Prosper Portland has announced the Affordable Commercial Tenanting Program  to address a recent dramatic increase in retail rents and decrease in vacancy rates in the city of Portland, which have resulted in the displacement of small businesses from Portland’s urban neighborhoods. The program seeks to assist underrepresented businesses, preserve the vitality of small businesses, provide business development opportunities that in turn offer needed goods and services to the community, and advance the agency’s goal to build an equitable economy.

Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “This new tenanting program offers small, diverse businesses access to affordable commercial space. It demonstrates our new approach to projects to ensure that we’re generating equitable outcomes from our investments and contributing to shared prosperity throughout Portland.”

The program is currently available at two sites in Lents Town Center in southeast Portland. It will expand to include Alberta Commons in northeast Portland and a site in downtown Portland. The program offers qualified businesses an equitable application process, access to space, and in some cases additional incentives designed to lower the barriers to entry for emerging and small businesses, such as reduced rent, tenant improvement contributions and technical assistance.

Priority businesses are those led by owners who are diverse in terms of race, gender and other demographics typically underrepresented in the business community, and who provide needed business services to the local community. Prosper Portland will evaluate tenants based on their alignment with these priorities.

The Affordable Commercial Tenanting Program in Lents Town Center includes:

  • 9101 SE Foster, a mixed-use development owned by Prosper Portland at the northwest corner of Foster and 92nd. The building offers 7,500 square feet of ground floor commercial space along Foster Road, half of which has been reserved for the Affordable Commercial Tenanting Program. Prosper Portland will offer initial retail rents for this space at 10% below market rents for new class A commercial space.
  • Oliver Station (West), a mixed-use development owned by Palindrome Communities at SE Foster Road and Woodstock Avenue, where 4,000 of the 8,000 square feet of space has been reserved for the Affordable Commercial Tenanting Program.  Spaces in Oliver Station will be at a minimum of 1,000 square feet for commercial uses and a minimum of 1,500 square feet for a restaurant use.  Initial commercial rents in Oliver Station will be 10% below market rents for new class A commercial space.  Palindrome Communities and its broker will be engaged in the selection of tenants and will be the primary point of contact once the tenant has been selected.

Tenants may also qualify for a contribution toward tenant improvement build-out in the form of a Prosper Portland grant.

Applications to the program open Friday, June 16. Prosper Portland staff will begin reviews of applications on August 1, followed by a rolling, first-come first-serve review process until all spaces are filled. For more information visit the program page or contact program manager Leila Aman, 503-823-3305.

Affordable Commercial Tenanting Program