New Portland Luxury Tower Block 216 Moves toward Completion

Based in Portland, Oregon, Barclay Grayson serves as the BPM Real Estate Group’s senior vice president and head of acquisitions and development. A focus for the Company is the downtown Portland development of the 35-story tower Block 216, which encompasses a Ritz Carlton Hotel, Ritz Carlton Residences, offices and retail space.

With the pandemic a backdrop, the high-profile project, revealed in 2019, has not experienced any wavering of support. The need for a local five-star hotel is still an issue in a dynamic market that is expected to recover and expand. The Ritz Carlton Hotel Portland will be Portland’s and the State of Oregon’s first five-star hotel.

As reported by the Portland Business Journal, BPM has found substantial funds toward the Block 216 project through the sale of its Broadway Tower condominium interest for approximately $133 million in 2020. As the head of BPM described it, it made strategic sense to take equity from that property and place it in new project with significant upside potential.

Ritz-Carlton Luxury Hotel Project Moves Forward in Portland

A resident of Portland, Oregon, Barclay Grayson guides BPM Real Estate Group and oversees a range of real estate endeavors across the western United States. Barclay Grayson has been integrally involved in developing the upcoming Block 216 tower in Portland as the head of acquisition and development.

Block 216’s plans feature a Ritz-Carlton hotel, making it the brand’s first location in Portland. The Ritz-Carlton will occupy 11 floors of the $600 million high-rise, which is under construction on the corner of Southwest 10th Avenue and Southwest Alder Street. In addition to Marriott International-owned Ritz-Carlton guest rooms, the complex will contain high-end condos and offices with extensive downtown views.

Despite market softness due to the COVID-19 pandemic, luxury hotel executives are standing firmly behind the project and feel confident in the long-term viability of Portland as a premier travel destination. BPM Real Estate Group originally announced the endeavor in 2019, prior to the pandemic. Development progress is on track to achieve an expected opening in March 2023.

West-division leadership at CBRE’s hotel valuation practice also expressed optimism and noted that having a few years until completion is an asset because the market will have time to recover substantially. In addition, there is a market niche to fill because there is currently no five-star property in Portland.

Advantages of LEED Certification for Investors

Since 2003, Barclay Grayson has served as senior vice president of Portland, Oregon-based BPM Real Estate Group. Under Barclay Grayson’s leadership, BPM has completed projects in Portland that hold the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) designation.

Using LEED, the leading green building rating system in the world, developers have a documented, current understanding of green building principles and practices. From planning and design through every aspect of construction, green or sustainable building utilizes environmentally responsible and resource-efficient processes that reduce negative impacts on human health and the environment.

LEED-certified buildings are attractive to tenants, commanding high market rental rates and achieving lease-up rates of up to 20 percent above average. Additionally, vacancy rates for green buildings are approximately 4 percent lower than non-green properties.

From an investor standpoint, LEED provides an internationally recognized framework that includes built-in management practices that can increase asset value and reduce operating costs, in addition to protecting the health and well-being of occupants.

Opportunity Zones as a Way of Jumpstarting the US Economy

Based in Portland, Oregon, Barclay Grayson guides the BPM Real Estate Group and has oversight of the company’s acquisitions and divestitures, as well as property development financing. A regular attendee at the Opportunity Zone Expo, Portland executive Barclay Grayson has an in-depth understanding of how the federally mandated Qualified Opportunity Zone (OZ) program operates.

A recent opinion piece in Global Trade drew attention to the potential of OZ programs in turbocharging the US economy after pandemic-related lockdowns subside. Created by Congress in 2017, the OZ program provides an incentive for investments in underserved communities. With 8,000 opportunity zones existing nationwide, among the qualification thresholds are median family income and poverty rate.

Tax-advantaged investments toward developments and improvements within such communities both provide an economic lifeline to those in most need of gainful employment and social amenities. Those who rise to better salaries tend to invigorate the regional economy through local spending. Given the need for extensive rebuilding, it is a critical time to harness the power of opportunity zones in ways that substantially improve lives in the community.

Recognizing this potential, a recent Executive Order mandated federal agencies to start identifying ways of translating the OZ concept to new industries, through the creation of aquaculture opportunity zones.

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