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First look: Touring Portland's Ritz-Carlton tower

Block 216 isn't finished, but it's complete enough to show off parts of it. That's what project officials did Wednesday afternoon when they let reporters visit.
Credit: Cathy Cheney/Portland Business Journal

PORTLAND, Ore. — From a few blocks away on Wednesday morning, you could still see construction workers on the skeletal upper floors of Portland's Ritz-Carlton tower. A crane, reaching higher than the building, swung over downtown Portland, then lowered its load. 

Block 216 isn't finished, but it's complete enough to show off parts of it. That's what project officials did Wednesday afternoon when they let reporters roam the 31st floor. 

The approximately $600 million tower is slated for substantial completion in March 2023 up through the 20th floor, and the following July for the 21st through 35th floors, according to project officials.

Plans call for 132 condos on the building's top 11 floors. Property listings from Keller Williams Realty Professionals, which went live recently, show residences inside the tower ranging in price from approximately $1.7 million to $7.3 million. Sarita Dua is the listing agent on those residences.

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In terms of the target clients for those homes, Brian Owendoff, owner's representative for the tower, said, "The initial interest has been folks that are already in Portland that are empty nesters. They don't need their house anymore up in the West Hills or in Laurelhurst or somewhere else. 

"We are seeing interest from folks that have made businesses in other cities that are spending more time in Portland," he said, "and they want to be here. They like the lifestyle of Portland and the quality of life that we have here, and then some of it will eventually be some of the major league basketball players, soccer players, and eventually if we get Major League Baseball here, which I'm very hopeful we're going to have happen."

On the second floor, where a massive ballroom will be, a few hundred construction workers gathered at tables and listened to project leaders, including BPM Real Estate CEO Walter Bowen, as they celebrated a construction event known as a topping off. During his remarks from behind a podium, Bowen harkened to the past and painted a picture of the challenges the project has endured the project broke ground.

"Little did we know back in 2019 that we were in a hornets nest, 18 months away from pandemic, Covid-19, civil unrest, homelessness and one of the largest supply chain challenges in our country's history since World War II," he said. "Despite these challenges, all of those here persevered in the work, and they're here today to celebrate."

The building's retail component is fully leased with a food hall and a jeweler. The estimated 165,000 square feet of office space have yet to net any tenants. Owendoff said there has been interest from firms in the law, IT and financial services arenas.

See photos of the construction at the Portland Business Journal.

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