Project promotes social equity, improves socio-economic opportunities for underserved and underrepresented communities
Portland City Council is taking a major step forward on the Broadway Corridor, conducting its first reading of the Broadway Corridor Ordinance during this afternoon’s Council session. The set of four agreements, introduced by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, involve multiple city bureaus that lay the foundation for a diverse and vibrant new neighborhood, and chart a new course for inclusive, large-scale community development.
The project promotes social equity by reducing disparities, extending community benefits, building affordable housing and improving socio-economic opportunities for underserved and underrepresented communities.
“Today’s work represents significant progress in the Broadway Corridor development project, an inclusive place that delivers significant, equitable community benefits,” Mayor Wheeler said. “This neighborhood will serve as a transit hub, a recreation site and an employment center, with a mix of affordable housing and home ownership opportunities. It also serves as an example of Portland’s leadership on sustainability and community-based development projects.”
On September 23rd, Council will vote on the ordinance, which reflects four years of community engagement and development planning work. Over the last 18 months, this work has also included negotiations between the city of Portland, led by Prosper Portland, the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), and the Healthy Communities Coalition and development partner Continuum Partners, following Prosper Portland and PHB’s acquisition of the Post Office site near Union Station. Council’s action encompasses the community benefits agreement (CBA), disposition and development agreement (DDA), the public investment strategy, and a local improvement district for the project, and will advance a once-in-a-generation opportunity that Mayor Ted Wheeler has championed throughout his time as Portland’s mayor.
Council’s authorization will further direct bureaus to take actions necessary or appropriate to facilitate the development of Broadway Corridor consistent with the CBA and DDA term sheets, which include the following specific actions:
- Portland Housing Bureau’s participation in the CBA, including a commitment to conduct intentional outreach to Black, Indigenous, Chinese and Japanese American communities with historic ties to the site as part of PHB’s affordable housing efforts;
- Adding the Broadway Corridor project to the Portland Parks & Recreation System Development Charge Capital Improvement Plan and the Transportation eligible TSDC project list to provide a share of funding for new parks and streets;
- Directing infrastructure bureaus (Water, Transportation, Parks and Environmental Services) to undertake design and construction of public improvements and to negotiate and enter into one or more CBAs substantially consistent with the City’s template community benefits agreement as part of those projects;
- Via separate legislative action, creating a local improvement district assessed against development to fund new streets at NW Johnson Street, NW Kearney Street and NW Park Avenue.
- Restructuring Prosper Portland’s repayment of the line of credit originally provided by the City to assist with acquisition of the property. This restructuring aligns with Council-advised support for community benefit and infrastructure outcomes envisioned in the agreements. The restructuring also allows for up to $15,000,000 of the line of credit to be covered by the general fund, if required.
“The City has been working with community to create a vision for redevelopment of the site for years. I want to thank Prosper Portland and Executive Director Kimberly Branam for their hard work on this project,” Mayor Wheeler said. “Under these milestone agreements, Broadway Corridor will be Portland’s next great place - a transit hub and employment center with dense residential housing, a place of active recreation, an example of Portland’s leadership on sustainability, a welcoming gateway that will strengthen connections across the river and create a sense of belonging for all who live, work, or visit the site. And most of all, it is a key opportunity to reduce racial and social disparities and extend benefits to all communities throughout Portland.”