-foot Blanchard Education Service Center - as one it would like to acquire. In doing so, the PDC also has entered into an agreement with Portland Public Schools and consulting firm Shiels Obletz Johnsen to look into how nearly 700 employees could be relocated at no cost to the school district.

The Blanchard site has a large footprint and is near downtown, Interstate 5 and the Rose Quarter. Developers and Mayor Sam Adams have pitched ideas for the site, and even the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has explored redevelopment possibilities.

But as Sara King, development manager with the PDC, pointed out, visioning would be wasted unless the tenants were willing to move some or all of their operations.

The PDC is paying $60,000 for Shiels Obletz Johnsen to update a 2005 study that looked at the feasibility of the school district moving some, or all, of its services to a new site. Portland Public Schools presently uses the site to house its central administration staff, central kitchen and food services, warehouse and distribution services, and its maintenance services.

“We want to figure out what the magnitude cost would be to move the facilities off-site,” King said. “So many things have changed since 2005 and we want to see if it would be more cost effective now to move them.”

The 2005 study - conducted by Shiels Obletz Johnsen, GBD Architects and The Kalberer Co. - found that the building and the site provide more space than the school district needs, and that subleasing the additional space wouldn’t be financially sound. But the study also found that the four services do not need to be colocated and the district should look to move some of the services off-site and redevelop the parcel internally rather than sell it.

According to the 2005 study, the site would fetch approximately $20 million, but relocation of the four services to other school district-owned sites would cost nearly $75 million.

The findings of the 2005 study led Portland Public Schools to stand pat, but it is willing to listen to new proposals, said Matt Shelby, a PPS spokesman. In late January the Portland Public Schools Board of Education voted to participate in the updated study and work with the PDC. After the vote, the two public agencies and the consulting firm signed a memorandum of understanding.

“The building is meeting a substantial majority of our needs right now and we are in no way actively seeking buyers or tenants,” Shelby said. “But at the same time we are not wedded to this building.

“If it can serve a better purpose to the city, and if relocation is, at the very least, cost neutral to Portland Public Schools, we are more than willing to listen and participate.”

The study is expected to be completed by the end of March. But the PDC would not necessarily acquire the site anytime soon.

The PDC is still working with the United States Postal Service to acquire a 13.4-acre site in Northwest Portland - the Pearl District’s largest parcel. The city started the process in 1995, and a letter of intent was signed only two years ago. The PDC created a nonrefundable escrow account worth $2 million as a good faith agreement enticing the USPS to participate in negotiations.

“I know that there are people out there dreaming up ideas for the site, and that is necessary for long-term visioning,” King said. “But what we are trying to do here is lay the groundwork to see if it’s even feasible to not only move the school district off the site, but purchase and redevelop it as well.”

Options for the Blanchard site

Redevelopment of the Blanchard site wouldn’t occur for years, but developers and city staffers have nevertheless pitched ideas over the years.

In early January, Mayor Sam Adams and Gerding Edlen Development Co. were reportedly in preliminary talks with Costco about the site housing one of the retailer’s stores with an urban design. But that wasn’t the first time redevelopment suggestion for the 11-acre parcel.

In October 2010, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability solicited responses from three architecture firms – Dao Architecture, SERA Architects and Seattle-based Mithun – about potential ideas for the site; the BPS noted six.

These included: a public area and entertainment district; a close-in industrial park or urban farm; a mixed-use, big-box development; an employment incubator; a research and development office space; or a mixed-use, residential development.

Redevelopment of the Blanchard site also would at least somewhat be tied to the city’s Rose Quarter redevelopment project, which is under way.

zilfondel Feb 2, 2011 8:36 PM


Theres still this report: (large PDF) Uploaded with
pic from report above

tworivers Feb 3, 2011 12:40 AM

My vote is for some sort of innovative mixed-use development involving lots of residential. Sounds kind of boring, maybe, but I think it would add the most-needed element to that general area: people living in the immediate vicinity.

By innovative I mean... whatever, really. Innovative design, maybe some co-housing, dedicated space for food-growing. Before the PPS building was built it was multiple blocks of single-family houses and apartment buildings -- seems like it would still be a highly desirable place to live, especially if the project was forward-looking while at the same time restoring the old street grid.

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