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Learn about what is currently happening with the Central City 2035 project. Read meeting announcements and summaries, as well as other recent happenings.

Take a Walk on the Riverside, the Central Eastside’s that is, on July 22

Join City planners, river enthusiasts and other community members as they stroll along the Willamette’s edge, imagining the future of the Central City’s waterfront

You’re invited to a summer’s eve river walk on July 22. City staff and others interested in improving river habitat, boating and other activities in the Central Reach will tour and discuss key locations along the Central Eastside’s riverfront area.SEQ Walking Tour Map

Meet at the PCC Climb Center Auditorium, 1626 SE Waters Ave, at 5 p.m. for an overview before heading down to the river. Staff will pose specific questions and record comments that will inform development of the Central City 2035 Plan, which includes the Southeast Quadrant Plan and River Plan / Central Reach.

We’ll be stopping at the following locations along the way:

1. Madison Dock (Fire Station) & Plaza area
2. Holman Dock area
3. OMSI area
4. End of Caruthers Street
5. Willamette Greenway Trail connection

Bring a water bottle; light snacks will be provided. Come support the river!

For more information, contact Debbie Bischoff at Debbie.bischoff@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-6946.

West Quadrant Plan SAC Wrapping Up

Final West Quadrant SAC Meeting July 21; revised SAC Review Draft Available July 11

Revised SAC Review Draft CoverThe West Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) will meet for the 16th and final time on Monday, July 21, 2014. The 33-member committee has been meeting since March 2013, providing guidance through all phases of the planning process — from identification of issues and opportunities and concept development to plan development.

Proposed Draft goes to Planning and Sustainability Commission

An initial draft of the full West Quadrant Plan was discussed at the June 16 SAC meeting. Comments are being used to guide revisions, which will result in a Revised Stakeholder Advisory Committee Review Draft, to be discussed at the final July 21 SAC meeting. This draft will be available for review on the project website July 11.

Comments on the Revised SAC Review Draft will be taken at the July 21 meeting. Staff will make revisions as needed and produce a Proposed Draft, which will be shared with the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) prior to a public hearing on September 9. The public is invited to submit testimony to the PSC in person or in writing. Agendas and tips for testifying are available online. There will be another opportunity for public testimony and comment at a City Council hearing, yet to be scheduled.

Recommended Draft to City Council in the fall

When City Council adopts the West Quadrant Plan this fall, it will by resolution. Over the next year, staff will work to combine the recommendations from the N/NE Quadrant Plan (adopted October 2013), West Quadrant Plan and SE Quadrant Plan (currently underway) into a single Central City 2035 Plan with accompanying Zoning Code amendments.

By mid-to-late 2015, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability expects to begin the public hearing process to adopt the final Central City 2035 Plan. This will happen concurrently with the updated Comprehensive Plan and Map, the Zoning Code and maps by ordinance in conformance with the plan. Specific changes outlined in the West Quadrant Plan would not take effect until this time. There will be additional opportunities for public comment as the Central City 2035 Plan advances through PSC and City Council.

For questions or comments about the West Quadrant Plan, please contact project staff at westquad@portlandoregon.gov.

Portland's Central Eastside: 2035

A look towards what the future may hold

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

— Niels Bohr

What will the Central Eastside look like in the year 2035? Will it continue to be a home to industrial services, warehousing and distribution companies? Will the district still contain businesses started three generations ago? Will it include manufacturers making products commonplace in our lives today as well as products we cannot yet imagine?

Answering these questions is difficult. Imagine predicting 35 years ago — when Oregon’s economy was dominated by resource industries and the car culture shaped our urban form — that within three decades our economy would be shaped by the silicon chip and entrepreneurs, and employees who prefer to commute to work by foot, bike and streetcar.

Although we can’t predict the future, we can chart a course to the future we hope to realize. This journey will require some bold decisions and diligence to implement new strategies that take us where we collectively want to go. It will also require patience and the ability to creatively respond to the inevitable threats, opportunities and mid-course corrections that will deliver us to our desired destination.

Relationship to Central City 2035

The SE Quadrant Plan is an element of the broader Central City 2035 (CC2035) project to update the 1988 Central City Plan. The CC2035 Concept Plan, adopted in 2012, includes goals, policies and an urban design direction that provide high level guidance for the entire Central City. The Concept Plan established a framework from which the more detailed quadrant plans are being developed.

The SE Quadrant Plan will focus on building the next generation of industrial/employment sanctuaries, with higher employment densities to enhance and strengthen the Central Eastside’s role as a major employment center in the Central City. The planning effort will follow through on the CC2035 concept of southern “bookends” to the Central City, which could provide a new employment and education hub at OMSI and South Waterfront across the river.

