Owners of Portland’s Lloyd Center sent development plans to the city Thursday to turn the once-thriving mall into a mixed-use neighborhood with retail shops, office spaces, housing and restaurants.
Seattle-based Urban Renaissance Group and New York-based KKR Real Estate Finance Trust own the 29.3-acre site in Northeast Portland. The mall opened in the summer of 1960, and while it’s gone through multiple iterations, it’s always boasted an iconic ice skating rink.
Across the country, developers have been mulling what to do with malls that were bustling in previous decades, but are now experiencing increasingly empty storefronts and fewer shoppers. Major stores were already leaving the Lloyd Center when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and the last remaining department store, Macy’s, closed in January 2021. The mall was in foreclosure when KKR Real Estate and Urban Renaissance Group took over.
The new plan includes opening up the now-inward-facing mall and instead connecting it to the city’s street grid.
“The conceptual master plan is the result of extensive market research, design study and community input over two years,” the Urban Renaissance Group said in a statement announcing the plan. “It has been submitted in an application for a Design Advice Request meeting with the City of Portland’s Design Commission through the Bureau of Development Services, and will be followed by formal Central City Master Plan land use application.”
The plan includes outdoor space and opportunities for commercial office space, and would maintain the well-known ice skating rink. The Urban Renaissance Group said the plans could still be amended to include a stadium able to accommodate a Major League Baseball team if a concrete proposal to bring a team to Portland arises.
KKR Real Estate and Urban Renaissance Group are partnering with multiple firms for the next phase of the Lloyd Center’s development, including Portland architecture firm ZGF. The Urban Renaissance Group said in a statement the Lloyd Center will stay open for business throughout the redevelopment phase.