Portland, OR, development would feature city's tallest skyscraper
- A local Portland, OR, architecture firm has proposed a pair of skyscrapers for the city's Pearl District, one of which would be the tallest building in Portland and one of the tallest buildings on the West Coast, according to Dezeen.
- William Kaven Architecture said it wants to build the 5-million-square-foot project, which includes mixed-use buildings and a new post office, in addition to the two walkway-linked towers, on the site of the existing U.S. postal office headquarters. Kaven's design would incorporate the new complex — already in close proximity to existing mass transit options — with a proposed high-speed rail line.
- Kaven anticipates being able to submit a firm proposal to the city early next year and has also offered up the development as a second-headquarters option for internet retailing giant Amazon.
Amazon received 238 proposals for its HQ2 project last month, and one of the criteria is that it be near mass transit routes. This means that the proposed Vancouver-to-Portland high-speed train project could add weight to the Portland's bid. However, the rail line is still in the earliest stages of development.
CH2M Hill is conducting a $350,000 feasibility study — funded by the state of Washington and private industry — that will look at the rail's potential environmental impact, possible station sites, integration with existing infrastructure, demand, financing options and the overall chance of success. A Washington transportation official told CBC News back in February that acquiring the necessary land for such a project would be one of the biggest challenges.
The price tag of the bullet train is estimated at $30 billion, and, according to Engineering News-Record, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has been discussing with Canadian officials the possibility that the country's new infrastructure bank could help pay for it. Last year, the Canadian government said it would kick off the bank with a $35 billion investment, and, in November of last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau implored the private sector to invest billions in his program of green infrastructure and transit projects.
Soon after the 2016 presidential election, Steven Mnuchin, now Treasury Secretary, said the new administration would consider establishing an infrastructure bank, even though President Trump's campaign staff had criticized a similar suggestion from Hillary Clinton. According to Mnuchin, the bank was just one of the ideas being floated as a way to finance the president's $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The White House has been busy tackling other issues like tax and healthcare reform since the inauguration, but earlier this month, a GOP source told The Hill that the administration and some members of Congress finally have started drafting an infrastructure bill.
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