Portland Development Commission and the Boulevard

Development along MLK Boulevard isn’t just a matter of private sector activity. The city takes an active interest in the boulevard, using Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal funds through the Portland Development Commission (PDC) to spark development at different locations along the boulevard.

Different projects undertaken by the PDC in the last few years stretch up and down the portion of MLK covered by this blog. Such sites are known as “catalyst projects.” Completed catalyst projects include:

  • the Henry V Building at 6360 MLK, which houses the Henry V Events company;
  • Vanport Square (‘Phase One’ of the entire Vanport complex);
  • the Heritage Building, 3934 MLK, a mix of office space and storefronts along the boulevard;

Projects that are underway include:

  • Beech Street, the building that will hold the new Planned Parenthood Clinic;
  • King’s Crossing/the Fremont Project, which includes the “Fremont Building” (office space and street-level storefronts) completed in 2007, and the townhouses running to Grand behind it.

PDC also has plans for further development along the boulevard, and each parcel is in a different stage of planning:

  • Vanport Phase Two, which calls for residential homes along the backside of Vanport Square;
  • Vanport Phase Three, which seeks to utilize the empty plot of land at the northwest corner of Alberta & MLK for a sizable commercial building. PDC and the developers, Vanport South Partners, claim to be negotiating with 24 Hour Fitness for a gym in this location; this has been discussed for a couple of years now, I believe;
  • Kings/Park, formerly known as Piedmont Place, on the southwest corner of MLK & Rosa Parks Way, which is at present an empty lot. This project is expected to be residential units for sale, with commercial storefronts along MLK.
  • Grant Warehouse, currently an empty lot with a storied past.

The PDC also has a hand in other projects along MLK, including the Miracles development and Shaver Green.

Some PDC documents relating to the Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Area and MLK Boulevard can be found here.

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