A proposal by Portland State University to purchase the Koinonia House (633 SW Montgomery Street, Portland) was unanimously approved today by the Education subcommittee of the Oregon Legislature’s Emergency Board, and moves to the full board for final approval tomorrow.
The University would purchase the 7,500-square-foot lot and building from Portland Campus Christian Ministries for $1,150,000 with a combination of public and private funds. The purchase is funded in part by a private gift of $750,000 from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. The remaining amount, as well as an additional $125,000 for roof replacement, maintenance and other upgrades, totals $525,000, which the University has requested in Article XI-F(1) bonds.
“PSU has shown that with innovative thinking, it can both spur economic development in downtown Portland and provide more classrooms for its students. This is a terrific example of a public-private partnership,” said Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski.
“This proposal demonstrates creativity on the part of Portland State University in leveraging public and private funds to help meet the needs of a growing university and in reinvigorating downtown Portland’s University District,” said Sen. Richard Devlin, chair of the Education subcommittee.
Immediate plans for the facility—a three-story, 11,425-square-foot, commercially zoned building—include faculty and administrative office space, classrooms and retail space. Current tenants of the facility, which have indicated a willingness to extend their leases, include Annie’s Coffee, a restaurant, and Portland Campus Christian Ministries, the seller. Debt service on the bonds would be repaid using tenant rents and operating costs funded through classroom and office usage.
Purchase of the property extends the University’s commitment to providing access to higher education by giving the University immediate classroom and office space at a time when it faces historic highs in enrollment levels, including over 25,000 students this past fall. In addition, the parcel’s prime location at the corner of SW Broadway and Montgomery in the heart of campus offers future redevelopment opportunities within the University District.
The donation by the Miller Foundation was part of a recent $1 million gift that pushed the University over its goal of $100 million raised for the Building Our Future campaign.
Lindsay Desrochers (503-725-4444)
Finance and Administration
For Immediate Release (#06-008)