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OHSU Aquistion Lays Groundwork For First Affordable Housing In The South Waterfront

The site of a future parking facility will be the pedestal for the first affordable housing projects in the rapidly developing riverfront district

Oregon Health & Science University has acquired a leasehold interest in Block 33-a 91,000-square-foot superblock in Portland's South Waterfront Central District-where it will build a 1,400- to 1,600-stall parking garage that will serve as a structural platform for the South Waterfront's first affordable housing.

OHSU's agreement to acquire Block 33 represents another step toward meeting the goal set forth in the South Waterfront Development Agreement that the district would serve a wide variety of housing needs, including affordable rental and ownership opportunities. Block 33 is bounded by S.W. Curry St. on the north, S.W. Moody Ave. on the east, S.W. Gaines St. on the south and S.W. Macadam Ave. on the west.

The Block 33 agreement demonstrates that all parties to the South Waterfront Development Agreement-OHSU, the Portland Development Commission and North Macadam Investors, LLC (NMI)-remain committed to affordable housing. NMI retains air rights to Block 33 for development of the affordable housing towers. OHSU acquired its leasehold interest for $2.6 million.

 "As the Portland Development Commission and North Macadam Investors work toward fulfilling the city's goal of developing a vibrant urban neighborhood that balances affordable and market-rate housing, we're happy that this agreement will help to make that happen," said Mark Williams, OHSU South Waterfront Project Director.

 "We are pleased that this agreement will allow us to accelerate the development of affordable housing in the South Waterfront," said Homer Williams of Williams and Dame Development, and principal of North Macadam Investors.

The OHSU parking facility, which must be built by 2010, will have active ground floor uses and be reinforced to support two residential towers with 200 housing units each.

The parking structure will not be a park-and-ride facility for OHSU employees wishing to use the Portland Aerial Tram to commute to work on Marquam Hill. It will be dedicated for the use of patients, visitors and employees in OHSU Commons at South Waterfront and also will provide parking for tenants of the affordable housing units.

The 16-story Center for Health & Healing, scheduled to open later this year in OHSU Commons, will have 500 underground parking spaces. The 400,000 square-foot Center-the first of four OHSU buildings planned for the eight-acre OHSU Commons site-will house 100,000 square feet of research space for OHSU scientists, eight floors of some of the most advanced clinical facilities available anywhere in Oregon and a comprehensive health and wellness center called "March."

OHSU Commons will be linked to downtown Portland by an extension of the Portland Streetcar line, which is on schedule to be completed this year, and to the OHSU Marquam Hill campus by the tram.

OHSU's expansion into the South Waterfront is spurring the transformation of an underused area in the heart of the city into a vibrant neighborhood and will lead to the creation of 5,000 new jobs. Planned investment in the South Waterfront Central District alone is about $2 billion.

Visit for more information about OHSU's growth on Marquam Hill and in the South Waterfront.


Oregon Health & Science University is Oregon's only health and research university. As part of its multifaceted public mission, OHSU strives for excellence in scholarship, research, clinical practice and community service. OHSU includes four schools, two hospitals, numerous primary and specialty care clinics, multiple research centers and institutes and dozens of community service programs. OHSU's fundamental purpose is to improve the well-being of people in Oregon and beyond.

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