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It contributes to the city's hotel building boom, adding 211 rooms

Portland's continued emergence as a travel and convention destination has spurred a hotel boom, with 3,000 rooms in the city's pipeline beginning in 2017 according to Travel Portland.

Adding 211 of those rooms, a fourth-quarter groundbreaking has been announced for a new downtown hotel adjacent to the Multnomah Whiskey Library.

Plans for the 15-floor development includes a lobby, bar and restaurant on the ground floor located at 619 S.W. 11th Ave.

The hotel brand has not been announced yet, but is expected to come out near the beginning of construction.

Portland-based SERA Architects is designing the new hotel, and Mortenson Construction and real estate is the design-build partner. Peter Andrews and Nick Ehlen of the Melvin Mark Brokerage Company, represented property owner and nonprofit United Way of the Columbia-Willamette (UWCW) in the transaction.SUBMITTED: SERA ARCHITECTS - The two-story base is set back from the property lines and is enhanced by timber columns and canopies along both frontages, which will offer cover for outside seating and for passers-by, contributing to a vibrant streetscape.

"We are honored to represent United Way and assist with their long-term vision for this property," said Andrews. "The new hotel will be a welcome addition to the emerging West End neighborhood, and we are pleased we could help United Way retain their long-time presence in downtown Portland."

The upcoming hotel is aimed to serve business and leisure travelers with a gateway to local attractions. Custom-designed for the Portland market, the 15-story hotel will include meeting space on the second floor and a destination restaurant-bar with food and drinks prepared by a local chef, as of yet unannounced.

The artwork and furniture will be curated, and the lobby is planned to include seating, retail space and multimedia art displays. A fitness room and long term parking for 14 bicycles would be provided at the third floor.

The site is currently occupied by a 30,000 square foot office building, slated for demolition.

The Design Commission approved designs in March with praise for its contextual response to its surroundings and contemporary feel.

Partners in stewardship

The north end of UWCW's downtown property was acquired by Mortenson for $5.1 million in 2016 for redevelopment. UWCW will retain the south building and consolidate its staff there.

UWCW, with assistance from Melvin Mark Brokerage, and Mortenson structured the development of the project partnering with the future owner-operator of the hotel.

"Mortenson is a longstanding United Way partner in many communities throughout the United States," said Keith Thomajan, president and CEO of UWCW. "When it came time to select a buyer, Mortenson's bid stood out for financial reasons and their outstanding commitment to the nonprofit community in the cities where their employees live and work."

Mortenson has been doing deals in support of UWCW since 1955, which has been an opportunity for the company to live out its core value of stewardship.

"The Mortenson and United Way organizations have a longstanding philanthropic relationship," said Nate Gundrum, Mortenson director of real estate development in Portland. "We appreciate the opportunity to create additional value for Portland's local United Way through the development of this tremendous property."

Mortenson is an active hotel developer and builder in Portland, already working on the Hyatt Regency Hotel at the Oregon Convention Center as well as the AC Hotel Portland.

Founded in 1954, Mortenson is a U.S.-based, family-owned construction and real estate development company. Mortenson provides a complete range of development and construction services, including site acquisition, financing, planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build and turnkey delivery.

UWCW's sale of the property will help the nonprofit create a permanent home in Portland's downtown core. Funds from the final sale will be invested as a board-designated reserve fund, meaning funds can only be used with the consent of its board of directors.

Completion is slated for summer 2019.

By Jules Rogers
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