The Brewery Blocks – 2014 Global Awards for Excellence Winner

Credit: Bruce Forster Photography

Credit: Bruce Forster Photography

About The Brewery Blocks

Location: Portland, Oregon
Developer: Gerding Edlen
Designer: GBD Architects Incorporated
Size: 6.04 acres

The Brewery Blocks, in Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District, comprise a thriving and sustainable mixed-use urban community. The development includes seven buildings on five contiguous city blocks; and contains retail, office, residential, cultural and performing arts spaces—totaling over 1.7 million square feet. The blocks have become an urban destination, enlivened with vibrant streetscapes and connected to the rest of the city by a smart transportation system.

The project was built on principles of placemaking, sustainability, preservation and financial viability. The developers undertook an innovative mixed-use approach, using public-private partnerships and a focus on preserving historical integrity. Evidence for the success of the Brewery Blocks is found in the positive financial returns for investors; and in the dividends that continue to be paid to the community in the form of a walkable, livable and sustainable neighborhood.

Before the Brewery Blocks, the site housed the Blitz-Weinhard Brewery, set in an area virtually devoid of businesses, housing and pedestrians. This deteriorating warehouse district was transformed into a revitalized neighborhood—preserving iconic structures and turning the historic Portland Armory into the Gerding Theater. The Brewery Blocks redevelopment exemplifies the notion of building for sustainability and historical preservation to guarantee long-term financial success.

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