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GRESHAM, OR-The first mixed-use, urban transit-oriented project in this city on Portland’s northeastern border has earned City officials here the 2001 Professional Achievement in Planning Award from the Oregon chapter of the American Planning Association.

The project is Gresham Station, the first phase of Gresham Civic Neighborhood Plan, which consists of nearly 300,000 sf of retail and office space. Designed to emulate an urban village, it includes wide sidewalks and plazas, a lake element and diverse architectural styles.

The project, completed by Center Oak Properties, is complemented by two light rail stations, one on the edge of the project and one in its heart. About 90% of the retail is spoken for along with about two-thirds of the 20,000 sf of office space. Already open in the retail space are Gap, Old Navy, Bed Bath & Beyond and Borders Books. Another building nearing completion will house Red Robin, Dress Barn, Men’s Warehouse, Kay-Bee Toys and Honey Baked Ham. As well, a lease with Portland Teachers Credit Union is being negotiated.

Including land the company has sold and is selling to residential developers, another 20 acres or so will be developed into more than 800 apartment units, another 250,000 sf of retail and another 200,000 sf of office space.

About 2.3 acres of the land has been sold off to locally based Peak Development for development of 80 apartments over another 25,000-sf of retail. On two other residential blocks for which Center Oak is still negotiating with multiple interested buyers, there is room for perhaps another 800 units. A Newport Beach, CA-based investor wants to build higher end senior housing, a group out of Minnesota wants to develop senior co-op housing similar to product available in New York, and still other developers are interested in straight apartment or condominium developments.

That would leave Center Oak about 13 acres to develop more retail and office space. On the retail side, there is talk of a themed restaurant called Claim Jumper and a couple of department stores, including possibly Meier & Frank. Of the office space, some 80,000 sf has been set aside for the Center for Advanced Learning. The center is a fully funded joint effort of four local high school districts, Multnomah Community College and possibly Oregon State University that will provide advanced learning opportunities for everything from physics to the arts.

“Their goal is to be under construction soon and complete and open the facility for the 2002 school year,” Center Oak president Fred Bruning told GlobeSt.com earlier this year. The three-story, two-building project will include ground floor retail and 15,000-sf of space for the Multnomah County cable television company.

Meantime, Clint Hilman, the city’s top building official, received two awards at the Oregon Building Officials annual conference. The first was for “Leadership Achievement” in recognition for a stint as vice president of the association. Theo other was the “Building Official of the Year” award for his “years of outstanding leadership and dedicated service…”

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