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Photo Credit: HYATT - Construction has begun on the extended-stay Hyatt Place project at the corner of SW River Parkway and SW River Drive.Construction is officially underway on downtown Portland’s first Hyatt-branded hotel.

The extended-stay Hyatt Place project at the corner of SW River Parkway and SW River Drive will bring 203 additional hotel rooms to the RiverPlace neighborhood. The south end of RiverPlace creates a bridge between downtown Portland and the growing South Waterfront district.

The six-story, 161,000 square-foot building will include conference space, plus a pool and fitness center. Its location is adjacent to a Portland Streetcar stop, and a short walk or streetcar ride to the Portland Aerial Tram.

A ceremonial groundbreaking was held on Feb. 24, with representatives on hand from the City of Portland, the Portland Development Commission, developers and investors. Mayor Charlie Hales spoke of the partnerships that have brought developments such as the Pearl and the South Waterfront together.

“Cities take a long time, neighborhoods take a long time and it’s important that we take our time and do it right,” says the mayor. “It’s also important that we have a shared vision of what should be, between the public sector and the private sector.”

Developers include Williams/Dame and Associates and EB5 Global, a firm that raises equity capital for real estate projects through the EB-5 Investor Green Card Program. Foreign nationals who invest $1 million or more in projects that create or preserve at least 10 jobs can use the visa program to acquire permanent resident status. For projects in “targeted development” or rural projects, the program only requires an investment of $500,000 per investor.

EB5 Global is also responsible for ensuring the project’s continued compliance with the visa program.

It’s the second Portland hotel project completed under the program by Williams/Dame and EB5 Global. The first was the Pearl’s Marriott Residence Inn.

Photo Credit: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JOHN M. VINCENT - Portland mayor Charlie Hales (second from left) joins developers and investors for the groundbreaking of the Hyatt House extended-stay hotel in the RiverPlace development. The 203-room hotel is expected to open in June 2016.

“We wanted to be in the Pearl, and we got that done,” says developer Homer Williams, adding “We really felt that with what’s happening in South Waterfront that we really needed to get a hotel down here.” He feels that the neighborhood still needs additional housing and such community essentials as a grocery store to be complete.

“Once we had a chance to buy this property it was kind of a no-brainer for us. I think we’ll do really well here, providing a service that’s really needed here for the hill,” he says. He expects Oregon Health and Science University hospital users, doctors and researchers to make up a large portion of the hotels customers.

SERA Architects designed the building, which is expected to achieve LEED Silver status for environmental responsibility. Howard S. Wright is the building’s general contractor. The $55 million project is slated for completion and opening in June 2016.

John M. Vincent can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or @OregonsCarGuy on Twitter.

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