PORTLAND, OR-A planned five-block redevelopment at the east end of the Burnside Bridge here came closer to reality this week when Opus Northwest LLC and the city’s urban renewal agency inked a memorandum of understanding regarding the estimated $200-million project. The non-binding agreement sets forth the basic expectations each have agreed will guide the process leading up to a binding disposition and development agreement.

Opus’ Burnside Bridgehead project calls for 500 residential units, 100,000 sf of retail, 125,000 sf of work space and 1,040 structured parking spaces on about 4.5 acres of underdeveloped property immediately north of the bridge. The properties represent is one of the largest redevelopment sites in the Central City.

The MOU calls for Opus to take the lead on: existing and future market studies to determine the mix of uses (residential, retail, office, etc.) to be included in the project; environmental and geotechnical studies of the property and identifying any work that many need to be done; a partnership with Beam Development Co. to develop one or more components of the project; creating a final development program in cooperation with the Citizens Advisory Committee.

The city’s Portland Development Commission will be responsible for: purchasing the Convention Plaza Building–which lies in the center of the proposed development and is the only property not yet owned by PDC; obtaining zoning changes for portions of the site necessary to allow the proposed development; a traffic analysis of the proposed development and other transportation issues; analyzing the feasibility and marketability of affordable housing in the project; and then conveying the entire Bridgehead property to Opus as part of the DDA, which will establish the obligations of all parties for the acquisition, financing, development and operation of the project.

The city and Opus hope to have the DDA hammered out by the end of the year. The next hurdle is the acquisition of the Convention Plaza Building at 123 NE 3rd Ave. The city expects to gain control of the site in early May 2006.

For previous GlobeSt.com articles on this topic, click on one of the following headlines:

  • Beam Getting Piece of Burnside Bridgehead, Withdraws Protest
  • PDC Decides on Burnside Bridgehead Protest Procedure
  • While PDC Changes Protest Process, Beam and Opus Talk
  • Beam Protests PDC’s Selection for Burnside Bridgehead
  • City Selects Opus, Wood for Burnside Bridgehead
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