SERA was part of a three-firm team that developed six different redevelopment concepts for the Blanchard Education Service Center (BESC) and its adjacent parcels and streets. The study was initiated to explore potential redevelopment concepts for the BESC site and adjacent blocks with the goal of informing the N/NE Quadrant Plan process and helping Portland Public Schools, the City, stakeholders, and elected officials make decisions about the desired future for the site. This preliminary study was intended to develop a broad range of ideas, redevelopment concepts, and potential outcomes for this ~30-acre district.
SERA was responsible for exploring two redevelopment scenarios: Employment Incubator and Entertainment. The Employment Incubator concept recognizes that employment zones play an important role in the regional economy and are critical for business development and growth. This concept also recognizes that many businesses – particularly small or production-oriented ones — do not need or cannot afford conventional Class A or even Class B office space, and instead desire flexible spaces where production and office functions can be commingled. The Employment/Office Concept illustrates a compact employment district designed to support a variety of business sizes and types, share resources (such as parking, conferencing space, utilities, and technology), and enable individual businesses to grow or change without in place.
The Entertainment concept seeks to respond to and augment the ambitious redevelopment plans for the adjacent Rose Quarter Entertainment District. Rose Quarter attractions are regionally focused and rely on bringing nationally-known entertainment and attractions to the area. The Entertainment Concept for the Blanchard site envisions a smaller-scale district that hosts a variety of local entertainment venues and attractions that appeal to the unique Portland demographic.