By Lee Perlman
For the Hollywood Star News, July, 2010
A consultant team has completed, and the Portland Development Commission has accepted, the Burnside Bridgehead Framework Plan, a set of principles that should be followed in the development of the four-acre site on the east end of the Burnside Bridge. PDC has a Memorandum of Understanding with Brad Malsin’s Beam Construction that gives them first opportunity to develop at least 20 percent of the site.
Without specifics, the Framework Plan calls for the site to be developed in stages. It provides a series of principles governing this development. These are “potential” (a practical approach to development), “attainable” (uses within economic reach of entrepreneurs and aspiring new businesses), “productive” (employment-oriented), “sustainable” (eco-friendly), “vibrant” (generating activity that would draw people to the area). It also sets out a series of outcomes relating to scale and density, ranging from 610,000 total square feet of floor space to 880,000, the last with some tall towers. Even the most ambitious outcome is well below the density that the site’s zoning would allow.
At a party last month Tim Holmes of the Central East Side Industrial Council, the CAC’s co-chair, recalled PDC’s attempt several years ago to install a Home Depot on the site, producing an outcry from remodeling-related businesses all over the neighborhood. In contrast, he said, the current plan represents “the Portland way of doing things.” He told Malsin, “I can’t wait to see dirt moving on that site.”