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Project Overview

The SE Quadrant Plan will update the long range plan for the Central Eastside District of the Central City. The project will coordinate with planning for new streetcar and light rail alignments, exploring ways to leverage new investments with an emphasis on employment transit-oriented development (ETOD). It will also contribute to the update of the Willamette Greenway Plan for the Central Reach of the Willamette River. The planning process will engage the community around ways to strengthen the Central Eastside as a major employment center in the city by building on its current job base and considering options for increased employment opportunities.

Project Area
The SE Quadrant Plan area includes the Central Eastside District of the Central City, as well as two study areas: 1) the Banfield Portal at the northern end of the district; and 2) the Clinton Triangle at the southern end. These study areas have been included in the plan boundary because of the potential for proposals that would affect those areas and to address identified land use and zoning issues.

SE Quad Map

The Central Eastside has a long history as a manufacturing and warehousing district. Now home to more than 17,000 jobs, the area is one of Portland’s major employment centers. Much of the area is designated as an “industrial sanctuary,” which is intended to preserve the area for industrial uses and restrict other uses. The area’s central location, inexpensive rents and eclectic urban atmosphere have made it increasingly popular among entrepreneurs and creative professionals — resulting in a growing demand for creative workspace, retail and other service amenities. While the area continues to be dominated by traditional industrial businesses, they increasingly operate alongside a mix of smaller “incubator” businesses, creative enterprises and retail storefronts. The Central Eastside is bordered by the Willamette River on the west, where the Eastbank Esplanade draws people to and through the district. The district’s eastern border along 12th Avenue serves as a transition to residential neighborhoods. Defining the future character of the Central Eastside and developing strategies to balance the needs of traditional and new uses within the district will be a major component of the SE Quadrant planning effort.

Other topics to be addressed in the planning effort include:

  • Capitalizing on major transportation investments (new streetcar and light rail alignments serving the district) and leveraging them to stimulate business development and jobs.
  • Transportation issues such as freight access, safe pedestrian and bike routes, and parking.
  • Improving the vitality of the Grand Avenue Historic District and other areas planned for mixed use development.
  • Improving access to the river and riverfront activities, where possible, while addressing river health and the need for improved fish and wildlife habitat.
  • Providing sensitive transitions between industrial and employment uses and adjacent residential neighborhoods.

Inner SE Station Area Planning
The SE Quadrant planning effort builds on work completed in Summer 2013 through the Inner SE Station Areas process, which resulted in initial planning for the four close-in southeast light rail station areas (OMSI, Clinton, Rhine and Holgate) on the new Portland-Milwaukie light rail alignment, scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.

Typically, station area planning processes have focused on developing housing and retail near light rail stations — an approach that may not be appropriate in these predominantly industrial station areas. Instead, this process was focused on employment transit-oriented development (ETOD),exploring ways to increase business and employment opportunities near these new light rail stations in a way that will encourage investment in the area and boost transit ridership, while also complementing adjacent industrial and residential areas.

Ideas generated through this initial planning process will be further explored and refined on separate, coordinated tracks. The OMSI and Clinton station areas are located within the SE Quadrant Plan boundary, so work on those stations will be integrated with that broader planning effort. Recommendations for the Rhine and Holgate stations will be included in a separate Brooklyn Station Area Plan and incorporated into the Comprehensive Plan Update.

Portland’s Industrial Sanctuary
Much of the land within the SE Quadrant Plan area is designated “Industrial Sanctuary” by Portland’s Comprehensive Plan. This policy was put in place in the 1980s to protect industrial uses and districts from encroachment by other land uses. The City is currently updating its Comprehensive Plan and has identified a projected shortfall of industrial land supply (635 acres) by 2035. There is a 60-acre shortfall in the Central City industrial areas, including the Central Eastside. Methods to address this shortfall and accommodate projected job growth will be a key objective of this planning effort. The SE Quadrant planning process will examine how the nature of industrial activities has changed within the Central Eastside and other close-in industrial areas. It will also explore ways to update zoning and other tools to accommodate a higher density of employment uses and jobs in the area.

Planning Process 
The public process for the SE Quadrant Plan will begin in the fall of 2013 with formation of the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC), which will advise staff and guide development of the plan throughout the process. Opportunities for broader public input will also be provided at key milestones. The planning process will occur in five phases and is expected to end in early 2015. Recommendations for the SE Quadrant will then be incorporated into the overall Central City 2035 plan along with detailed recommendations for new policies, actions and recommendations for the entire Central City.

Project Timeline 

 Phase

Planning Phase

Public Involvement

Phase I: Fall 2013

Kick Off and Orientation

Form SAC

Phase II: Winter – Spring 2014

Issue Identification and Analysis

Publish primer "Portland's Central Eastside"

Phase III: Spring – Summer 2014

Scenario Development

Charrette/Workshop

Open House

Phase IV: Fall 2014

Plan Development

Public Open House

Phase V: Winter 2015

Public Review and Approval Process

Public Hearings