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Alternate Portland Ballpark Site in Play?

Proposed Portland Ballpark rendering

Portland Diamond Project could have an alternative site in mind for its proposed MLB ballpark, with a news report suggesting that the group is exploring the Lloyd Center property.

The Portland Diamond Project is leading the effort to bring MLB to the Oregon city, with a potential ballpark at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 2 at the center of its pitch. When the proposal was first unveiled last November, it was billed as a way to reinvent the roughly 45-acre riverfront site as an active area that would include the ballpark as the anchor of new development.

Portland Diamond Project continues to consider that site–it extended struck a six-month extension with the Port of Portland in May to further study the property–but a news report is suggesting that the group is seriously considering the shopping mall Lloyd Center. Located in Portland’s Lloyd District, the mall’s site is smaller than Terminal 2, but is still large enough that it could present opportunities for ancillary development. In addition, it offers a close proximity to the Rose District–where Moda Center, home of the NBA’s Portland Trailblazers, is located–and already features much of the infrastructure needed for the ballpark project. More from the Portland Tribune:

There is another site, however, the PDP folks are taking a serious look at — Lloyd Center.

The historic shopping center, located in Northeast Portland just a stone’s throw away from the Rose Quarter, was purchased for $148 million in 2013 by Cypress Equities Real Estate Investment Management of Dallas. Cypress Equities is in the latter stages of a $100 million redevelopment project.

But Lloyd Center, as with most malls throughout the country, is not doing well financially. And despite the remodel, the ownership group is open to a purchase of the property, which covers 1.5 million square feet of retail, restaurant and office space and boasts 17,000 parking spaces.

While Lloyd Center isn’t as romantic a location as Terminal 2 on the waterfront, it may be more practical. If my math is correct, the Lloyd Center site computes to about 34 1/2 acres — not as large as Terminal 2, which is close to 50 acres, but big enough for a 32,000-seat ballpark. PDP reps, covering all the bases, are still negotiating with owners at the adjacent Terminal 1, which combined with Terminal 2 would bolster the waterfront property to 88 acres.

The six-month extension to continue studying Terminal 2 is still in effect, and Portland Diamond Project has not any offered any public signals that it will change sites. That means for now that Terminal 2 should still be considered for now the leading option for a new ballpark site, though the report surrounding Lloyd Center points to a potential alternative that the group could pursue.

Rendering courtesy Portland Diamond Project.

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