April 16, 2009

Rose Quarter development could focus on "cutting-edge" sustainable practices

Blake Cordish, vice president of development for the Cordish Co., said Wednesday it’s too soon to know what his company’s proposed development at the Rose Quarter in Portland might look like.

“It is not appropriate to use any of our existing projects as examples, except from an overarching commitment to our quality and dedication to long term ownership,” said Cordish. “At this early stage, it is premature to discuss specific scope and/or project specifics, but we will release details as they are finalized.”

J.E. Isaac, senior vice president for business affairs for the Blazers, said the project would incorporate “cutting edge sustainable principals.”

Cordish in the past has backed glitzy developments, such as Daytona Live! and Philly Live!, that have retail, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Cordish is working with the Portland Trail Blazers to create an entertainment district in unused areas of the Rose Quarter. “We are committed to developing a world class project that reflects Portland’s unique and creative culture,” he said. “The vision of the partnership is to create a district that embodies the principles of sustainable development and that is authentic to Portland. The ultimate vision for the Rose Quarter and the timing of development depends on many factors including input from the Portland community and reaching an agreement with the city.”

Cordish said the Cordish Co. will work “with the goal of quickly reaching a mutually acceptable development agreement so that the project can proceed.”

The project would most likely be planned in tandem with a new baseball stadium, if the city proceeds with its plan to partner with Merritt Paulson, owner of the Portland Timbers and Beavers, to renovate PGE Park and build the baseball stadium where the Memorial

Coliseum is. The city is still negotiating that deal with Paulson, who must first receive permission to have a Major League Soccer team in Portland. An announcement about Portland receiving the MLS franchise is expected Friday morning.

Local Timbers fans as well as city officials are anticipating the announcement will be that Portland will get the franchise, though the MLS is holding off on an official statement until Friday morning. “We’re excited about that,” said Isaac.

The Cordish Company’s Daytona Live! Project which will include retail, restaurants and entertainment venues.