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With a ceremonial turn of soil, IKEA, the world’s leading home furnishings retailer, broke ground July 25 on its future store in the Portland/Vancouver region. The celebration marked a significant step in attracting additional development to Cascade Station, as IKEA’s presence is expected to serve as a strong lure.

Opening in summer 2007, the 280,000-square-foot IKEA Portland is under construction on nearly 19 acres at the southwestern corner of Interstate 205 and northeast Airport Way. The site is located at the eastern end of Cascade Station, a 120-acre mixed-use development of office, hotel and retail space in a pedestrian-friendly environment. Cascade Station is located at the eastern edge of Portland International Airport (PDX) within Portland International Center (PIC), the state’s largest, mixed-use, master-planned business park, offering class “A” office space, flex-space, warehousing and manufacturing spaces.

“We are thrilled to enter the greater Portland/Vancouver area with a second home in the Pacific Northwest,” said Pat Merwin, IKEA real estate manager. “We look forward to welcoming more than 350 coworkers into the IKEA family when the new store opens.”

“IKEA represents a unique and exciting retail opportunity for this market and will be a great anchor for the balance of the development,” said Bill Wyatt, Port of Portland executive director. “It’s gratifying to see that significant efforts over the last few years are resulting in a successful development at Cascade Station.”

Seventy-five bicycle racks and TriMet’s Airport MAX light-rail trains

will provide convenient access for coworkers, as well as customers, who can leave their cars at home and use the home delivery service IKEA offers.

IKEA Portland will present 50 different room settings, three c o m p l e t e h o m e s , a s u p e r v i s e d c h i l d r e n play area, and a 250-seat restaurant serving Swedish specialties such as meatballs with lingonberries or salmon plates, as well as American dishes. Family-friendly features include a children’s IKEA area in the showroom, baby care rooms, preferred parking and play areas throughout the store. There currently are more than 235 IKEA stores in 34 countries, including 28 in the United States. s

Airport MAX to Cascade Station The Port of Portland, which owns and operates PDX, was part of a public/ private partnership that extended the region’s award-winning MAX light rail system to the airport as part of Cascade Station’s development.

In 1998, the partnership formed between the Port, TriMet, the Portland Development Commission (PDC), the City of Portland and the Bechtel Corporation. Bechtel agreed to help finance the Airport MAX light-rail line and received rights to develop Cascade Station, located on the light rail alignment through PIC. In a joint venture with the Trammell Crow Company, Bechtel formed Cascade

Portland International Airport

Left to right: Mark Johnson, Honorary Consul of Sweden; Steve Wells, Trammell Crow Company; Pat Merwin, IKEA; Fred Hansen, TriMet; Lydia Gartrell, IKEA; Tom Potter, Portland Mayor; Jay Waldron, Port of Portland; Bruce Warner, Portland Development Commission; Joseph Roth, IKEA; and Bertha Ferran, Portland Development Commission.


Portland International Center





MAX Light Rail


Interstate 205




Portland Development Commission office, hotel


The Village at Cascade Station


Trammel Crow Company office, hotel


Costco Home

Station Development Company (CSDC) to develop the innovative urban, commercial mixed-use site.

Cascade Station was an important consideration when the City of Portland made the decision to invest urban renewal funding into Airport MAX. As part of the negotiations, the Port granted the PDC development rights to Cascade Station in exchange for the PDC’s financial commitment to the construction of Airport MAX. To pursue the goals set out in the Airport Way Urban Renewal Plan, the PDC then assigned the development rights to CSDC, which contributed $28.2 million to the construction of Airport MAX in exchange for a long-term leasehold for the development. Airport MAX opened Sept. 10, 2001, to the pleasure of airport travelers and workers alike, and served nearly 1 million riders last year alone.

In July, the Trammell Crow Company closed on the purchase of CSDC from Bechtel Enterprises. CSDC was responsible for planning and building the Airport MAX line infrastructure as well as developing Cascade Station. The closing of the purchase of CSDC caps years of efforts by Bechtel Enterprises, the Trammell Crow Company, CenterCal Properties and multiple government agencies to obtain the approvals necessary to allow

large retailers to anchor the project; something that wasn’t allowed by city code in the original plan district.

“As part of the original development team, we were very successful in bringing light rail to the airport,” said Eric Parker of Bechtel Enterprises. “And we stayed committed to the development by working with Trammell Crow and many members of the Portland community in a focused effort over the last several years to make Cascade Station possible by incorporating new concepts that really energized the project. These achievements will provide Portland with significant economic and transportation benefits going forward and will help realize the community’s vision of a vibrant commercial and retail center.”

“We are grateful for the efforts of the Port, the City, the PDC and TriMet in support of the changes required to make this public/private partnership a success,” said Steve Wells, principal at the Trammell Crow Company.

In addition to IKEA, Trammel Crow has completed transactions

with Costco Home, which will soon commence construction on its first Oregon store. Costco Home plans to build a 120,000-square-foot store in Cascade Station. The balance of the retail space at Cascade Station is named The Village at Cascade Station, and is a joint development between CenterCal Properties and the Trammell Crow Company. It consists of 365,000 square feet of retail space. Many retailers have committed to The Village, which is expected to be 80 percent pre-leased when construction commences. Costco Home and The Village at Cascade Station are expected to open in the summer of 2007.

“I am very excited to begin construction on this most significant project,” said Fred Bruning, president of CenterCal Properties. “Cascade Station will be one of Oregon’s most significant and exciting retail destinations with many tenants making their Oregon debut at our site. I believe that the quality of our tenant mix, architecture

and amenities will serve as an excellent catalyst for the development of first-class office, hotel and entertainment uses, and that the overall project will make Portland International Airport one of Oregon’s most exciting gateways.”

In addition to the retail portion, CSDC will offer office and hotel space under ground-lease and sub-leasing arrangements.

Green Light on Roadway Improvements

To help keep traffic flowing in this developing airport area, the Port Commission recently approved two traffic agreements surrounding the development of Cascade Station and PIC. The traffic improvements will also ensure adequate access to PDX for airport passengers and air cargo.

As part of one traffic agreement, the Port and the developer will improve 10 traffic intersections at or near Cascade Station and PIC. Most major improvements will take place before the end of 2009. Through the other traffic agreement, the Port and the developer will provide funding to begin development efforts for a large Oregon Department of Transportation project aimed at improving traffic access to northbound Interstate 205 at its interchange with Airport Way. The current plan is to have the interchange improvement completed and open to traffic in 2014.

by Karen Fisher

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