Commissioner Hardesty, PBOT Announce Agreement to Begin Revitalization of O’Bryant Square

News Article
Picture of a sign that reads "O'Bryant Square"
Demolition is scheduled to begin in early 2023.

Late last week, Commissioner Hardesty signed off on an emergency procurement letter to move forward with the first step towards reopening O’Bryant Square – demolition of the current unsafe structure. The plan to proceed with the demolition follows years of collaboration between Council offices and multiple bureaus.  

“Re-opening O’Bryant Square has been a priority since I became Transportation Commissioner,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “For the last 2 years, my staff and PBOT’s team have been working tirelessly in collaboration with Council offices and multiple bureaus to bring this agreement across the finish line. I’m so proud that we are now on a path towards revitalizing and reopening another treasured public space in O’Bryant Square downtown.” 

O’Bryant Square has been an eyesore since it was condemned,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler. “I look forward to involving the public in designing the space once it is cleared and have ensured funding for this in my recent budgets.” 


The O’Bryant Square Plaza and Garage first opened in 1972 and was named for Hugh Donaldson O’Bryant - Portland’s first Mayor. The garage provided approximately 100 parking spaces during that time. In 2018, a retaining wall in the SW corner of the garage was found to be structurally deficient. A portion of the deficient wall had been re-used from a building on the site that was built in approximately 1915. Leaks into the garage were also discovered around this time. These safety concerns prompted the closure of the garage and plaza above it. A fence has closed off O’Bryant Square to the public ever since. 

Demolition by Summer 2023 

With an agreement now in place, demolition is expected to start in early 2023 with hopes towards completion during the summer of 2023. This will include the removal of all hardscape and structures, filling the structure with dirt, and then covering the surface with a new layer of grass.  

An agreement for demolition is expected soon with Northwest infrastructure, LLC (NWI). NWI is a Black-owned business founded in 1993 based in Milwaukie, Oregon. The estimated cost of the agreement is $4.5 million. 

Portlanders looking to park downtown will still be able to utilize one of PBOT’s five SmartPark parking garages. The five City of Portland SmartPark parking garages include nearly 3,000 public parking spaces and serve shoppers, business clients, and visitors to Downtown Portland. Contact Central Parking at (503) 790-9302 for questions related to SmartPark garage operating hours or visit

Revitalizing Green Space Downtown 

Portland Parks and Recreation will begin work in early 2023 to program the new space in the near term, while designing a permanent new park long term.  

“I am pleased to have been part of the team effort to move the redevelopment of O’Bryant Square forward,” said Commissioner Carmen Rubio. “And now, as the demolition occurs, we will get to work on designing a short-term solution to activate the park so that Portlanders can enjoy this space next summer.”