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The three blocks in the Eastside Urban Renewal Area formerly owned by ODOT have been long vacant

Another set of city blocks is kicking off a large-scale redevelopment plan.

Prosper Portland has selected Beam Development to work on the 2.19-acre site known as the ODOT Blocks after listing an RFP in December 2017.

The parcel is located along Southeast Water Avenue between Southeast Salmon, Main and Madison Streets.PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: FILE PHOTO - From 2015: Dirt and gravel is being stored on the block owned by ODOT along Southeast Water Avenue. ODOT owned the blocks on both sides of the lot as well, before selling to Prosper Portland in 2016.

Prosper Portland acquired the ODOT Blocks in 2016 from the Oregon Department of Transportation after it declared the property surplus.

The property's location and rare 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.

Prosper Portland intends to focus the redevelopment on optimizing equitable opportunities from construction through operations, and with the provision of affordable industrial space.

"The Beam team, with Colas, Hacker and MacKenzie, has deep experience in designing projects that support small business growth and access to employment," said Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam. "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."

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 communities.

"Our team is thrilled to apply our extensive experience working with growing companies in Central Eastside to the ODOT Blocks project," said Jonathan Malsin, principal of Beam Develpment. "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."

Beam's team includes Colas Construction, a minority-owned local company with a strong track record working with certified minority subcontractors in addition to its own crews that self-perform critical scopes of work.

"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," said Andrew Colas, CEO and president of Colas Construction.

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.

Next, Beam Development and Prosper Portland will negotiate and enter into a Memorandum of Understanding that 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 is planned to be subject to Prosper Portland Board approval by late 2018 or early 2019, with construction to follow.

By Jules Rogers
Reporter, The Business Tribune
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