Consideration of "opportunity sites," dormant real estate and candidates for purchase and redevelopment by the Urban Renewal Agency, has been percolating, and they've now got a tentative list and ranking. At the top are the Belluschi Bank, aka former Wells Fargo bank, and Marion Car Park.
|Pietro Belluschi's 1946-8 First National Bank:|
Approved for demolition in 2008 and 2014
|Marion Car Park from inside the Conference Center|
At the moment it is worth registering that the bank and car park are historically significant structures, though of unequal value.
We have argued here that we should be ready to demolish the car park for a high quality redevelopment project. Significantly more effort should be put into attempts at preserving and reusing the bank, an architecturally significant building designed by Pietro Belluschi. It was approved for demolition in 2008 and again in 2014, but perhaps that project is stalled out again, making the bank building available.
|The bank building doesn't greet the sidewalk, however|
Harvest on the Belluschi Bank,
relief by Frederic Littman
Anyway, these are important downtown sites that currently lack activity and commerce and it is reasonable to consider a kick-start on them with urban renewal funds.
Also on the agenda is an update on the crossing project on Union at Commercial Street.
|In 2014: East/right side of Union not included in project|
Based on the drawing, the biggest question is on Commercial with the south-bound transition from a right-hand bike lane to a left-hand bike lane. East-west movement on Union seems relatively straight-forward as illustrated.
Meeting agenda and packet is here.
The Board meets Thursday the 28th, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm in the Urban Development Conference Room, 350 Commercial St NE, underneath the Chemeketa Parkade.