The Concept Plan also articulates a vision for a Green Loop around the entire Central City, circling both sides of the river and providing people of all ages and abilities a way of walking, biking, strolling or rolling on a continuous, safe route. A community amenity such as this would further enhance the Central Eastside as a destination point for recreation, cultural attractions, restaurants, tourism and other amenities that enliven an area and create a sense of place.

You can help shape the future of the Central Eastside

Share your thoughts and input at the SE Quadrant Open House on July 8, where staff will present concepts that have emerged through the planning process so far.

Tuesday, July 8, 4 p.m – 7 p.m.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center
2250 SE Water Avenue

This is the final installment of a blog series aimed at exploring the past, present, and future of the Central Eastside.

“Get on Board!” the SE Quadrant Open House on July 8, 4 – 7 p.m.

At the Oregon Rail Heritage Center learn about the Central Eastside and the big ideas coming out of the planning process so far and share ideas about the future of the area.

Train engine at the ORHC

Nickel Plate Road is one of four engines on display at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center

If you haven’t been to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center yet, now’s your chance!

On Tuesday, July 8 from 4 – 7 p.m., you can visit the museum for free and learn about the history of the Central Eastside and the thriving business ecosystem there – all in the presence of historic locomotives, railroad equipment and artifacts.

You can also learn about the big ideas coming out of the Southeast Quadrant planning process and the recent charrette event.

Staff from the following partner bureaus will on hand to answer questions and provide explanations:

  • Planning & Sustainability
  • Transportation
  • Portland Development Commission
  • Environmental Services
  • Parks & Recreation

Project staff will share input from the open house with the Stakeholder Advisory Committee as they help develop draft land use concepts. These concepts will illustrate the City’s goals for the district and identify the strategies needed to meet them.

Southeast Quadrant Open House
Tuesday, July 8, 2014, 4 – 7 p.m.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center
2250 SE Water Ave (see access details below)
Topics: Existing conditions, businesses in the district, and big ideas about land use, transportation, river and open space from the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and public charrette

Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

We thank the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation for providing the venue. They will have docents available to explain the history of the train engines and give free tours.

Details for Accessing the Oregon Rail Heritage Center

  • By car: The ORHC parking lot is at the corner of SE Grand and Caruthers, just north of the curve where one becomes the other (Grand/Caruthers), and next to the red and white building that is currently the Stacey and Witbeck light rail project office, under the MLK viaduct.
  • Additional parking: Portland Opera has offered their parking lot as auxiliary parking for the event and can be found on Caruthers directly across Water Ave from the Stacey and Witbeck office.
  • By bike or on foot: Enter the ORHC from Water Ave where new traffic lights are hung but not yet active, just north of the light rail tracks.
  • By bus: Routes 6, 10, 12, 14, 15, 19, 20, 31, 32, 33, 99 have stops within a short walk to the ORHC.
  • By streetcar: Take the CL line south all the way to the OMSI stop. Exit and walk south around the front of the streetcar, cross the tracks and head back to Water Ave. Walk south on Water Ave and cross at the not-yet-active new traffic light in front of ORHC.

Portland's Central Eastside: An Industrial Sanctuary

In 1988, the Central Eastside was adopted as an official district of the Central City with new policy direction to “Preserve the Central Eastside as an industrial sanctuary . . . .” Consequently, various zoning tools were adopted to promote industrial uses throughout the district, with the exception of main street and mixed-use corridors, such as Martin Luther King Blvd, Grand Ave and Burnside.

Are these policies still working in the Central Eastside? For the most part, yes. The district is home to more than 17,000 jobs, most in traditional industrial sectors such as manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, and industrial services.

However, the Central Eastside has become increasingly attractive to other uses, such as Portland’s growing knowledge and design businesses, due to its older industrial buildings that are well-suited to rehab, gritty urban character and the close-in, central location.

Increasingly brokers, land owners and businesses looking for space in the district seek more zoning flexibility and the ability to locate non-industrial uses within the industrial portions of the district.


Returning to the assumptions that led to the creation of Portland’s industrial sanctuary policy and the Central Eastside, the questions remain:

  •  What is the role of the CES industrial sanctuary in accommodating traditional industrial uses such as manufacturing, as well as emerging and new industries that will evolve the decades ahead?
  • What tools need to be created to fulfill this role to the year 2035 and beyond?
  •  How can the mixed-use corridors be optimized to accommodate more non-industrial users?

This is the thirteenth installment of a blog series aimed at exploring the past, present, and future of the Central Eastside. To learn more about the industrial sanctuary policies in the Central Eastside and the planning efforts for the district, read the Central Eastside Reader and visit the SE Quadrant Plan calendar to learn about future events.