In 2018, William/Kaven Architecture and its partner development firm Kaven + Co. proposed a master development plan for Portland’s Broadway Corridor in response to an RFQ released by the City of Portland’s urban renewal agency, Prosper Portland.The conceptual plan, which would provide approximately 5 million square feet of new development, consists of multiple high-rise buildings with a mix of uses that includes retail, office, hospitality and residential. The bold concept would reconnect Union Station to the Pearl District by removing the Broadway ramp and subsequently create a pedestrian-centric district organized around an extension of the North Park Blocks. Further, Kaven + Co.’s vision integrates the potential for a marquee transportation hub for high-speed rail and underground mass public transit innovations adjacent to Amtrak’s Union Station.
The two tallest central towers, one of which would exceed 970 vertical feet, would be interlinked by a glass-enclosed botanical bridge spanning 236 feet across the North Park Blocks some 680 feet in the air, providing dramatic aerial views of the entire city. Additional buildings situated along the park would deliver a diversity of mixed building typologies, ranging from affordable to market-rate residential with ground-floor retail and office. Other elements of the plan include four residential towers, an indoor market fronting the north end of the park blocks, a museum and a block-long reflecting pool. A glass-covered park with play structures and food carts that could be enjoyed in all seasons would occupy the block between Union Station and the new district.
Kaven + Co.’s proposal to the City of Portland outlined a development model in which Kaven + Co. would serve as Master Developer, working through the master planning phase to maximize the sale of the land by parceling it into program-specific development zones. Following the approval of a master plan for the district, the firm would oversee a process in which there would be global outreach for additional design and development teams via a series of RFPs. Speaking on the proposal, Kaven states; “It is our firm belief that development at this scale works best when executed by multiple hands. Successful cities are the sum total of a diversity of design and building typologies. It is our desire to help lead the grand vision of the district in tandem with the City and its stakeholders, but ultimately share the the load of the design and development. The combined experience and financial resources afforded by this multi-team approach will maximize proceeds to the taxpayers and foster a democratic vision and process. What we have put forth as a design concept is just the beginning.”