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PORTLAND, OR-A maximum 340,500-sf building could rise on one of the last remaining development sites in Riverplace, a riverfront redevelopment area south of Waterfront Park and north of the Marquam Bridge. The city’s urban renewal agency, the Portland Development Commission, has issued a request for proposals to acquire and develop the 1.1-acre site known as Parcel #8, which sits adjacent to a hotel, an office building, a retail esplanade, and a condominium tower that is under development.

Zoning calls for a maximum height of 150 feet and a maximum Floor Area Ratio of 4:1, which means the building can have four times as much floor area as the lot’s square footage, or 195,480 sf. However, the PDC says it may at its discretion, transfer to the site development rights for an additional 3:1 FAR or, if residential is included in the development proposals, the project would be eligible for an FAR bonus of the same amount. Regardless, a 7:1 FAR would allow for a 340,500-sf building.

Development proposals are expected to be distinctive in design, supportive of the pedestrian-oriented nature of the established neighborhood and LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified, according to the RFP. The site can hold office, residential and up to 40,000 sf of retail space. The PDC says it will not participate financially in the project. The minimum purchase price for this site is $3.17 million, or $65 per sf of site area.

Immediately to the north of Parcel #8 is the in-progress $100-million Strand condominium development, a waterfront restaurant and a parking structure for residential and commercial parking. Immediately east of the property is the eight-story 2100 SW River Parkway office building and the 258-room Marriot Residence Inn, which are both located along the Willamette River.

West of the property are 490 housing units, 46,000 sf of retail and restaurants as well as the newly renovated 84-room luxury RiverPlace Hotel. To the north, on the adjacent Parcel 1, a $90-million mixed-use project is now pending redevelopment that will provide approximately 220 residential condominiums, a destination waterfront restaurant and a sub-grade structure for residential and commercial public visitor parking by 2007. A Portland Streetcar stop is located immediately to the south of the site.

Concrete debris from the demolition of the old Lincoln Steamplant is currently buried on the property. About half of the demolition debris is contaminated with asbestos. PDC will remove all asbestos contaminated concrete debris from the site prior to the Property sale. Schedule and Phasing: Environmental cleanup of Parcel #8 is expected to be completed by winter 2006. The property will be ready for redevelopment shortly following environmental cleanup and disposition. Redevelopment construction is required to commence no later than summer 2007.

The RFP for Parcel #8 was originally expected to be issued in April. The reason for the delay was not readily available Friday afternoon.

Riverplace is nearly built out. Indeed, on the other side of the Marquam Bridge, construction got under way this year on the first phase of the next riverfront redevelopment known as the South Waterfront Area. It will hold thousands of additional housing units as well as an extension campus of the Oregon Health & Science University, which is landlocked atop the hill immediately west of the area, across Interstate 5. A tram will connect the two campuses.

Parcel 8 in Riverplace is one of two remaining parcels in Riverplace. The only other undeveloped parcel in Riverplace is lot #3, an approximately two-acre site immediately south of Parcel #8, at the corner of SW River Parkway and SW Moody Avenue, next to Pacificorp’s Lincoln substation. The PDC expects to issue an RFP for the property sometime in 2006.

Property taxes from the Strand development and these last Riverplace parcels will be used to fund the installation of infrastructure for South Waterfront area. The 130-acre South Waterfront area is planned for $2 billion worth of development. Construction is under way on the first several buildings in the South Waterfront’s 38-acre Central District. Ultimately, the Central District will 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 Portland.

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