Lithia Motors doesn't just want Terminal 1 for its $10 million. It wants Portlandia.
The massive, Medford-based auto retailer is now one of seven entities [PDF] that have active bids to purchase the much-discussed Terminal 1 from the City of Portland, after a local developer's push to bring a homeless shelter to the Northwest Portland site fell through in October.
Those proposals—unlike an earlier round of bids that was scuttled amid the shelter discussion—contemplate a similar price for the 14.5 acre industrial property just north of the Pearl District. All the offers are between $10 million and $10.5 million. The city's Bureau of Environmental Services (BES), which owns Terminal 1, has estimated it could get between $8 million and $12 million for the site, considered a rare piece of central industrial land in a hot real estate market.
But Lithia, in its proposal to "consolidate its scattered [Portland] operations under one roof" at the site, is pushing for just a little extra—as in, the city's flagship statue.
"The offering parties would like to propose that the iconic Portlandia Statue be moved to the Terminal 1 site, welcoming seafarers and the world to our beautiful City," the proposal reads. "As the second largest hammed [sic] copper sculpture in the United States and the symbol of the City, Portlandia could finally find a place to project both her place and the confidence of the community."
Portlandia's current perch, leering at passers by from the Portland Building, has long been seen as not ideal, since it's pretty easy to pass her by without noticing.
Lithia's the only entity that tried to get a city icon thrown in with its offer, but there are some other noteworthy proposals.
Three of the bids are repeats:
•Portland-based project^ is offering $10.05 million for the land, nearly $2 million more than it contemplated during the first round of offers. The development company still wants to construct a new Portland outpost for "retail fixture company" EYELEVEL.
City officials have made clear they're trying to get as much money as possible for the land, but it's worth noting that project^ likely has some goodwill with the city at this point. When the homeless shelter proposal on the land fell through, company founder Tom Cody—who'd been eyeing T1—offered up a downtown space for a temporary winter shelter that could take its place.
•Winkler Development, also of Portland, is bidding $10.35 million for Terminal 1. But unlike its first proposal for the land, which involved building affordable housing, Winkler now says it wants to make the land "an industrial family wage jobs center."
"It is clear the consensus needed for a suitable conditional rezoning to permit affordable housing on the site will not be obtained in the near term," the company's offer says.
•Also repeating it's offer: Dallas-based Lincoln Property Company, which still isn't giving specifics on what it would do with the land, if its $10 million bid is accepted.
The three other interested buyers are:
•Seattle-based InterUrban Development, which is putting up $10 million for the land, without offering specifics.
•San Francisco-based Prologis, which bills itself as the "largest owner, operator and developer of industrial facilities in the world," and boasts a client list of some of the country's biggest corporation. Prologis is offering up $10 million, and presenting two ideas for Terminal 1. Either the site would feature four warehouses, or a single "one-of-a-kind multistory industrial building" at the site. Those ideas are pictured below.
•Tandem Development Corp, based in the Chicago area, is offering the largest sum for Terminal 1: $10.5 million. It's also not specifying what it would do with the land.
BES spokesperson Cheryl Kuck says BES hopes to make "substantial progress" in selecting a bidder by the end of the year.
"We will exercise due diligence in analyzing and evaluating the offers and complete the selection process as soon as possible," Kuck says. "Our aim will be to select the proposal that best meets the city’s long-term planning goals for the property and provides the best return for our ratepayers."
Kuck notes that one other entity submitted a proposal, but has since retracted it, meaning the city received eight proposals in total during a roughly two-week window that closed November 18.