PORTLAND-The Portland Development Commission, the city’s urban renewal agency, says it is making progress on a deal that will turn a Doubletree Hotel at Third Avenue and Lincoln Street into student and faculty housing for Portland State University.

Last week the city approved a disposition and development agreement with PSU. According to the agreement, PSU would pay the PDC $19.7 million for the property and create from it a 350,000-sf development that would include the aforementioned housing as well as conference facilities, academic uses, retail and parking. In exchange, PSU will make available land or development rights within the site or on another site for up to 150 units of affordable “open market” housing if the PDC can secure financing for such a project within the next 10 years.

Before PSU can purchase the property, though, the PDC must have it to sell. Boykin Lodging Inc., a Cleveland-based REIT, owns the property. The ODC has authorized its acquisition through condemnation, if necessary. But PDC development director Abe Farkas tells GlobeSt.com he has agreed to pay PDC for the property. Farkas says he expects both transactions to occur almost simultaneously next spring, when PSU’s financing for the acquisition becomes available.

Meantime, the PDC also is in the process of acquiring three nearby parcels for another redevelopment. The properties are the Jasmine Tree restaurant, the Harrison Court Apartments and the Value Inn motel on Southwest Montgomery and Harrison streets between 4th and 5th avenues.

The properties have an assessed value of $3.19 million but, strategically, they become much more valuable. When combined with existing ownership, the acquisitions would give the PDC the better part of three contiguous blocks that it says have the potential to add 850,000 sf of new development–423 housing units, 31,000 sf of retail and 150,000 sf of office–at a combined public and private investment of about $125 million.

The three blocks all touch a fourth block that is the current terminus for the city’s streetcar line, which was redeveloped in partnership with PSU and now includes not only the streetcar station but also PSU’s book store, among other things. The block with Harrison Court Apartments and the Jasmine Tree restaurant is needed to extend the streetcar line, but would also be the site of a 14-story “L”-shaped building with two floors of underground parking, 11,000 sf of street-level retail and an undetermined number of condominiums.

Immediately to the north of that block is the Value Inn Motel site, which would be combined with adjacent property owned by the parish of St. Michael and redeveloped into an 11-story building with two levels of underground parking, 19,000 sf of office space, 5,000 street-level retail and 210 rental apartments. Immediately to the west of the Jasmine Tree block is the PCAT Building, which would be demolished in favor of a nine-story building with 14,700 sf of lower-level and street-level retail, 140,000 sf of office space and 300 above-grade parking spaces. The office space would be shared by Portland State University and the PDC, which would consolidate its offices in the building.

The timeline for the office building, which would be owned jointly by PSU and the PDC, has construction commencing next summer and ending in the spring of 2006. The timeline for the redevelopment of the Jasmine Tree/Harrison Court Apartments block, which would be sold to a private developer, is to start construction in the fourth quarter of 2005 and complete the building in the spring of 2007. A timeline for redevelopment of the Value Inn motel block has not yet been determined. Farkas tells GlobeSt.com that negotiations for those acquisitions also are ongoing, with talks furthest along for the Jasmine Tree property.

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