As developers look for prime real estate in Portland’s central core, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has offered up its 18-acre campus along the Willamette River as the next stage in Portland’s waterfront development.
OMSI has an active request for qualifications for a master developer to redevelop 11 acres of land with a capacity for 1.7 million square feet of space. That request remains open until the end of February. Snohetta designed the master plan in conjunction with the city of Portland to turn empty space near the city’s central core and new transit hubs into a new home for a variety of uses.
The plan includes a mix of parcel sizes with a flexible range of finished possibilities. OMSI doesn’t plan to sell the property, but simply offer ground leases on the development in an effort to provide long-term sustainable funding for the educational mission of the museum. The organization’s officials have said they purposefully kept the master plan non-specific to allow developers to direct a market-driven mix of office, commercial, hotel, retail, entertainment and residential opportunities.
The fact that the Portland River Center and James Beard Public Market have both shown interest in moving into the OMSI development, with its quarter-mile of waterfront, has given the project a bit of cache around Portland, however OMSI has made no promises to any tenants and the developer will have the opportunity to craft the final plan for the property.
The OMSI property located on the inner Eastside across the river from Portland’s main downtown core, sits north of the new Tilikum Crossing bridgehead and near a growing office development in the area. The new MAX light rail orange line and the Portland Streetcar run across the pedestrian and mass transit Tilikum, helping to revitalize the area.
OMSI was originally given the land by Portland General Electric in 1987, allowing the museum to relocate from its Washington Park location to the waterfront in 1992.
Local media report that along with Snohetta leading the design of the master plan, the New York office of Buro Happold Consulting Engineers provided consulting services.
OMSI plans to short-list its developer teams in April and finalize a partner that same month.
Follow Tim Newcomb on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.