For 12 years, the Blanchet House of Hospitality has been pushing to remodel and expand their current Old Town Chinatown shelter. They've hit walls in expansion (remember the much debated Dirty Duck demolishing?), building permits, and funding over the years. Now, the project has secured constructing funding to finally push through with their much-awaited plan. The U.S. Bank, along with the Portland Housing Bureau, announced today that it will finance the construction of the Blanchet House's new $13 million facility.
The SERA Architects-design LEED Gold four-story 36,410 square building is expected to open in fall of 2012, over a decade since it's initial idea was thrown into the pot. According to the U.S. Bank's press release, the first floor will include office space, a new kitchen, dining area, a library, and rooms for health and social services with housing on the three upper floors. Sounds pretty cush.
Commissioner Nick Fish showed his appreciated at today's kick-off ceremony at the future NW Third and Gilsan location:
"When complete, the new building will double Blanchet's ability to serve meals and provide housing for people who are working to improve their lives. Our investment in the Blanchet House gives us a triple dividend: the project is expected to create 150 construction jobs and nearly 50 new permanent jobs, it will develop a new urban-form building in Old Town Chinatown, and increase the city's capacity to serve the most vulnerable."
U.S. Bank provided $3.7 million in commercial loans more than $3.6 million of tax credit equity towards the construction. The Portland Housing Bureau funded another $4 million in grants. The U.S. Bank also added that it will donate $25,000 for the new building's rain water collection system.
Hooray, Blanchet House! Hopefully you open next year, I'm not sure how much longer these folks can wait.