CONTACT: Shawn Uhlman, 503-823-7994

The activation of a long-vacant, three-block site in the Central Eastside Urban Renewal Area (URA) is taking a firm step forward with Prosper Portland’s selection of Beam Development to redevelop the 2.19-acre site, known as the ODOT Blocks, located on SE Water Avenue and bounded by SE Salmon, SE Main, and SE Madison streets.

Prosper Portland acquired the ODOT Blocks in 2016 from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), which had declared the property as surplus and available for purchase. The property’s location and unique multi-block composition offers the potential to create a mix of industrial, retail and office space that realize the agency’s vision for an equitable economy by advancing quality jobs, widely shared prosperity, collaboration with partners and vibrant neighborhoods and communities.  Working with community stakeholders, Prosper Portland’s planning and redevelopment of the site will focus on optimizing equity opportunities from construction through operations and the provision of affordable industrial space.

The Beam proposal was the unanimous selection of a nine-member Evaluation Committee which included representatives from the City of Portland, Prosper Portland, and the industrial and small business community. Beam’s team includes Colas Construction, which has a strong track record working with certified minority subcontractors in addition to its own crews self-performing critical scopes of work.  The two additional local team members are Hacker Architects and MacKenzie, who bring complementary design expertise to the project and are both located in the Central Eastside.

Executive Director Kimberly Branam said, “The Beam team, with Colas, Hacker and MacKenzie, has deep experience in designing projects that support small business growth and access to employment. We look forward to working with them to create a new model of public-private partnership that supports a mixture of industrial, manufacturing and retail focusing on the inclusive economy.”

Beam Development and Prosper Portland will now negotiate and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding which is expected to lead to a disposition and development agreement, which will include a set of deliverables that the team would be obligated to complete as part of the project. That agreement will be subject to Prosper Portland Board approval by late 2018 or early 2019, with construction following thereafter.

Jonathan Malsin of Beam Development said, “Our team is thrilled to apply our extensive experience working with growing companies in Central Eastside to the ODOT Blocks project. Our goal is to deliver a dynamic project that further cements the Central Eastside as a hub for high-growth urban manufacturing and creative companies, and we are excited to collaborate with a broad spectrum of local organizations to ensure that this project meets and exceeds both near-term and long-term equity goals.”

Colas Construction CEO and president Andrew Colas said, “I believe that the partnership between Beam Development and Colas Construction on the ODOT blocks project will be transformative in delivering equitable outcomes and sets a national standard for best practices with regard to public-private partnerships.”