The dream to bring Major League Baseball to Portland, Oregon, has a likely location, even if the backers of the Portland Diamond Project still lack a team.
In late November, the Portland Diamond Project announced a signed agreement in principle with the Port of Portland to develop the port’s 45-acre Terminal 2 property.
“We believe this has the potential to be a transformative landmark project for this city,” says Craig Cheek, PDP founder and president, in a statement. “Building an iconic, state-of-the-art ballpark along the Willamette River will catalyze economic development and capture great views of both the urban scale of the city and regional character of the Pacific Northwest.”
The letter of intent with the port will allow the backers to push forward on working with the city and local community to craft a more concrete plan for the Terminal 2 site. For decades, the location along the Willamette River in northwest Portland spent decades handling commodities, such as steel rail, bulk ores and oversized international cargo. Just north of the Pearl District, the 45 acres of riverfront property includes more than 2,000 linear ft of waterfront.
The site is sparsely used at this point and sits in an industrial area of Portland north of most major development, although the area has seen an uptick in recent development. The site is not served by light rail or the Portland Streetcar.
Cheek and his team worked with TVA Architects of Portland and Kansas City-based Populous on early renderings for the site, which were also unveiled when the Portland Diamond Project announced the signed agreement. Macadam Forbes has worked on real estate for the group.
The renderings give visual identity to both a roughly 32,000-seat ballpark and additional development. Early plans show a retractable-roof venue that can completely move away from the stadium to enhance views when open. Designs also include an outdoor amphitheater on the water, a boardwalk along the river and mixed-use development. The adjacent Terminal 1 site, although not part of the initial agreement, could eventually give any future development a total of 88 acres.
The project also has investment support from Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Wilson’s wife Ciara Wilson and former Portland Trailblazers play-by-play man Mike Barrett. The former Nike executive leading the project says he has other investors lined up with enough capital to not only purchase an MLB team but fund the new stadium. While the realization of any dream of MLB baseball in Portland still stands a long way off, for now the team has a preliminary plan for where the dream could live.
Follow Tim Newcomb on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.