Greyhound's Portland terminal empty and for sale
Greyhound has put its notorious Old Town bus terminal on the block.
As first reported in the Portland Business Journal, the building is closed to the public and signs on the door say ticketing and boarding have been moved.
Since Sept. 1, tickets and bag check have been at a storefront at 427 N.W. Sixth Ave., opposite Harvey's Comedy Club. Travelers are invited to walk five blocks north to Station Way, beyond the Broadway Bridge, to board their buses curbside outside the Amtrak station.
Presumably, bus passengers with long waits will now use the waiting room at Amtrak's Union Station. The building at 550 N.W. Sixth Ave. has had its signs removed. Although staff were inside it on Monday, Sept. 9, and Bolt and Greyhound buses were parked in the lot behind it, stores inside were empty and the teller windows quiet.
A Greyhound staffer who did not want to be named explained that the old station had only one teller in the end, like the new storefront ticket window, and that was enough, given that so many people book on computers and hold tickets on their phones now. She said the company was spending money on the building just to make it safe. The cost was in preventative measures, such as security to stop people misusing restrooms, scaring passengers by panhandling, and breaking into busses to sleep in them. Without a bus terminal and waiting room to run, cost savings could, in theory, be passed on to the ticket buyer.
Commercial real estate company CBRE is handling the sale.
Their listing includes the following description:
"CBRE Capital Markets, as exclusive advisor, is pleased to present the extraordinary opportunity to acquire the Greyhound Terminal at Union Station, a prime redevelopment site located in Northwest Portland's Old Town District, within the transformational Broadway Corridor Project. The 2.07-acre site boasts an unparalleled location with immediate access to public transit, including the Portland Streetcar and the MAX Light Rail."
The 90,000-plus square foot land area is listed as "eligible — River District URA" meaning Urban Renewal Area. The 1985 building has around 54,000 square feet of rentable space.
The description makes much of the charms of Old Town Chinatown and nearby parts of downtown, the Pearl and the riverfront.
It also cites the coming Broadway Corridor development as proof that the area can be uplifted from its gritty reputation.
Greyhound is owned by a Scottish transport group FirstGroup, which also runs the First Student yellow school busses.
The corner of Northwest Sixth Avenue and Glisan Street has long been a hangout for drug dealers and users, as well as campers.
Portland's old Greyhound station was at 2521 S.W. Water Ave., under the Marquam Bridge, until the business moved to Old Town in 1988. Prosper Portland's five-year plan for Old Town includes $57 million from urban renewal funds for area redevelopment.
Prosper Portland is developing a lot at Northwest Fourth Avenue and Flanders Street as well as at Northwest Fourth Avenue and Burnside Street.
Prosper Portland's Broadway Corridor Project Manager Sarah Harpole told the Business Tribune in an email, "Prosper Portland has no plans to acquire the property. However, given its location bridging the Broadway Corridor and the Old Town/Chinatown Action Plan boundaries, it holds considerable potential, and we'll be watching carefully to see what comes next."
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