Design Advice has been offered for the redevelopment of Riverplace, at the south end of downtown. The 8 acre site is being master planned by GBD Architects with Kengo Kuma and Associates, for site owner NBP Capital. At full build-out the site could accommodate 250,000 sq ft of office space, 2,500 apartments, 300 hotel rooms, 100,000 sq ft of retail space and 1500 vehicular parking stalls.
The project site is bound by SW Montgomery St, SW River Dr, SW River Parkway and SW Harbor Drive. Existing buildings on the site would be removed, including the former Riverplace Athletic Club (completed in 1986) and the Douglas Apartments (completed in 1993).
The redevelopment could include up to six new towers, with maximum heights ranging from 150′ to 325′.
SW Hall St would be extended through the site to meet SW Harbor Way. A new street parallel to SW River Dr would extend between SW Montgomery St and SW River Parkway.
A pedestrian bridge over SW Harbor Drive could connect the podium level of the towers to SW Naito Parkway.
At the intersection of SW River Dr and SW Montgomery St a new publicly accessible “plaza” space of approximately one acre is proposed.
The Portland Steps
At the center of the development would be the “Portland Steps”, described as “a series of interconnected platforms, stairways, ramps, seating and gathering spaces.” These would lead from the ground level at the plaza up to the podium level of the towers, and to the potential bridge to Naito Parkway.
The Riverplace Redevelopment has been in front of the Design Commission twice, for Design Advice Request (DAR) meetings on held on October 3rd and December 5th, 2019. Commission feedback from the second DAR was highlighted in a summary memo:
This proposal is an exciting opportunity to bring added activation, connectivity and density to this less developed area of the central city that lies so close to the Willamette River. The Commission appreciated the many improvements made since the first DAR. Moving forward, it will be important that this CCMS provides a strong framework for the new development while also addressing existing conditions, both on and off site, so future development will extend and enhance this area making it a successful part of the central city. In particular, the following critical elements were highlighted:
• A new intersection at SW Hall and SW Harbor Drive is critical, so please work with PBOT and ODOT to realize this.
• Another at-grade, east-west physical connection is needed thorough the large block fronting the regional bike path/ SW Harbor Way.
• The open spaces must be connected, easily accessible by the public, and should reach beyond the site to connect to the surrounding areas.
• The main plaza should be surrounded by active uses.
• Orient the tower bars east to west to increase permeability between them through to the river.
• The main plaza and A street should be activated with retail.
In order to gain approval the master plan will be required to go through a Type III Central City Master Plan Review, with public hearings in front of the Design Commission. Individual building would be required to go through a Type III Design Review.