Mack Urban Plans New Development in Portland

Mack Urban has purchased 1.67 acres of prime waterfront property in Portland’s South Waterfront District, and plans to develop a six-story mid-rise multifamily structure featuring up to 281 apartments.

Jeffrey Steele, Contributing Writer

Mack Urban has purchased 1.67 acres of prime waterfront property in Portland’s South Waterfront District, and plans to develop a six-story mid-rise multifamily structure featuring up to 281 apartments and 250 parking spaces.

The move marks the inaugural foray into the Portland real estate market for Mack Urban, a partnership between New York’s Mack Real Estate Group and Los Angeles-based Urban Partners LLC.  Mack Urban teamed up with Connell Real Estate and Development Company to purchase the parcel for $7.1 million.

“Portland represents the type of gateway cities that we are bullish on when investing in long-term hold assets,” Jim Atkins, Pacific Northwest managing director for Mack Urban, tells MHN.  “It has steady job growth, an enviable public transportation system, art, culture and recreation at your doorstep.

Richard Mack, Mack Real Estate Group CEO, says myriad factors drew his company to Portland’s South Waterfront.  Among them is the metro’s high barrier to entry and employment base, as well as a quality of life that attracts a young, talented demographic.

He cited the adjacent Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and its soon-to-open $295 million Collaborative Life Sciences Building as noteworthy.

“You have leading scientists and doctors in the field of medical health that are a doorstep away from us,” he adds.  “And we think that’s going to contribute to the vitality of the entire Portland market, and provide jobs for people who are excited about enacting change in the world.  What a great place to be a developer.  That is one of the reasons we like Portland and the timing is right.”

The main campus of Portland State University is less than a mile away from the development site, known as Block 37.  The site is also near Oregon State University and a few blocks from the Portland Aerial Tram, which takes passengers between the South Waterfront and OHSU.

Leading the early design project team will be GBD Architects, the lead architectural firm, and Lango Hansen, the landscape architecture firm.

“We have a blank slate to create something that adds to the vitality of the South Waterfront and downtown Portland,” says Matthew Burton, Mack Urban’s president and chief investment officer. “Portland is a happening city with distinct neighborhoods and a vibrant downtown that is placemaking at its best.  The investment in light rail, the aerial tram, downtown parks, riverbank trails, master planning for the Pearl District and South Waterfront all come together to make this city very desirable. Mack Urban will be looking at other investment opportunities to be part of this dynamic urban fabric.  As a long-term hold investment, development and management company, we want to do more in Portland.”

The sale of the parcel was handled by capital markets experts with Jones Lang LaSalle.

“The site is close to amenities, mass transit, a new park along the waterfront and OHSU,” says JLL managing director David Young. “There was a lot of interest in the parcel, and we are excited to have successfully completed the sale to Mack Urban and Connell Real Estate and Development Company.”

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