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Portland Parks & Recreation Seeks Innovative Contractors to Help Build Two New Parks

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Creative Firms Invited to Submit Proposals

(Portland, OR) –

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) and the City of Portland are seeking skilled contractors who want to make a difference in the community. The City is issuing Requests for Proposals to help build a pair long-awaited parks in east Portland, Beech Park (approximately 16 acres off NE 126th Ave & Beech St.) and Gateway Park & Plaza (four acres off NE Halsey St between NE 104th & 106th Aves). The goals of these solicitations are to engage firms committed to meeting workforce diversity goals (minorities and women), to hiring east Portland neighbors and businesses for project work, and to engage traditionally underserved communities in building both Beech Park and Gateway Park & Plaza. Construction on both parks is anticipated to begin in early 2016.

The City will soon issue two separate Requests for Proposals (RFP's) for Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) for Beech Park and Gateway Park & Plaza. All are welcome to submit bids. The City anticipates releasing the RFPs in the near future. Prior to that, a contractor fair will be held on Tuesday, November 18. At the fair, prospective firms will learn more about the park projects, features and scope of work involved, meet the PP&R project managers, and have an opportunity to create partnerships with other contractors.

WHAT: Beech and Gateway Park & Plaza Contractor Fair

WHERE: Oregon Assocation of Minority Entrepreneurs (OAME)’s new headquarters

731 N Hayden Meadow Drive, Portland, OR 97217

WHEN: 3pm-5pm

Beech Park will provide a park for 965 east Portland families who do not currently have access to a park or natural area within ½ mile of their homes. Gateway Park & Plaza will serve more than 800 new households.

”We don’t want to just build parks; we want to build community, and that’s what we want our contractors to embrace too,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who designated Beech and Gateway Plaza Parks for development after careful consideration of community input. “In east Portland, two out of every five households do not have easy access to a City park. That is in stark contrast to the rest of Portland where four out of every five households live within a half-mile of a park or natural area. Building Beech and Gateway Park & Plaza represents a significant step in addressing historic inequities in parks in east Portland.”

“As we move forward on planning these highly-anticipated parks in east Portland, the City is looking for collaborative contractors who, every step of the way, are dedicated to making the community a part of the spaces they will enjoy,” says Kia Selley, PP&R Development and Assets Manager. “The parks’ budget is from development revenue, rather than General Fund tax dollars. We want the contractors who commit to these projects to commit to the community as well.”

The City’s preference is for a general contractor to partner with a Minority, Women or Emerging Small Business (MWESB) firm on the park projects. The winning general contractors will be asked to provide a community benefits plan for each of the park projects.

The community benefits plan will include a description of how the contractor will meet:

Workforce Diversity Goals (Minority & Women)East Portland Resident/Business HiringThe desire to engage traditionally underserved communities, including utilizing minority, women and emerging small business (MWESB) firms.

Fast Facts on Beech Park:


- Adjacent toShaverElementary School in theParkroseSchool District, in the Argay neighborhood ofNE Portland. It will feature grand views, a sports field and basketball court, accessible play and picnic areas, shelters, pedestrian and bike paths, parking, community gardens, and a fenced off-leash dog area.

Equity/Equal Access

-The park will serve nearly 965 new households which currently do not have ready access to a park. Data show that 49% of these households are ethnic minorities, and 23% are below the poverty level.


- Project cost is estimated at $11.8M, from Parks System Development Charges (not General Fund tax dollars). You can learn more about this park plan here.

Fast Facts on Gateway Park & Plaza:

A partnership project with Portland Development Commission


-The 3.2-acre park will become a “living room” for the Gateway neighborhood, featuring accessible spaces and activities for all ages, including a plaza ready to accommodate a variety of events, festivals, and farmers' markets. As envisioned in the Master Plan, the park will also include flexible green spaces to accommodate picnic areas, accessible playground features and nature play. Harper’s Playground is raising money to fund a universally-accessible play area at Gateway Park & Plaza. Portland Parks & Recreation supports these efforts and is soliciting public feedback on the design through the Gateway Park & Plaza Project Advisory Committee and community forums. Harper’s Playground raised the funds to construct PP&R’s first-ever universally-accessible playground in Arbor Lodge Park.

Equity/Equal Access

The park will serve more than 800 new households which currently do not have ready access to a park. Data show that 36% of these households are ethnic minorities, and 28% are below the poverty level.


The total project cost is $8.2 million, from System Development Charges (not General Fund tax dollars). The Portland Development Commission (PDC) will be contributing $1 million for the improvements, and is recruiting private investment to develop a building on NE Halsey adjacent to the new park. You can learn more about this park plan here.

Challenges Remain

As Portland Parks & Recreation commits to new parks in communities where none currently exist and to expanding other parks, many existing parks are at a crossroads. For decades operating funding has been cut or remained flat forcing PP&R to postpone rehabilitation and maintenance in every neighborhood throughout the city. PP&R has maintenance needs (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/63265) totaling over $400 million. From aging playground replacements to leaking roofs, the list of needs is huge, and grows every year that we don’t address it. The beautiful parks we love to visit are being held together by thousands of volunteers and wonderful employees going above and beyond the call of duty.

The funding being used to create the two new parks in east Portland (SDC funding) is restricted to expanding capacity only. It cannot be used to maintain or repair existing facilities. It is insufficient to address the hundreds of park projects needed by our rapidly growing neighborhoods – an additional need of $480 million.