Oct 13, 2023 - News

What's next for Lloyd Center, Portland's oldest mall

An artist's rendering of a redeveloped Lloyd Center, with pedestrian-friendly streets, green space and mixed-use buildings for high-rise housing.

An artist's rendering of Lloyd Center Commons after redevelopment. Courtesy of Urban Renaissance Group

Over the next decade, Lloyd Center will be torn down piece by piece and redeveloped into a multibillion-dollar, mixed-use neighborhood with housing, retail, restaurants and, maybe, a Major League Baseball stadium.

Why it matters: Hobbled by the pandemic and a swift rise in e-commerce, Portland's oldest mall has struggled to rebound after retailers left and it faced foreclosure.

  • What to do with the space has been a hot topic after new owners swooped in to save Lloyd Center but stayed silent on renovation plans since purchasing it in 2021. Until now.

Driving the news: In September, KKR Real Estate Finance Trust and Seattle-based developer Urban Renaissance Group — which jointly own the 29.3-acre plot in NE Portland — submitted ambitious redevelopment plans to the city's design commission officials.

  • The approval process may take months before individual parcels are OK'd for development given the significance, and sheer size, of the site.

Don't worry: The ice skating rink will remain — but the rest of Lloyd Center won't.

What's happening: It could be years until construction at the site, but in the meantime, Lloyd Center will be open for business as the site undergoes redevelopment in parts over the next decade.

  • 90% of tenants renewed their lease for another year, and the mall continues to court new business.

What they're saying: Over the last two years, Urban Renaissance Group gathered input from city leaders, business owners, residents and hired a consulting firm to survey what locals envisioned for the mall's future.

  • "We believe this initial masterplan demonstrates the incredible potential to create an inclusive, sustainable, and vibrant experience that will play a major part in this city's next chapter," Tom Kilbane, managing director at URG, said in a written statement.

State of play: In the "reimagined layout," the floors of Lloyd Center will be torn out and transformed into new roadways, connected to the city's existing street grid, and a new pedestrian-focused "12th Avenue Promenade" will connect Holladay Park to NE Halsey Street.

  • What will likely come first could be as many as 5,000 mid- and high-rise apartment units. "It's also the easiest asset class to get financed at this point," Kilbane told Portland Business Journal.
  • The preliminary plan includes room for an anchor tenant — whether that be a performing arts center on par with the Keller Auditorium or a sprawling commercial headquarters, à la Nike's Beaverton campus.
  • Offices, though, will not be built until a potential occupant signs a lease.

The intrigue: Building a stadium at Lloyd Center remains a possibility, but the league would have to make the first move before developers abandon the current trajectory, according to Kilbane.


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