By Don MacGillivray

 

The Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) appears to the layperson as a unique, but under-developed section of Portland’s central city. Those that know it are aware of the unique goods and services available there.

Its character is slowly changing by becoming home to contemporary, creative businesses such as micro brewers and high tech firms. The 635 acres CEID is bordered by the Willamette River on the west, 12th Ave. on the east, the Banfield freeway on the north and Powell Blvd. on the south. With over 1,100 business and 17,000 jobs there is a lot to like about the CEID.

The district is the fourth and last quadrant of the Central City Plan. It has frequently been the focus of Portland planning studies over the last forty years.

Its role as an industrial sanctuary and warehousing district is well-known. Considered a place of future growth and possibly a clone downtown Portland, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the citizens on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) are attempting keep its current identity while adding new uses to the area.

The planning process will engage the community around ways to strengthen the Central Eastside as a major employment center by building on its current job base and considering options for increased employment opportunities.

Occurring in five phases from 2013 to early 2015, the recommendations for the SE Quadrant will be incorporated into the Central City 2035 plan along with detailed policies and actions.

Two specific areas being addressed are extensions of the CEID. One is called “the Banfield Portal” in the NE area (Kerns) around Benson High School and “the Clinton Triangle” in the SE area (Hosford Abernethy) between OMSI and the Clinton light rail station.

 

Some objectives include:

• improve transportation for all users in a growing community

• increase general use of the CEID by the public in appropriate areas

• increase land utilization and employment growth of the area

• find an additional 60 acres of land for industrial development.

Transportation is the most difficult challenge in the CEID. Commuters in cars and on bikes go through it each day, large heavy trucks use most of the streets at any hour, a north/south trolley line on Grand Ave. and MLK Blvd., the main line of the Portland railroad east of the Eastbank Freeway, and a new light rail line going through the Clinton Triangle.

The Urban Land Institute Rose Center for Public Leadership has chosen the CEID in Portland to envision, encourage, and sustain responsible 21st-century land use policies. The year long program will facilitate discussion, leadership assistance, best practices, and other resources among the public and private sectors in Portland. The results will be interesting.

Those interested in more information, can contact Troy Doss, SE Quadrant Project Manager or visit the website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/62130