December 20th, 2013
Oregon Live, Elliot Njus
The developers of the Grand Central building in Southeast Portland have proposed a $20 million mixed-use apartment building on an adjacent half-block. Architects for Foresight Development & Real Estate, which restored the former Grand Central Market at 808 S.E. Morrison St., have drawn up plans for the apartment building at 915 S.E. Belmont St.
In addition to 120 apartments -- mostly studios and one-bedrooms, with 10 two-bedroom units -- plans call for 5,855 square feet of ground-floor retail space, as well as ground-level parking for 28 cars (some parking stalls are reserved for the Zipcar car sharing service).
Foresight bought the Grand Central building in 2005 for $3.9 million and renovated it for another $4 million. It remade the old 24-hour Grand Central Bowl that had occupied the building, latching on to a trend of high-end bowling centers with upscale bars and fine restaurant-quality food.
John Plew, a principal at Foresight, said the company had planned to build condos on the site around the same time it was renovating the Grand Central Building. "But thank goodness we didn't," Plew said.
The development company's principals also own Concept Entertainment Group, which operates the bowling alley as well as restaurants, bars and venues in Portland and elsewhere.
Plew noted that three other companies have projects in the works nearby, including Killian Pacific's proposed development on Southeast Belmont's "Goat Blocks, consisting of 84,000 square feet of retail space and 257 apartment units.
"We're really excited about how this neighborhood is coming together," Plew said. "Pioneering does always come with scars and bumps and bruises, but it's going to be really exciting to have all the things we already have, plus now housing. And I think office will follow."
Ankrom Moisan Architects submitted the plans to city development officials in an early stage of the permitting process. The architects will meet with city development officials next month to discuss the project. Plew said Foresight hopes to break ground on the project in 9 to 10 months.