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State Authorizes $51 Million in Bonds for Redevelopment of "PCAT" Block
Author: David Santen, Office of University Communications (503-725-8789)
Posted: December 1, 2006

The Emergency Board of the Oregon state legislature has authorized $51 million in Article XI-F(1) bonds, which will be used for the phase-one redevelopment of the “PCAT” block at Portland State University. The project entails a mixed-use site comprised of a new student recreation center, academic space and retail.

“Redevelopment of the PCAT block has long been a goal of Portland State University’s, and with this action by the E-Board, that project is now possible,” said Lindsay Desrochers, vice president for Finance and Administration. “Timing is critical to the success of this work, especially given the South Corridor Light Rail, soon to be under construction. We look forward to coordinating this project in a way that minimally disrupts our campus community and neighbors, while at the same time keeping costs reasonable and staying on schedule.”

The current PCAT, or Portland Center for Advanced Technology, consists of a ground floor and a basement (primarily underground parking). It occupies the block between Montgomery Street, Sixth Avenue, Harrison Street and Fifth Avenue. The building is located just south of PSU’s Urban Center Plaza and adjoins existing bus and streetcar stops and a planned extension of the MAX light rail system. TriMet, the regional transportation authority, is completing design work to extend the line that begins in Clackamas County to the Jackson/College block, between Southwest Fifth and Sixth Avenues; advance utility work is underway and construction is expected to be completed in September 2009.

Redevelopment of the PCAT block will occur in two phases. The first, funding for which has now been approved by the Emergency Board, includes a five-story structure with one below-ground level at a cost of $51 million. The first four floors of the new building and the below-ground level will contain a new student recreation center, with about 122,000 square feet, and retail space. With a new facility, the University will be able to move recreation activities from the Peter Stott Center, which is aging and too small to serve the current student enrollment of 25,000 (future plans include a potential renovation of that space for intercollegiate athletics). The fifth floor of the new facility will have general purpose classrooms and office and meeting space for the Board of Higher Education and the Chancellor’s Office.

The second phase, if approved by the governor and the legislature during the 2007 session, would be funded with Article XI-G bonds, donations and other funds, and would add additional floors of classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices for either the Graduate School of Social Work or the School of Business Administration. The cost of the second phase would be $20–30 million, bringing the total project cost to $71–81 million.

The largest source of funds for the project’s first phase will be $35 million obtained from the sale of Article XI-F(1) bonds. Debt service on these bonds will be repaid with student building fees. Students voted to approve a $56 fee increase in 2004. The university will begin collecting the fee when construction is complete in 2009.

In addition to state and University funds, Portland State University and the Portland Development Commission (PDC) are finalizing an agreement for the PDC to participate in the project through a $2 million contribution and land conveyance. Another $7 million in Article XI-F(1) bonds will be repaid with revenues received from retail leases in the new facility. The Oregon University System Chancellor’s Office will provide $6 million.

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For Immediate Release (#06-138)

Lindsay Desrochers (503-725-4444)
Vice President, Finance and Administration