Proposed OMSI neighborhood project expected to cost $120 million

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The 24-acre, $120 million project would span up to three million square feet – it would include things like retail, offices, hotels and housing.

PORTLAND, Ore. — East-central Portland may be getting a makeover — a $120 million makeover to be exact.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry District (OMSI) presented its latest proposal to the Portland Design Commission on Thursday.

OMSI officials say this project has been underway for a decade.

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“The city is in a weird place right now,” said Preston Greene, vice president of real estate at OMSI. “So we’re looking for a project that benefits everyone, it has community aspects, it engages our community partners, and we hope the city wins to bring those jobs and investment to the city.”

The 24-acre, multi-million dollar project would span up to three million square feet – which would include elements such as retail space, offices, hotels and affordable housing along a waterfront educational park along the Willamette River.

They plan to split the $120 million construction investment in three ways – between OMSI, a private developer and public funding.

“This is a transformative project that has the ability to be a win-win for everyone in the city,” Greene said. “And I don’t think we see these projects very often and so for us it’s a really exciting time to see this come to fruition.”

But it’s not just new infrastructure that will be built — this project will also create new jobs.

KGW was told that this project would bring a total of 16,300 jobs and $2.5 billion to the construction process. While the long-term goal is to add 8,400 permanent jobs and bring in $1.2 billion a year – when the project is fully completed.

“The master plan process in the City of Portland is a new process,” Greene said. “We are only the third project to be so advanced in the process. The other two projects are the Broadway project in the city of Portland and the River Place project across the river here.

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Greene says they’re happy with how Thursday’s presentation went and he hopes the city will see value in investing in the community.

He says if they get the green light, they could start building new infrastructure within the next two years.

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