Construction Begins at Portland’s Press Blocks

Date Posted: 10.20.2022

Construction has begun on the second, larger phase of the Press Blocks development in Portland’s Goose Hollow neighborhood. Taking up an entire city block, this phase includes two structures—a 24-story high-rise with 341 apartments, and a three-story commercial building that includes retail, work/live units and creative office space—with a new public plaza and landscaped mid-block connector, all designed by Mithun.

The building designs are inspired by the site’s history as former home of The Oregonian newspaper’s printing and distribution facilities. A “press and paper” metaphor drives the expression of the buildings and open spaces.

“The Press Blocks will bring not only much-needed rental housing to the area but also provide an anchor for Portland’s next great neighborhood, replacing the massive concrete print facility that has dominated the neighborhood since the 1950s,” said Security Properties chief development officer John Marasco.

The development will offer extensive rooftop amenities including a hot and cold water plunge, as well as subterranean parking for 473 cars and secured bike storage. The public will be invited into the heart of the development via a publicly-accessible mid-block connector and plaza—a sunny southwest-facing open space for the enjoyment of the greater Goose Hollow community. The Red/Blue MAX light rail station is conveniently located adjacent to the site.

“The Press Blocks full block project will add a vibrant collection of retail, work/live and open space featuring a midblock mews to Goose Hollow, while adding to the delightful architectural texture of the neighborhood, completing the design vision for this special location in downtown Portland,” said Mithun design partner Bert Gregory FAIA.

The first phase of Press Blocks, an office building named Canvas, was completed in 2020. A climate-controlled tunnel will link the sites, providing shared access to a subterranean parking garage included in the current construction effort.

The project is developed by Security Properties and Urban Renaissance Group. Mithun is providing integrated architecture and landscape architecture services for this phase of development, and Turner Construction Company is the general contractor. GBD Architects designed the Phase I Canvas office building and is collaborating on the Phase II subterranean parking garage and permitting. The Phase II project team also includes Harper Houf Peterson Righellis, civil; CKC Structural Engineers, structural; Glumac, MEP; Bumgardner, interior design; A3 Acoustics, acoustics; 4EA Building Science, building envelope; Applied Building Information, specifications; O’Brien 360, sustainability; and STO Design Group, spa consultant.