Twenty-four years ago, the North Macadam TIF District (NMAC) was a largely vacant, under-performing industrial part of town hampered by a lack of infrastructure and a need for environmental clean-up. It was physically close to downtown but disconnected and overlooked. This began to change in 1999, when City Council established the District to realize its potential as an employment center, a vibrant neighborhood and an extension of the Central City District.
NMAC has achieved significant transformation from an industrial area with environmental brownfields to a thriving commercial and housing district along the Willamette River and connected to downtown Portland. South Waterfront includes large employers like OHSU and educational institutions such as Portland State University (PSU). Its South Portland location makes it a transportation nexus with the convergence of I5, state routes 26 and 43, and local surface streets. The Portland Streetcar provides light rail public transportation options and connections to downtown Portland. NMAC is also the west side landing for the Tilikum Crossing Bridge, built by TriMet and the City for its MAX Orange Line light rail passenger trains. The bridge also serves city buses and the Portland Streetcar, as well as bicycles, pedestrians, and emergency vehicles. In addition, NMAC has one of the only aerial commuter trams in the country: Portland Aerial Tram connects South Waterfront to OHSU on Marquam Hill.
North Macadam is well positioned to meet the demand for high-density, mixed-use housing and environmentally friendly development and urban living here in Portland. Completed projects in the area include new affordable and market-rate housing, employment, walking paths, parks, greenway trails, streetcar and the aerial tram.
Oregon Health & Science University plays a critical role in the development of the URA, as the city’s largest employer and as a center of research and innovation that will lead to new jobs and economic growth. The completion of the Center for Health & Healing and the Collaborative Life Sciences Center, along with the continued expansion of the OHSU campus to the South Waterfront, are important milestones for OHSU’s growth within the Central City. New affordable and market-rate housing and mixed–use projects in NMAC contribute to City housing production goals. NMAC waterfront greenway enhancements and trails provide environmental benefits, public recreational amenities and connection for South Waterfront to the Central City.
- Pursue significant commercial and affordable and market-rate housing development in a former industrial area by redeveloping the district into a mixed-use Central City neighborhood, with a spectacular greenway and parks system
- Improve transportation infrastructure and accessibility
- Enhanced public amenities and uses, including greenway, riverfront improvements and access
- Equitable economic development, quality job creation – new research cluster integrated with OHSU
The TIF District has several subareas that focus planning and redevelopment into functional, accessible communities. Previous work on the Central District has encompassed street and utility infrastructure construction, the completion of more than 2000 housing units, including affordable housing at Gray’s Landing and the Waterleaf Apartments, OHSU’s Center for Health & Healing and the Collaborative Life Sciences Center, construction of the Portland Tram, extension of the Portland Streetcar and alignment of Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail, and completion of the greenway and neighborhood park.
- Affordable housing utilizing TIF set-aside for Portland Housing Bureau (PHB)
- Middle, workforce or student housing due to large institutional presence
- OHSU Schnitzer Campus and the North District
- Zidell property
- South Portal
- Greenways and parks
- Transportation infrastructure