PORTLAND-Some $450,000 in federal appropriations have been secured for affordable housing projects in the South Waterfront Area, US Sen. Gordon Smith said last week.The funds build on a previously announced $400,000 grant from the HUD. They also further a goal of the city’s urban renewal agency, the Portland Development Commission, which is to develop a minimum of 788 affordable rental and for-sale housing units as part of the 130-acre, multi-billion redevelopment of industrial riverfront. The first South Waterfront projects are under construction in what is being referred to as the Central District. They include the first of several high-rise residential towers and the first of several medical facilities for Oregon Health & Science University, the city’s largest employer, which will be connected to its main campus atop Marquam Hill via a tram. At full build-out, the South Waterfront Area is expected to provide a minimum of 3,000 housing units and generate 10,000 jobs. The South Waterfront Area, which comprises the vast majority of the North Macadam Urban Renewal Area, is a chunk of heretofore industrial riverfront extending from the Ross Island Bridge to Bancroft Street. A South Waterfront information center and sales office opened recently on Bancroft Street that details the master planned redevelopment. The area’s 38-acre Central District alone will be home to $1.4-billion worth of development at build out. Plans call for the Central District to hold some 2,700 condominium and apartment units in towers rising between 250 feet and 325 feet, making them some of the tallest buildings in the city.PDC updated the North Macadam Urban Renewal Area Funding Strategy this month and projected the federal grants and appropriations would be supported with $30 million of tax increment financing available for affordable housing in the URA through fiscal year 2019/2020. PDC has already committed $4 million for projects through fiscal year 2007/2008. The document projects a total of $208 million of tax increment financing available for capital projects in the urban renewal area through fiscal year 2019/2020.

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