On May 8, 2019, Prosper Portland reached a milestone in the Broadway Corridor development planning process with the Board of Commissioners’ endorsement of the “Play” development concept. This concept will undergo further refinement over the next four months to ensure active, welcome, and safe public spaces.
The Broadway Corridor project team, including staff, consultants, development advisor Continuum Partners, and the Steering Committee, are committed to promoting social equity by reducing disparities, extending community benefits, building affordable housing, and improving socio-economic opportunities for underserved and underrepresented people. The project team is also committed to true and authentic community engagement and intentionally involving underserved and underrepresented communities in the decision-making process, design, and build-out of the project.
The recommended development concept is consistent with the preliminary principles of design for racial and social equity identified by the consultant team in consultation with community stakeholders.
The 34-acre Broadway Corridor, which includes the 14-acre USPS property and Union Station, is a key opportunity site for high-density employment, mixed-income housing, and signature city attractions and amenities. The development concept will inform the development plan for the Broadway Corridor site and the required Central City Master Plan for the USPS property.
Three concepts for the Broadway Corridor emerged from development planning activities that began in June 2018 and included extensive involvement of the project’s Steering Committee and Public Partners Technical Team, a robust community engagement strategy, and coordination with Continuum Partners and the ZGF-led consultant team.
In March 2019, the Steering Committee (focused on alignment with the project’s guiding principles and goals), the Public Partners Technical Team (focused on agency/bureau policies and investment priorities), and Continuum (focused on feasible implementation) produced a final round of evaluation input on the three refined concepts.
In early April 2019, project decisionmakers from Prosper Portland, PHB, and the Mayor’s office recommended Play as the concept that best delivered on the project’s guiding principles and goals, the city’s investment priorities, and feasible implementation. Play features a centralized open space emphasizing flexibility for community programming and opportunity for active recreation. Refinement of this concept will focus on the following considerations:
- Green Loop: Clarify the vision while identifying opportunities for cost savings, minimizing phasing impacts on adjacent development, and integrating Universal Design principles.
- Union Station: Ensure activation and integration of Union Station, including a safe and inviting public realm beneath the Broadway Bridge.
- Public Realm Programming and Activation: Pursue a funding and partnership strategy for long-term public realm programming and safety as part of coordinated investment strategy and project agreements; integrate amenities for families such as a children’s playground.
- Natural Environment & Green Infrastructure: Increase integration of the natural environment within publicly accessible spaces; demonstrate Portland’s leadership in green development.
- Phasing, Density, & Parcellation: Explore how to best balance opportunities for incremental development, multiple ownership opportunities, and affordable commercial opportunities while also accommodating the city’s forecasted growth.
With the endorsement of Play, the following activities will continue to move this work forward:
- Community Benefits: Staff will refine priorities based on community input and meet with the Healthy Communities Coalition to inform how best to align community benefit priorities with the development concept and available resources.
- Central City Master Plan Land Use Review Approval: Staff will initiate the required Central City Master Plan Land Use Review approval for the USPS property, including a pre-application conference on June 4, 2019 and Design Advice Requests on June 6, 2019 and July 11, 2019.