Hillsdale Town Center & Urban Design Alternatives

The Hillsdale Town Center, a mixed-use neighborhood center of approximately 100 acres, contains a mixture of residential densities, stable single-family neighborhoods, a large public school property, a newly-built branch library, and a long-standing commercial strip along SW Capitol Highway which bisects the study area (carrying nearly 30,000 vehicles per day). However, more than ten years following a Town Center Plan, the area remains incomplete. Despite a range of urban design studies and recent physical improvements, Hillsdale still does not have a clearly articulated town center, and the physical appearance of the district’s commercial buildings were of particular concern to the community. Through a series of public workshops, community outreach, property owner commitments, and a development opportunity study, the Phased Development Strategy expands upon previous planning efforts, describes a series of actions to improve the function and appearance of the district, and demonstrates how Hillsdale can become a model town center for the region.

SERA worked with the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association, local property owners and stakeholders, the City of Portland, and a real estate economist to develop urban design alternatives and a phased development strategy to implement the community’s vision for the district. The Phased Development Strategy includes a redevelopment framework plan that illustrates site-specific locations for public space and circulation improvements, locations for (re)development, an implementation plan to help guide the phasing and potential partnerships needed for specific projects, and a development opportunity study for an identified redevelopment site. This development opportunity study, incorporated into the project at the request of the property owner and the neighborhood association, examined the feasibility of a mixed-use development and included conceptual architectural sketches and a redevelopment proforma.