About the West Portland Town Center Plan

Purpose, background, timeline, and contact information for the West Portland Town Center Plan.

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Project purpose

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is working with a diverse group of partners and the broader SW community to create a West Portland Town Center Plan (WPTC). The plan will lay out a vision for a complete and inclusive community around “The Crossroads,” the intersection of Barbur Boulevard, I-5 and Capitol Highway. Together we are laying the groundwork for:

  • More housing choices for people of all ages, abilities and incomes.
  • Opportunities for more commercial space.
  • Easier and safer movement on foot, bicycle or transit.
  • More community places and gathering spaces.

This planning effort strives to be inclusive and equitable, prioritizing the needs of the area’s most vulnerable people and partnering with the community to create a long-range vision for this vital place in SW Portland.

The plan will help provide more housing choices for people of all ages, abilities and incomes. It will create broader access to jobs and economic opportunity and make it easier for people to get around on foot, bicycle or transit. It will also foster community places and gathering spaces. And it will do so in a way that is inclusive and equitable, prioritizing the needs of the area’s most vulnerable populations.The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is working with a diverse group of partners and the broader SW community to create a West Portland Town Center (WPTC) Plan.

Community events in Spring and Summer 2019 helped identify the social context, needs and opportunities in the area. At a Fall 2019 WPTC Design Workshop, community members discussed what they wanted to see in the town center (e.g., new housing, commercial services, transportation changes and open spaces) and where these elements could or should be located.

Read a short handout summarizing what we have heard so far from community members: 

West Portland Town Center Plan community goals

Strong communities and people

  1. Prevent residential and cultural displacement by providing low-income households and communities of color the choice to remain in place and build wealth.
  2. Create opportunities for community and cultural spaces to thrive.
  3. Promote opportunities for businesses, including minority- and women-owned small businesses, that reflect the diverse cultures of the area.
  4. Foster and support community engagement and outreach to under-represented groups. Increase their capacity for involvement in issues that affect them and provide access to educational, social, cultural and employment opportunities.
  5. Improve mental and physical health outcomes for people living and working in the area. Elevate the connection to nature in the redevelopment of the area.

Great places with equitable access

  1. Design public spaces that consider the physical and social infrastructure needed to support people and businesses, while integrating the topographic, natural and scenic attributes of this area.   
  2. Increase new and stable housing choices, tools and programs for all household types and incomes throughout the Town Center. Emphasize efficient use of the land closest to future station areas.
  3. Create a road map and/or strategy to fund and build a multi-modal and multi-ability circulation system across the town center area that is safe, comfortable, accessible and useful for meeting daily needs.
  4. Create defined main streets and commercial areas. Enhance conditions for more robust and varied commercial and business services.

Project background

"Town Centers" are large centers that serve a broad area of the city and have an important role in accommodating growth. They provide a full range of commercial and community services, high-density housing, mid-rise commercial and mid-rise mixed-use buildings (typically up to five to seven stories in height), are served by high-capacity transit connections, and have a substantial employment component. Town Centers provide housing opportunities for enough population to support a full-service business district.

The West Portland Town Center Plan (WPTC) is one of several efforts under the SW Corridor Inclusive Communities Project. It was funded by a Metro Construction Excise Tax (CET) grant in late 2018.

Along with the town center plan, an equitable community development action plan will help create a fuller range of commercial services and achieve some of the housing goals in the Southwest Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy (EHS).

In addition, the Public Involvement Plan will guide the process for planning for healthy, connected, and inclusive communities in the South Portland and West Portland Town Center future light rail station areas:

The intent is to ensure an open and equitable process to provide residents, workers and other interested parties meaningful opportunities to shape the quality of growth in their communities.

The West Portland Town Center Plan will carry forward key directions from the EHS as well as the 2035 Comprehensive Plan goals and policies of building inclusive, connected and healthy communities.

Project steps and timeline

A visual timeline showing the steps of the plan, ending in summer 2020

Project contact information

Ryan Curren, Project Manager

ryan.curren@portlandoregon.gov

503-823-4574 

Joan Frederiksen, West District Liaison

joan.frederiksen@portlandoregon.gov

503-823-3111