PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — It’s been two years since construction began on a new 35-story skyscraper in downtown Portland, and on Wednesday construction poured the last bit of concrete at the top, signaling a new construction phase.
About 350 workers enjoyed a free lunch and listened to speeches from high-level construction leaders about the symbolic completion of the concrete pour. They all sat in what will be a huge ballroom for the Ritz Carlton hotel. The $600 million project is being developed by BPM Real Estate Group, owned by Walter Bowen. When complete, the 460-foot building will house 251 Ritz Carlton hotel rooms, 132 Ritz Carlton co-branded condominiums, retail and office space. Owner representative Brian Owendoff said the new building will help revitalize downtown.
“We see this as part of what will be a multi-faceted downtown renaissance,” Owendoff said. “Let’s be frank, we are at a turning point right now. Portland will swing in the right direction.
The Ritz Carlton’s interest in Portland is the first time a five-star hotel has decided to open a hotel in the city. He said the arrival of their clientele will add to this revitalization.
“Walt’s vision is that it’s a city or a town that becomes an international city,” Owendoff said. “There really was a lack of a true five-star hotel in Portland. So it was his desire to attract a five star hotel and this level of service. When you bring in a five-star hotel, it allows all ships to go up because the quality level will be high.
Over the next 10 years, the skyscraper will generate $100 million in tax revenue. The property will pay more than $25 million in system development and permitting fees, including $8.1 million in affordable housing fees. It will also create more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs. The construction project has already created hundreds of jobs. Nick Cursanelli, the project’s general superintendent, said its workers must persevere through the pandemic, extreme weather and social unrest to continue construction.
“These guys worked tirelessly and overcame so many obstacles, through all kinds of weather and adversity, and we made it to the top and I’m very proud of what they’ve achieved,” Cursanelli said.
Although the project won’t be completed until 2023, Portland’s skyline is forever changed. A reputation as a changing and growing city.
“A lot of cities see their success based on their skyline, whether you’re talking about New York or Chicago or Cleveland or any city,” Owendoff said.
“As I said, Portland is at a tipping point and we’re going to tip in the right direction and I think we’ve got a lot better years ahead of us.”
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