By Jon Bell, Portland Business Journal
Barry Schlesinger summed up the Oregon Convention Center Hotel project simply and succinctly at a ground-breaking ceremony this morning.
“Today’s been a long time coming,” he said.
Schlesinger, a partner and owner of the real estate-focused Schlesinger Companies, was referencing not only the nearly 30 years that it’s taken to make a convention center hotel a reality, but also to his family’s 11-year involvement in the project. His firm owns the land where the hotel will be built and is selling it to Mortenson, the construction and development company that will build the hotel.
“It took all of us working together to carry this project through the toughest real estate market I have ever seen,” Schlesinger said.
Schlesinger was one of the leaders and officials who took the stage at the groundbreaking ceremony this morning at the site, which sits just north of the Oregon Convention Center. Joining him were Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Tom Hughes of Metro, Dan Mehls of Mortenson, Karis Stoudamire-Phillips of the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission, Tom Lander of Mortenson and Kimo Bertram of Hyatt.
Each thanked long lists of people who have worked for years to bring the Oregon Convention Center Hotel to fruition. The idea for one has percolated since the Convention Center itself was built in 1989, but finances, politics and even some legal challenges kept the project from advancing.
But everything started to finally line up over the past year or two, and now, the 600-room, $240 million Hyatt Regency Portland at the Oregon Convention Center is on its way.
“We’re standing on the shoulders of many, many people and organizations … whose leadership and persistence and dedication brought us to this important moment, ” Wheeler said.
Though today’s groundbreaking was largely ceremonial, building permits have been issued and work is expected to get underway in earnest in the coming weeks.
The project is expected to create more than 2,000 construction jobs and an additional 950 hotel and hospitality jobs.
According to an analysis posted on Metro’s website, the new hotel is expected to attract between five and 10 new mid-sized conventions each year. It could also boost annual hotel business by 70,000 to 110,000 new room nights, kick up convention-related tourism spending to $600 million a year and generate more than $10.3 million in new state and local tax revenues.
Funding for the hotel will include $60 million in bonds backed by lodging tax revenue, $4 million from Metro, $10 million from lottery funds and $165 million from Hyatt and Mortenson.
It is expected to be complete by the end of 2019.
Food & Wine recently named one of Portland’s new restaurants to it’s list of 2017 restaurants of the year. To find out what hotspot made the list, click here.
NW Portland’s Yo! Vintage is more than what it seems – with a bright interior, chic vintage finds and sustainable children’s clothes, this shop is more than your average “vintage” store.
We are about half way through the month of March, which is Portland’s Dining Month.
What restaurants have you been to already?
Where to next?
More than 120 restaurants are game for this year’s Portland Dining Month: a three-course, $29 meal, offering bargains at some of the priciest steakhouses and modernist stages in town. The best Dining Month deals do more than just cobble together existing, low-priced dishes, shrink the portions, or tack a cookie onto the end to qualify as “multi-course.” Instead, they get creative—using lesser-known cuts and fresh techniques. Beet salads and vanilla panna cotta? Not so much. Beef tongue Spam musubi with cucumber and Chinese hot mustard? Yes, please. Check out our best bets for the month of March.
First course: Pulpo (Spanish octopus) carpaccio, olive, pistachio, sun-dried tomatoes, pimiento and parmesan
Second course: Chorizo-dog with Spanish Chistorra chorizo, smoked honey mustard
Third course: Vegetable rossejat with toasted noodles, mushrooms and seasonal vegetables in a Romesco sauce
To view the rest of Portland Monthly’s picks click here.
By Kelly Clarke 1/23/2017 at 4:34pm Published in the February 2017 issue of Portland Monthly
The Heathman Hotel’s Lobby Tea Court Lounge, with its wood paneling and crystal chandeliers, was long a fusty-wonderful spot for British-leaning dainties and drinks. But when chef Vitaly Paley revamped the grand downtown hotel’s restaurant to launch Headwaters last fall, he also set about lending a distinctly Russian accent to its cobwebby weekend prix fixe tea service, plucking inspiration from his own Belarus childhood.
Nowadays, the once staid chamber is cheered with bright matryoshka-patterned tea towels and towering silver samovars. A squadron of mismatched antique teapots lines the Heathman’s grand staircase. With aplomb, servers pour steaming pots of eight fragrant teas, including the Georgian Caravan blend, a robust homage to classic Russian black teas from Portland’s cult Smith Teamaker. Next up: three-tiered stands groaning with pickled, cured, and baked Eastern treats, and a cavalcade of sweets, including Grandma Paley’s own dynamite sour cream–walnut cake. It all adds up to a rare special-occasion lunch that pleases all comers.
“When I think of English tea, I think of crustless cucumber sandwiches and ladies in bonnets,” muses Paley. “When I think of Russian tea, it’s for everyone.”
For more information:
Russian Tea Experience
Headwaters at the Heathman Hotel
Noon and 2:30 p.m. Saturdays; reservations only
1001 SW Broadway