If a proposed ballpark moves forward, the Portland Diamond Project would enter into a 55-year lease for the Port of Portland’s Terminal 2, according to a letter of intent.
In late November, the Portland Diamond Project–a group seeking to bring an MLB team to the Oregon city–announced plans for a new ballpark at the Port’s 45-acre Terminal 2 property. The ballpark would anchor a larger mixed-use development concept, with the surrounding amenities including housing, retail, office space and more.
More information about the proposal has emerged, as letter of intent (LOI) between the group and Port of Portland spells out some of the key terms. Should the project move forward, the LOI calls for the Portland Diamond Project to enter into a 55-year lease for the site–with three 10-year options potentially extending the agreement–while paying the Port of Portland annual rent based on market rates. The LOI was signed by both parties in late November, triggering a six-month due diligence period that will factor into a longer process. More from The Oregonian/OregonLive:
Both sides have carried out due diligence since then. They have up to six months to inspect the property and complete any other feasibility analysis they feel is necessary, the letter said.
During this period, the Diamond Project is required to inform the Port of plans related to the proposed venture, including the group’s ownership structure and other financial information that explains how it will be able to execute the deal. They’ll move to exclusive negotiations afterward, during which the project plans to pay $375,000 during the first quarter, $125,000 for the next three quarters after that and $187,500 each quarter over the next year, if necessary.
They would then enter a master development agreement, which the Port can terminate if the Diamond Project doesn’t sign a ground lease for the site by Dec. 31, 2023. Either party can also still opt out of the deal with advanced notice, the letter said.
The group would pay the Port at least $900,000 a year as the site is developed, according to the letter of intent. The fee could be raised or decreased by 3 percent a year.
There are still some questions surrounding the funding model for the project, and Portland’s path to an MLB team remains uncertain. Of the two teams that have recently sought new ballparks, the Oakland A’s are working on a plan at Oakland’s Howard Terminal, while the Tampa Bay Rays are locked into a lease at Tropicana Field that runs through 2027 now that they have scrapped their ballpark proposal in Tampa’s Ybor City. (Even if the lease were not an issue, the Rays have not indicated a desire to move and relocating to Portland would trigger drastic realignment.) Those factors could leave expansion as Portland’s best option, but MLB has not announced plans to jump to 32 teams.
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