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The One True b!X

If GED is selected, PDC will be more of a laughing stock than it already is in some quarters. For most of the process, GED has offered half-baked unformed ideas through public presentations lacking any real connection or apparent interest in the project. It's always come across as "going through the motions". The big weekend "public workshop" they didn't even show up for. And as noted in today's Tribune, for the recent public presentations at the PDC meeting held at OMSI, they sent their "B team".

That said, I don't actually think they will pick GED. It's certainly down to Beam and Opus.

Mike Thelin

My heart is with Beam, but the fact that Opus requires the least amount of subsidy and has the deepest pockets make it the frontrunner in my opinion. Just as the last comment attests, the PDC is under a lot of scrutiny and my guess is they'll want to pick the developer that requires the least amount of public money.

I agree with the last post. They'll never pick Gerding. Gerding is already working on developing the old Grand Central Bowl, so they're already in the neighborhood. No feelings will be hurt.

Chris Smith

An aspect of the story that I think has gotten little notice is the addition of Shiels Obletz Johnsen to the Beam Team. This adds a lot of credibility to Beam. SOJ has delivered on a lot of good projects around town (Belmont Dairy, Streetcar) and has the smarts to get this done.

Full disclosure: I serve on the board of Portland Streetcar, Inc., which is staffed by consultants from SOJ.

The One True b!X

I do think the Opus financial pitch is going to be considered very strongly. At the same time, I think Beam's suggestion that the project is better off with "investor developers" rather than "merchant developers" blunts that somewhat.

The One True b!X

Also, it should be mentioned that while Bruce Wood of Opus (largely in response to the "Beam is local" thing) has made a lot of noise about his own personal connections to the area and how that's therefore a strength for Opus as well, he's gone off (or is about to go off) to become an independent contractor on the project rather than leading it from within Opus itself.

My understanding is that he's still playing essentially the same role as far as the Bridgehead goes, but this does underscore a dramatic difference between Opus and Beam: Beam is not only local to the Central Eastside, but intends to move into the project as tenants themselves. Opus' only pitched connection to the district is separating himself from direct employment by Opus, which conceivably opens up the question of just how local they are going to be.

Ray Whitford

I have only been involved as an interested citizen of the Portland area (gone to the two larger citizen open house (Lloyd Center and OMSI). My heart and mind believes that Beam is the obvious choice based on the design and the businesses already lined up (local and international).

But based on my limited knowledge of the way PDC plays ball, they are likely to choose the GED proposal and speak favorably of the BEAM proposal. Everyone will see through the spin.

OPUS, in my opinion, only has the low local cost going for it. Its a big advantage though. I do not like the Couch traffic going right through the blocks.

Ray Whitford


My bet OPUS. Not sure where I read it, but the acting head of the PDC has some connections to OPUS. Could it be Maz left because he was asked to rig the game early on in the process with Opus being the chosen team everthing else just window dressing?


Does anyone have an opinion about which proposal is the best architeturally?

mike thelin

Opus has the best overall design, in my opinion, however, I like the high site coverage for the Beam project and the smaller building by Collab is very cool.


It would be so cool to have Beam get this project. Portland deserves to have something big designed by Colab. Colab is doing amazing architecture everywhere but here and that is just stupid. We should have our own great architects giving us new modern ideas that pushes Portland architecture limits, not bland corporate architecture that is all about the bottom line.

The One True b!X

The problem with trying to really judge the architecture is that it's too early in the process -- these aren't what the buildings will look like. At this stage we can only really judge the conceptual/philosophical direction towards with each respective team inclines.

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