A gathering of elected officials, project staff and community members commemorated the Portland Development Commission’s official ownership of the USPS Processing & Distribution Center site at 715 NW Hoyt Street with a celebration on Tuesday, November 22.
U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Mayor Charlie Hales, and City Commissioners Dan Saltzman and Amanda Fritz joined PDC Executive Director Kimberly Branam, USPS Vice President of Facilities Tom Samra and dozens of current and former city staff and project team members to celebrate the transfer of property ownership. While PDC now has ownership of the property, the site will remain a processing and distribution center for the next 18 to 24 months while the U.S. Postal Service constructs its new Colwood facility.
When complete, the redevelopment of the Northwest Portland site could include 4000 jobs and 2000 housing units, 700 of those affordable, and 80,000 square feet of public space. The value of the construction could be up to $800,000,000.
Blumenauer has been a strong advocate and partner in the city’s and region’s decades-long effort to take advantage of the redevelopment opportunity. He said, “Thirty years ago when we looked at the central city, this facility stood out as a unique opportunity. I’m excited we’re at this point, when what’s happened in this area makes it possible to fuel even more future investment. This is going to be a jewel in the crown that is downtown Portland.”
Mayor Hales noted the early advocacy of Mayor Vera Katz for redeveloping the site and said, “This is one of those historic moves that really makes sense for us as a city. It represents an urban renewal of inclusion, a development that is a financial success and provides opportunities for all Portlanders, with housing, jobs, transportation hub, parks, and other civic uses that are welcoming to everyone.”
“Apart from delivering mail and packages for our customers, the Postal Service works with jurisdictions to resolve important issues for economic development and the public good,” said Tom Samra, Vice President, Facilities, U.S. Postal Service. “That’s what we’re celebrating today. With this transfer of property, Portland will be able to enact its vision of a revitalized Central City and all that it entails.”
Branam said, “We are standing on the shoulders of people who put together a vision for this site that is about to be realized. I truly believe this is a “once in a generation” opportunity to demonstrate that redevelopment can be inclusive, sustainable, memorable and financially successful.”
PDC will hold a community workshop on Wednesday, December 7, to seek input on the site redevelopment from a diverse group of partners and stakeholders.