A New Mixed-Use Superblock for Portland

A former industrial site on the edge of Portland, Oregon's urban core is planned with major urbanism ambitions.

February 13, 2020, 12:00 PM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Portland, Oregon

Ripe for a massive urban redevelopment project. | Google Streetview

Will Macht, a professor of urban planning and development at the Center for Real Estate at Portland State University, writes to describe a pioneering development process for a "live/work/make/eat/shop" superblock in Portland.

"Finding four-and-a-half city blocks, including the land formerly occupied by internal streets, only 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from downtown Portland, Oregon, gave Seattle-based Security Properties the opportunity to develop the first project using the city’s new planned development review entitlement process established for large sites of over two acres (0.8 ha)," writes Macht.

The development, called Pepsi Blocks for its location at the former site of a Pepsi bottling plant, is planned to total 1.2 million square feet of space, comprising "up to 1,130 residential units, 450,000 square feet (42,000 sq m) of offices, and 30,000 square feet (2,800 sq m) of retail shops."

There's a lot more detail to the urbanism ambition of the development—like a shared street, or woonerf, on Pacific Street where it cuts through the development.

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