The Portland Development Commission will host a public workshop this evening (Wednesday, November 25) to engage community members about potential uses of the four-acre Burnside Bridgehead site.
The workshop will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the atrium of the Olympic Mills Commerce Center, 107 SE Washington Street. A second workshop, slated for winter 2010, will offer attendees a chance to comment and provide input on the draft Framework Plan.
“Fresh perspectives make the ordinary extraordinary,” said project consultant Will Bruder. “The team is very eager to have a two-way conversation with community members about what they want for this site.” That Bruder (a very talented Phoenix architect now teaching at PSU) is involved bodes well for this development, especially given what a cluster-@$*& Burnside Bridgehead was originally, when PDC's board awarded the development contract to national developer Opus, against the wishes of the advisory committee that selected local developer Beam.
And speaking of which, an additional element of the Framework process is PDC’s partnership with Beam Development on Burnside Bridgehead going forward. In February, Beam agreed to serve as PDC’s strategic advisor for the Framework Plan, providing development advice in exchange for the opportunity to develop a minimum of 20 percent of the site. The Burnside Bridgehead Citizen Advisory Committee, which meets monthly, will provide significant input and comment to the project team.
Expected to occur over the next six months, the planning process will culminate in the release of a Burnside Bridgehead Framework Plan in March 2010. This high-level guidebook to redevelopment will include the refinement and clarification of public goals and objectives for the property and identify key opportunities and constraints on the site.
The Burnside Bridgehead site is identified in the City of Portland’s recently adopted “Economic Development Strategy, a Five-Year Plan for Promoting Job Creation and Economic Growth” as a key catalytic site within the Central City for the creation of a significant mixed-use gateway development. The Burnside Bridgehead Framework Plan project is a six-month process that will culminate in the release of the Framework Plan, a high-level guidebook to redevelopment that will direct and guide the creation of this mixed-use gateway.
This Plan includes the refinement and clarification of public goals and objectives for the property and the identification of key opportunities and constraints on the site. The process is also intended to answer remaining questions about the site including the reuse potential of the Convention Plaza building, changes in capacity of the site given upcoming transportation infrastructure improvements such as the Burnside-Couch couplet and the Eastside Streetcar, and the appropriateness, and direction, of phasing development within the project area.
The second workshop, slated for early 2010, will offer attendees a chance to comment and provide input to a draft Framework Plan.