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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

TTY : 503-823-6868

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Getting Started

A building permit is required for alterations in commercial and multifamily buildings, even when no structural changes are made.

If your project includes increasing the footprint of the structure or altering any exterior feature beyond same size replacement of doors and windows, view commercial new construction.
Change of Use or Occupancy
For an overview of requirements for projects that change the use of a space or building, see our Change of Occupancy Brochure and Change of Use or Occupancy information page. Depending on the complexity of the project, a life-safety summary may be needed. This is similar to a code summary, but has more detail about sprinkler, fire alarms, detection systems and other construction information about the building. Visit Plan Review staff at the Development Services Center or call (503) 823-1456 for life-safety summary information.
If your project includes work that would change the occupancy or use of an existing building, visit Building staff and Planning and Zoning staff at the Development Services Center before you prepare your materials and plans.
See State Codes information for the current building codes in effect. Depending on the scope of work, your project may also require electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits.
Alterations to unreinforced masonry buildings may trigger additional seismic strengthening.

Find out how to research your property and where to locate the information in preparation for your permit application.

Determine what your fees will be.

Determine what the system development charges will be for your project.

Early Assistance:
The bureau offers four early assistance levels for commercial customers.

The City also recognizes that some projects need special assistance due to the complexity of the project. These projects may be assigned a City development liaison to assist the developer and the development team through all phases of the project from early assistance, city review, construction and final occupancy. Visit staff at the Development Services Center to discuss whether a development liaison is appropriate for your project.