Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994
November 13, 2012
The Portland Development Commission has initiated negotiations with Harsch Investment Properties, led by Jordan Schnitzer, for the redevelopment of Centennial Mills.
The Harsch team, selected upon the recommendation of an evaluation committee composed of public- and private-sector representatives, originally included Portland developer Art DeMuro, president of Venerable Properties. After DeMuro’s unexpected death in September, Harsch reconstituted its team and is now prepared to move forward on a memorandum of understanding with PDC.
While PDC expects the initial concept proposed by Harsch to evolve during the development process, the evaluation committee made its choice based on confidence in the team’s ability to deliver a final plan consistent with the PDC’s goals and established criteria for the project.
Patty Gardner, a member of the evaluation committee and a board member of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, said, “Ultimately we believe that this is the right team, with a viable development concept and a demonstrated ability to secure the financing necessary to complete the project.”
Mayor Sam Adams said, ““The Harsch team can best deliver a project that will meet the city’s vision for Centennial Mills and advance our economic development strategy. I have confidence in their ability to develop a project that fulfills this property’s economic potential while honoring its historic past.”
Schnitzer, president of Harsch, said, “All of us at Harsch are excited to have the opportunity to develop this landmark site in the city of Portland. We’re looking forward to partnering with PDC and other city and state agencies and many community groups to create a legacy project.”
The Harsch team has an extensive background in building rehabilitation. Harsch Investment Properties, established in 1950, is one of the leading owners and developers in the Northwest. In addition to its commercial properties, which include office buildings, shopping centers, industrial and multi-family projects, the company has completed several major historic renovations.