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PORTLAND-Work got under way last week for the renovation and expansion of the Weimer Warehouse in Northeast Portland. When complete in about nine months, the two-story 18,000-sf warehouse at 3934 NE MLK Blvd. will have a new third level over the north side of the building, 30,000 sf of leaseable office and retail space, and a new name: the Heritage Building.

The Portland Development Commission, the city’s urban renewal agency, acquired the warehouse property in fall 1999 and two adjacent vacant lots in summer 2001. The Heritage Building development team was selected by the agency in late 2001. The PDC recently completed extensive environmental remediation of the building.

The renovated building will contain ground-floor restaurants, a retail storefront and offices on the upper floors. The total project cost is $4.5 million. The PDC will provide the land for the project as well as two loans using tax increment funds from the Oregon Convention Center totaling $2.45 million. Albina Community Bank is also providing a $1.9 million loan.

The RFP for the redevelopment was put out in July 1999. The project was originally expected to get under way in 2001. In 2003, the developers received an extention to its development agreement with the PDC. At that time, developers said they were ready to move forward with the project as soon as 35% of the building is preleased. At a recent ground-breaking ceremony, no mention was made of any lease commitments.

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