Saturday, April 11, 2009

Condo/Office tower stops construction

From the Portland Business Journal:

One of the biggest anticipated additions to Portland’s skyline in a decade has been put on hold and will eventually be 10 floors shorter than planned.

After weeks of rumors, TMT Development confirmed Friday it's delaying construction of its planned 32-story Park Avenue West Tower at Southwest Park and Ninth Avenues downtown, a block west of Nordstrom. Work was scheduled to be completed in 2011.

Work will stop Monday.

TMT is also redesigning the tower, eliminating condominiums that were to take up 10 stories. The plan now calls for a 22-story tower.

The tower would be one of the first significant additions to Portland’s skyline since TMT opened Fox Tower in 2000.

The company said it was forced to halt construction because it couldn’t secure financing for the project. It hopes to restart work by the end of the year.

“Financing is not available for real estate projects right now, even ones with leases,” said Vanessa Sturgeon, president of TMT.

“If you need a better example, how about a project that’s 55 percent to 60 percent leased with a developer with a great track record and it can’t get financing,” he said.

Hoffman is scrambling to close down the project and find alternative work for the 350 employees working on it.

Sturgeon emphasized that suspending work is temporary, saying, “it is truly a delay.”