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Block 8L

Developer: Gerding Edlen

Type of Development: new construction, mixed use, workforce housing and office

Owner: Gerding Edlen

Cty and State: Portland, OR

Contact Person: Sarah Zahn

Phone: 503.970.8992

Contact Email: [email protected]

Allocation Amount Requested: $14,000,000

Brief Description of Development:

Gerding Edlen Development ( GED ) is proposing to develop a 130,000 sf, mixed-use building in the historic downtown  Old Town/Chinatown  district of Portland, OR.  The development will comprise 70,000 sf of office and retail on floors 1-4 (50,000 sf of which has been pre-leased with signed letters of intent) and approximately 70 units of workforce rental housing on floors 5-6.  Of those housing units, 14 of them (20% of the total units) will be restricted to households earning no more than 80% of the area median income. The remaining units will target rents to be affordable to households earning approximately 100% of area median income.  
The project will develop a vacant, underutilized parcel in a historic neighborhood that has traditionally been home to nonprofit social service providers, homelessness services and affordable housing.  The project will bring  market rate  office, housing and retail to the site, injecting much-needed jobs, economic outputs and activity to the neighborhood.  
The Project is located in Old Town/Chinatown, a neighborhood conveniently located to the downtown core, Portland s Pearl District and the Willamette riverfront parkway.  The site is transit-rich, with multiple light rail lines stopping directly adjacent to the building and frequent bus service.  It is also located on a popular bike commute corridor.  Dating from the mid-to-late-19th Century, the neighborhood is a historic with many buildings built in a variety of High Victorian architectural styles; a large number feature cast-iron fronts, making up one of the most impressive historic commercial districts on the West Coast.  However, in the last few decades, most businesses have moved away from the area, leaving behind shuttered, vacant, and unmaintained buildings.
The revitalization of Block 8L introduces a new opportunity to the historic and under-utilized section of downtown Portland.  It will be the first new construction in the neighborhood in the last 25 years and the building will boast many innovative sustainability features.   It will bring significant new jobs and economic activity to the neighborhood and will create a strong sense of community.

But-For Statement:

Block 8L is located in a distressed census tract in an area of Portland that has not experienced much development in the past several decades.  Office rents are lower in this neighborhood than they are in the rest of the city.  Additionally, the developer is targeting all residential units at below-market rents.  But for an investment made possible by NMTCs, the project would not be marketable and would not be able to offer lower residential "workforce" rents. 

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