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PORTLAND, OR-Beam Development has filed a formal protest to the Portland Development Commission’s selection of Opus Northwest and local developer Bruce Wood as the development team for the nine-figure redevelopment of five blocks at the east end of the Burnside bridge. Beam was selected as the preferred developer by an evaluation committee but the PDC, the city’s urban renewal agency, last week unanimously chose the runner up, Opus and Wood, in part because they had experience in larger projects and requested the smallest PDC subsidy. In its protest, Beam alleges that PDC commissioners “failed to fully disclose” pre-existing relationships with members of the proposing teams and their subcontractors until late in the process, relationships Beam alleges “improperly favored” Opus Northwest. The protest also alleges “improper communications” between the PDC and Opus; and, that the PDC changed the evaluation criteria and selection process mid-stream, violated Oregon’s public meeting laws, and failed to provide a written explanation for its decision, among other things. Neither Beam principal Brad Malsin nor Wood was immediately available for comment Friday morning. According to the original RFP, the process now calls for the original project manager’s department director to determine whether the protest has merit within five days of the protest, which was filed on Wednesday. If that determination is “yes,” a proposed remedy is to be included with the determination. If Beam is not satisfied with the determination or the proposed remedy, that decision may be appealed to PDC executive director Don Mazziotti, who in a “timely manner” must also make a determination of merit and, if appropriate, propose a remedy.Potentially adding another layer to the process, Mayor Tom Potter has requested that his staff be allowed to investigate Malsin’s claims prior to Mazziotti making a final decision, if it gets that far. However, a spokesperson for the mayor tells GlobeSt.com that Mazziotti is not required to honor the request. The Burnside Bridgehead land covers a five-block area between Northeast Second Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Burnside and Northeast Everett streets. Beam’s $245-million, 1.7 million-sf proposal calls for 267 housing units, 217,000 sf of office, 169,800 sf of light manufacturing space and 120,340 sf of retail. Opus $200-million, 1.3 million-sf proposal calls for 527 housing units, 120,050 sf of retail, 87,820-sf of light manufacturing space and 23,447 sf of office space. The housing units include 392 for-sale units and 135 affordable apartments. As part of its protest, Beam has requested the PDC provide it with copies of all meeting minutes, notes, emails, correspondence and other materials relevant to the decision rendered. “Given the short period of time allowed for filing protests [seven days], and the fact that we have not yet been allowed to review documents in PDC’s possession relevant to this protest, we are reserving the right to identify and file additional protests at a future date, or raise additional matters and grounds in any subsequent appeal,” states Malsin in concluding his formal protest letter.

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