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Central Eastside’s next office building will bring something new to the area — a parking garage

By Jon Bell
Portland Business Journal

A 140,000-square-foot office building planned for the Central Eastside Industrial District will bring with it an amenity uncommon in this day and age — a parking garage.

But folks who work in the neighborhood and bemoan its lack of parking shouldn’t get too excited. The four-story parking garage will solely serve the tenants of the new office building.

Portland’s SkanlanKemperBard is behind the projects. The office building, designed by Scott | Edwards Architecture, would rise from a property at 1921 S.E. Third Ave., which SKB acquired last year for $975,000.

The parking garage is planned for a parcel across the street at 1988 S.E. Third Ave. The city of Portland currently owns that property, but is in the process of selling it to SKB, according to company president Todd Gooding.

The city paid $254,044 for the property in 2015.

At one point, the city had considered using the property for the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp. That move was later blocked by the state Land Use Board of Appeals.

According to Gooding, SKB is about 25 percent into its design development drawings for the office building project. He said ground would likely break sometime next year, and though the company hasn’t made a firm decision yet, there’s a good chance the project would move forward on a speculative basis if no tenants are signed in advance.

Gooding said the parking garage will likely be a more affordable option than excavating for underground parking. The garage will have around 120 parking spaces.

Another unique aspect of the proposal is that the project sits within one of the state’s newly created Opportunity Zones. A product of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones provide tax breaks on long-term investments in certain low-income census tracts.

Gooding said SKB acquired the property before the Opportunity Zones had been created.

“It’s a great location,” he said, “and we are getting a lot of interest from taxpayers who want to make some long-term wealth and enjoy the benefits that the Opportunity Zone provides.”

In addition to this proposed project, SKB is also behind another creative office development known as the Glass Lab. Located at 1805 S.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., the project is the renovation of a 46,000-square-foot industrial building. Tryba Architects and Lorentz Bruun Construction are partners in the Glass Lab project.