PDC rejects a fifth proposal that included a nontribal casino

The lengthy process of picking the developer who will build a headquarters hotel at the Oregon Convention Center began this week with an evaluation committee starting to review four development proposals.

The Portland Development Commission rejected a fifth bid, from Sustainable Equities LLC, because the Portland group did not go through the PDC's earlier process to pre-qualify developers. That proposal would have included a three-story, 75,000-square-foot, nontribal casino and an 800-room hotel. The casino would have financed construction, and Sustainable Equities principal Ben Stutz said he continues to think that point made theirs the best idea presented.

On Wednesday, the development commission will review and vote on both the process of evaluating the developers' proposals as well as public participation in the planning. The evaluation committee will meet at least four times between now and April to discuss the proposals, interview the development teams and consider public comment.

The board is slated to select a developer for the hotel at its June 22 meeting.

Proposals include:

• Ashforth Pacific, Portland, and Garfield-Traub Development, Dallas; team members include Starwood Hotels/Westin as hotel operator; architects Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and RKTL International Ltd.; Turner Construction Co.; and Piper Jaffray & Co. as underwriter. Proposal is for a 23-story, 600-room hotel that would be expanded by another 200 rooms. The hotel would open by December 2008.

• FaulknerUSA, Austin, Texas; team members include Hyatt Corp. as hotel operator; architects Gensler Architects and Fletcher Farr Ayotte; Howard S. Wright Construction Co.; and Citigroup as the investment banker. Proposal is for a 25-story, 800-room hotel that would open in December 2008.

• Hines Interests LP and Wright Hotels GAHA LLC, both of Seattle; team members include Marriott International as hotel operator; Lease Crutcher Lewis, contractor; architects Callison Architecture; and Seattle-Northwest Securities as underwriter. Proposal is for a 23-floor, 800-room hotel, built in three phases, starting with 500 rooms and opening in February 2008.

• Jones Lang LaSalle, Los Angeles; team members include Crestline Hotels & Resorts as hotel operator; Mortenson as contractor; Conventional Wisdom as convention hotel consultant; Capstone/BPM Development LLC, local development affiliate; and architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Proposal includes a 20-floor hotel with 600 rooms in first phase, expanding to 800 to 1,000 rooms in a second phase that would boost the hotel's height to 28 floors. Scheduled opening is November 2008.

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