Mayor, PCRI, Partners Celebrate Beatrice Morrow Groundbreaking

April 27, 2017 · by pcriadmin · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow
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PCRI and Mayor Wheeler celebrated groundbreaking of the Beatrice Morrow on April 7

On April 7, PCRI and Portland Housing Bureau welcomed Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, city officials, nonprofit leaders, and business partners for a groundbreaking celebration. Named to honor Portland civil rights pioneer Beatrice Morrow Cannady, the 80-unit mixed-use commercial and residential building will be the first city-funded project to use Portland Housing Bureau’s Preference Policy to prioritize rental homes for previously-displaced residents.

Following the groundbreaking celebration, Ms. Morrow Cannady’s great grandson heard news of the development and reached out to PCRI to share his enthusiasm and appreciation.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to me and my daughters! Beatrice Morrow Cannady was my great grandmother and she has been a beacon of inspiration to our family for generations,” he said. “It wasn’t until I was in medical school that I began to learn of her contributions to our people and our nation. I have her law school diploma framed and hanging in my home office next to my medical school diploma!”

PCRI Ground Breaking 040717_NH12006The five-story building will be built along NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd between Cook and Ivy Streets. It includes 80 affordable rental homes for residents displaced from North and Northeast Portland. Forty-four of the 80 apartments will have two or more bedrooms. In addition to the apartments in the building’s upper floors, the ground floor will include over 6,000 square feet of commercial retail space as well as a large community room for use by the building’s residents and members of the neighborhood. Construction is anticipated to be complete in mid-2018 and all apartments are expected to be leased by the end of the year.

“This is an important opportunity to provide access to affordable family rental housing in a neighborhood that has experienced displacement and gentrification in the past several decades,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick. “PCRI was formed as, and continues to be, a solution to involuntary displacement. This project will help ensure everyone can experience the stability, safety and dignity that a home provides.”

Of the total project budget of $25 million, the city will loan the development $7.35 million in Interstate Urban Renewal Area funds and will grant the land to the project. In September 2015, the Portland Housing Bureau selected the team led by PCRI to develop and own the project through a competitive “Request for Qualifications” process. Other team members include Gerding Edlen, development partner for the project; Colas Construction, the project’s general contractor; and Carleton Hart Architects.

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Andrew Colas, PHB Director Kurt Creager, Maxine Fitzpatrick and Commissioner Dan Saltzman at the groundbreaking

The development team has had a particular focus on creating equitable economic opportunity in the development of the project, including partnership with Colas Construction and Carleton Hart Architects, both minority-owned firms. Professional services contracted during the project’s design phase have been overwhelmingly focused on minority- and women-owned firms. In addition, Colas Construction anticipates at least 30-40% of the project’s construction will be performed by certified minority-owned, women-owned, and emerging small business firms.

“There was intentional gentrification and displacement of African Americans in our community,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a March 22 meeting where Portland City Council voted unanimously to approve city financing for the development. “This project… puts Portland in the unique position of being the first in the country to not only acknowledge that displacement as a result of gentrification, but it puts us in the unique position of seeking to reverse it.”

In addition to the Portland Housing Bureau, project partners include Oregon Housing and Community Services, U.S. Bank, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, Home Forward, and Meyer Memorial Trust.

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