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PORTLAND-A $1.3-billion mixed-use redevelopment of industrial waterfront south of Downtown will officially get started next week when public officials and private developers gather to fete the ambitious 31-acre project that will be built out over the next 17 years per an agreement with the city’s urban renewal agency, the Portland Development Commission.

The land is known as the Central District of a larger, 130-acre area called the South Waterfront area, which in turn is part of the 409-acre North Macadam Urban Renewal Area. Specifically, the Central District is located between the Ross Island Bridge and Bancroft Street. Preliminary plans call for the Central District to hold 2,700 condominium and apartment units in towers rising between 250 ft and 350 ft, which would make it the tallest, most dense neighborhood in the state.

The area also will include a satellite campus for Oregon Health Sciences University, which is landlocked atop the hill that rises immediately west of the South Waterfront area. The satellite campus will be connected to the existing campus by an aerial tram and the district as a whole will be connected to Downtown by an extension of the city’s new streetcar line.

Developer Homer Williams, the point man for North Macadam Investors LLC, which is developing the better part of the district, tells GlobeSt.com the first phase of development, set to begin early next year, will include a 360,000-sf medical office and research building for OHSU that is being developed by Gerding Edlen Development, which is winding up work on its five-block redevelopment of the former Blitz-Weinhard brewery on the edge of Northwest Portland’s Pearl District. Also slated to break ground next year is a two-tower, 250-unit condominium development and a 300-unit independent senior housing property.

Each of the three projects is a $125-million endeavor, says Williams, adding that construction financing is lined up but not yet secured. Financing for the land acquisition and infrastructure work has been provided by Washington Capital Management, which invests on behalf of its Taft-Hartley pension funds. Bruce Korter of WCM’s local office tells GlobeSt.com his company hopes to be involved in the vertical development as well.

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