Forum Aims To Keep Stalled Centennial Mills Project Alive

Dated: January 20 2016

Views: 598

This past fall, despite some fairly extensive legwork, several public meetings and a general sense that one of the city's long-dormant redevelopment opportunities might finally kick off, the Portland Development Commission put the kibosh on the latest plans for Centennial Mills, or at least the public's financial involvement in it.

In a letter to Jordan Schnitzer, president of Harsch InvestmentProperties, in November, PDC Executive Director Patrick Quinton said that changes in budget, development options and the overall landscape had changed significantly and rendered the initial plans for redevelopment "no longer practical."

Schnitzer and others, however, aren't ready to abandon the project. In a public presentation scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 21, at Pure Space in Northwest Portland, Schnitzer will team up with Patricia Gardner, president of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association, and noted historian Chet Orloff to talk about the potential development scenarios for the Centennial Mills site.

In an announcement from Harsch about the discussion, the company reiterated the need for public funding and participation in the project. From the announcement:

"The need for political vision and leadership is imperative as Portland struggles to maintain and restore our treasured historical sites. Public contribution and participation to drive that vision is an essential component to the ethos of what makes Portland one of the most desirable places to live in the county."

Though nothing had ever been solidified, Schnitzer, who invested at least $1.4 million to explore development options, had proposed a $115.7 million project that would preserve two of the existing 12 structures of the old mill while adding 24,000 square feet of retail space, 80,000 square feet of office space and 120,000 square feet of residential space. The ambitious project would have required about $38.5 million in public money on top of Harsch's $77 million.

PDC, which recently approved the $88 million purchase of the U.S. Post Office property in the Pearl District, approved plans earlier this to begin selective demolition of much of the Centennial Mills site, work that is expected to wrap up this year.


Blog author image

Mark Ross

For Mark Ross, founder of Ross NW Real Estate and professional real estate broker, real estate has always been the career of choice. During his 25+ years in the industry, Mark has gained experience in....

Latest Blog Posts

The Housing Market Is Hot But Not In A Bubble

Existing home sales came in at a whopping 6,850,000, beating estimates with the highest print since 2006. Days on market fell from 36 days to 21 days on a year-over-year basis. Cash buyers remain at

Read More

10 Ways To Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space All Year

Some believe that the end of summer also marks the final days of enjoying outdoor barbecues, parties, and casual get-togethers. Yet, just by adding a few design elements to your outdoor space, you

Read More

3 Ways To Tap Your Home Equity And Which One Is Right For You

You need to come up with some cash, fast. Maybe you have a leaky roof that desperately needs fixing or you need help paying for your kid's first semester of college. But where do you turn?If you're

Read More

These Pandemic Related Housing And Design Trends Are Not Going Away

Home trends come and go, but social distancing and staying at home have ushered in a new way of lifeā€”and some of those changes have spurred home trends that are likely to stick around well past

Read More