A Denver development firm behind several neighborhood-transforming projects will oversee one of the biggest such projects in Portland.
At a meeting this afternoon, Prosper Portland commissioners officially selected Continuum Partners LLC as the preferred development partner to lead development and planning for the 32-acre Broadway Corridor, which includes the 14-acre U.S. Post Office property at Northwest Fifth Avenue and Northwest Hoyt Street. The Denver firm’s response to a request for qualifications issued last fall rose to the top of the list, which had been narrowed to three finalists in March.
The other two finalists came from a team headed up by McWhinney and the New York-based Related Companies.
Based in Denver, Continuum has been in the development business since 1997. It describes itself as “a national leader in large scale, mixed-use, urban projects.”
The company’s list of projects includes apartments, hotels and new neighborhood districts. Continuum also served as the master developer on the $500 million Denver Union Station Transit Center redevelopment. That 14-year project is credited with spurring as much as $2 billion worth of development, including hotels, offices, shops and restaurants, hotels and apartments and condominiums.
At today’s meeting, Sarah Harpole, a project manager with Prosper Portland, said Continuum made the final cut not only because of its ability to meet the basic qualifications required for the project, but also because of the values that came across.
“They were perceived as having the most authentically aligned values in their company,” she said, particularly as they connected with those of the Broadway Corridor project. In addition, Harpole also noted that Continuum didn’t include any specific local partners in its response, as the other two finalists did, but that the developer has long-range plans to develop local partnerships.
“While the team does not include a local partner, we talked with them at length about their intent to build out a local office” and work with local partners, she said.
At the same meeting, Prosper Portland also approved a $2.1 million contract with ZGF Architects for consulting over the next 16 months on a master plan for the Broadway Corridor project.
Continuum, ZGF and other subcontractors will work on developing a master plan for Broadway Corridor over the next 16 months. The resulting plan, according to Kyra Straussman, director of development and investment for Prosper Portland, will be “a definition of our aspirations for the development of all the properties that are in the Broadway Corridor.” It will also size up transit options, housing, public amenities and a host of other considerations.