Portland nearing South Waterfront deal

Officials indicate the city is closing in on a final agreement with the Zidell family.

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Officials indicate the city of Portland is closing in on a final agreement with the Zidell family to develop the South Waterfront property.

The city’s urban renewal agency will vet Wednesday a development agreement, according to OregonLive.com, which includes at least $31.9 million in public funds.

The proposed development would mark the city’s most significant deal with the private sector in a decade, following in the footsteps of agreements with influential developer Homer Williams to transform the Pearl District and the South Waterfront. City officials say they’ve now worked out snags that slowed progress with Zidell – namely commitments for affordable housing and land for parks.

“We have been working long and hard on this one,” said Lisa Abuaf, who manages central city projects for the Portland Development Commission.

The solution for the affordable housing quagmire: The Portland Housing Bureau would get an option to purchase 180,000 gross square feet of land. The price for the land would be set in 2016, with rates expected to increase annually.

The Portland Housing Bureau would commit an additional $19.6 million over the next five years to acquire land and build affordable housing on Zidell property due north of the Ross Island Bridge.

The family owns about 30 acres of prime land south of OHSU’s waterfront property. Zidell intends to develop at least 440,000 square feet of mixed-use and employment-oriented projects in an initial phase, then 1 million square feet of commercial and housing space in a second phase. A third phase, largely taking place on land south of the Ross Island Bridge, is less determined, and wouldn’t come for several years.

(SOURCE: Portland Tribune)

The proposal also calls for a park under the Ross Island Bridge.



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