PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Big changes could start coming to the Lloyd Center, and with it, a whole new concept of housing, retail and restaurants to replace the longtime mall.
There’s plenty of fond memories for many at the Lloyd Center like shopping at the mall and skating at the rink, and developers say they hope to keep those memories alive while also breathing fresh life into the massive site.
“We think that in the future this could be something completely different, a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood,” Tim Kilbane, Portland’s managing director of the Urban Renaissance Group, said. “It’s a long-term project. Just to get through the review process will probably take 12 months.”
The Urban Renaissance Group is behind the proposed redevelopment. Kilbane said it could be home to shops, restaurants, entertainment venues, and top-of-mind right now, much-needed housing.
“Both the mayor and the governor have very aggressive housing goals and we can potentially deliver thousands of new housing units,” Kilbane said.
Another goal for the 29-acre site is a better connection to Portland’s street grid and nearby transit, serving pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.
“We’d love to create a space where people in those neighborhoods would want to walk or bike,” Kilbane said. “It’s not very pedestrian friendly right now and we’re hoping we’ll change that.”
In recent years, the mall and surrounding area has taken a hit, but there are just as many efforts to bring Portlanders back to the historic space, like Secret Roller Disco. There have also been rumblings about bringing Major League Baseball to the Lloyd District. Kilbane says at the mall, there are still many local tenants who call the space home, along with boosted security on site.
“There are over a hundred tenants that are open in the mall now. The anchors are gone but we still have a lot of great, local tenants,” Kilbane said.
As the Lloyd Center’s future is reimagined, one time-honored tradition will be there to stay.
“What we have committed to is that there will be an ice rink in the future Lloyd Center,” Kilbane said. “It may not be in this particular spot but there will be an ice rink.”
The planning stage will likely last through the next year and the actual construction likely won’t be finished for years, so there’s still time to get down to the mall for some shopping. As for the cost of this project, there’s no set amount yet, but Kilbane says it’ll be over a billion dollars.