The Portland Building
Frequently Asked Questions
How many people work in the Portland Building?
Between 1,300 and 1,400 people work in the Portland Building.
What is in the Portland Building?
Several City bureaus and Multnomah County have offices in the Portland Building. There are also several small businesses on the first floor. City bureaus include:
- City Budget Office
- Bureau of Environmental Services
- Parks & Recreation
- Portland Bureau of Transportation
- Portland Water Bureau
- Office of Management & Finance
- Bureau of Human Resources
- Bureau of Internal Business Services
- Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services
- Bureau of Technology Services
- Enterprise Business Solution
- Office of the CAO
Has the City decided what to do with the Portland Building?
In October 2015, City Council directed the Office of Management & Finance (OMF) to reconstruct the Portland Building. The project will be completed by 2020.
Why reconstruct the Portland Building?
The City of Portland investigated a variety of alternatives before arriving at the decision to reconstruct the Portland Building. Among the studies conducted were two assessments spearheaded by FFA Architecture, a 2013 assessment of the building’s exterior and structural conditions (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/omf/article/508854) and a 2015 assessment of the systems and interiors (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/omf/article/528522); an economic analysis of facilities available in the Central Business District, completed by Colliers International (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/omf/article/518426); and a series of studies for a City-appointed advisory group in 2014 to investigate alternatives to reconstruction (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/omf/70919).
Alternatives that were studied included: making only seismic and exterior improvements to the Portland Building, selling or demolishing the Portland Building and constructing a new building onsite or elsewhere, buying an existing building, selling and building a new building with a public partner, and long-term leasing of office space. There were benefits, costs, and risks to each option evaluated.
After weighing the alternatives, on October 21, 2015, Portland City Council directed the Office of Management and Finance to move forward with reconstruction of the Portland Building. Some of the key factors that informed their decision to reconstruct include:
- Cost effectiveness
- Proximity to other City buildings and preserving the government services center
- Opportunities to improve ADA accessibility, sustainability and seismic resilience
- Preservation of a historically important landmark building
- Accessibility to public transit
- Opportunity for interior and exterior improvements
- Independence from fluctuating real-estate market
While there were positive aspects to some of the other options as well, City Council determined that reconstruction was the best option considered for the City and for preserving this valuable public asset.