Archive for the ‘The Beatrice Morrow’ Category

April 7, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow
PCRI Ground Breaking 040717_NH12039

PCRI and Mayor Wheeler celebrated groundbreaking of the Beatrice Morrow on April 7

On April 7, PCRI and Portland Housing Bureau welcomed Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, city officials, nonprofit leaders, and business partners for a groundbreaking celebration. Named to honor Portland civil rights pioneer Beatrice Morrow Cannady, the 80-unit mixed-use commercial and residential building will be the first city-funded project to use Portland Housing Bureau’s Preference Policy to prioritize rental homes for previously-displaced residents.

Following the groundbreaking celebration, Ms. Morrow Cannady’s great grandson heard news of the development and reached out to PCRI to share his enthusiasm and appreciation.
“I can’t tell you how much this means to me and my daughters! Beatrice Morrow Cannady was my great grandmother and she has been a beacon of inspiration to our family for generations,” he said. “It wasn’t until I was in medical school that I began to learn of her contributions to our people and our nation. I have her law school diploma framed and hanging in my home office next to my medical school diploma!”

PCRI Ground Breaking 040717_NH12006The five-story building will be built along NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd between Cook and Ivy Streets. It includes 80 affordable rental homes for residents displaced from North and Northeast Portland. Forty-four of the 80 apartments will have two or more bedrooms. In addition to the apartments in the building’s upper floors, the ground floor will include over 6,000 square feet of commercial retail space as well as a large community room for use by the building’s residents and members of the neighborhood. Construction is anticipated to be complete in mid-2018 and all apartments are expected to be leased by the end of the year.

“This is an important opportunity to provide access to affordable family rental housing in a neighborhood that has experienced displacement and gentrification in the past several decades,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick. “PCRI was formed as, and continues to be, a solution to involuntary displacement. This project will help ensure everyone can experience the stability, safety and dignity that a home provides.”

Of the total project budget of $25 million, the city will loan the development $7.35 million in Interstate Urban Renewal Area funds and will grant the land to the project. In September 2015, the Portland Housing Bureau selected the team led by PCRI to develop and own the project through a competitive “Request for Qualifications” process. Other team members include Gerding Edlen, development partner for the project; Colas Construction, the project’s general contractor; and Carleton Hart Architects.

PCRI Ground Breaking 040717_NH12051

Andrew Colas, PHB Director Kurt Creager, Maxine Fitzpatrick and Commissioner Dan Saltzman at the groundbreaking

The development team has had a particular focus on creating equitable economic opportunity in the development of the project, including partnership with Colas Construction and Carleton Hart Architects, both minority-owned firms. Professional services contracted during the project’s design phase have been overwhelmingly focused on minority- and women-owned firms. In addition, Colas Construction anticipates at least 30-40% of the project’s construction will be performed by certified minority-owned, women-owned, and emerging small business firms.

“There was intentional gentrification and displacement of African Americans in our community,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a March 22 meeting where Portland City Council voted unanimously to approve city financing for the development. “This project… puts Portland in the unique position of being the first in the country to not only acknowledge that displacement as a result of gentrification, but it puts us in the unique position of seeking to reverse it.”

In addition to the Portland Housing Bureau, project partners include Oregon Housing and Community Services, U.S. Bank, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital, Home Forward, and Meyer Memorial Trust.

February 9, 2017 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

oex_beatrice_credit_ohsBeatrice Morrow-Cannady, a historic Portland pioneer in the fight for racial equality, will be honored by Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI).

A new affordable housing development with community-serving commercial space is being developed by PCRI in the Northeast Portland neighborhood where the civil rights pioneer lived and worked. The new building will be named “The Beatrice Morrow” to recognize her work to achieve equality for the African American community and to improve race relations in the City of Portland and State of Oregon.

“PCRI is proud to honor Ms. Morrow by naming our newest development ‘The Beatrice Morrow,’” stated Maxine Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of PCRI. “She is the basis of the opportunities available to African Americans in the State of Oregon and motivates us to continue her work to achieve equity and equality.”

The Beatrice Morrow is a housing development which will encompass 80 affordable apartments prioritized for historic residents of north and northeast Portland. In addition, the development will offer community space and community-serving commercial retail at street level. The development will be located at the former Grant Warehouse site on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, between NE Cook and Ivy Streets. Construction will begin in early spring 2017, with completion anticipated in 2018.

Beatrice Cannady Taylor, age 80.

An important but often overlooked and hidden figure in the fight for racial equality in the Pacific Northwest, Beatrice Morrow-Cannady worked tirelessly to improve race relations in Portland and to secure equal rights for the Oregon’s African American community.

Morrow moved to Portland in 1910 at the age of 20 and worked as the business manager, associate editor, linotype operator, and editorial and news writer for the African American newspaper, the Advocate. She helped found the Portland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and mobilized African-American women for the war effort, as president of the Colonel Charles Young War Savings Club and as head of a local Red Cross Auxiliary’s knitting unit.

She graduated from Portland’s Northwestern School of Law in 1922 and became Oregon’s first African American woman to practice law. In 1932, she ran for the Oregon House of Representatives—the first African American to run for elected office in Oregon. Despite not being able to vote herself (African Americans were not allowed to vote in Oregon in 1932), Morrow earned 8,000 votes. Although she did not win the seat, she continued to work tirelessly to improve race relations. She gave hundreds of lectures to white high school and college students and was invited to speak on KGW, KOIN and other radio stations. She also hosted multicultural tea parties at her home every Sunday afternoon which combined entertainment, cultural history and politics. The assemblies received such a positive response that as many as 200 people would attend.

For updated information about The Beatrice Morrow and other PCRI developments, visit or the development’s Facebook page.

November 21, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, Pathway 1000, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

PCRI is proud to be selected by Meyer Memorial Trust for a 2016 Housing Opportunities portfolio grant award. The grant, announced in November 2016, will help offset costs for PCRI to develop a large community center in the new building at the Grant Warehouse site (more recently named The Beatrice Morrow) which will serve residents as well as the larger community. Grant funds will also ensure the affordability of family-sized apartments in this new building, meeting Meyer’s goal of increasing the number of available affordable housing units.

Conceptual Rendering of The Beatrice Morrow (c) Carleton Hart Architecture

Conceptual Rendering of The Beatrice Morrow (c) Carleton Hart Architecture

In a post on Meyer’s website, Housing Opportunities portfolio director Theresa Deibele noted that equity and cultural competency were especially important for selected grantees, including PCRI and other organizations who predominantly serve communities of color. She added that selected grantees such as PCRI aligned well with Meyer’s equity mission, including work to reduce the disparities faced by marginalized people, support for vulnerable populations and commitments for contracting and employment opportunity.

“Equity also showed up in how projects are carried out,” Deibele wrote. “All capital projects reflected a commitment to use minority-owned, women-owned and emerging small business contractors.”

PCRI has made significant commitments to contracting equity in the development of The Beatrice Morrow and other projects. This development will also be part of PCRI’s Pathway 1000 initiative, which has a significant component dedicated to contracting and employment. An implementation plan for this portion of the Pathway 1000 initiative is currently underway.

PCRI was among six organizations who were awarded grants for new housing development. All of the developments awarded will serve very vulnerable and high priority populations. A total of 282 new units are expected to be added to the state’s housing stock in part because of these awards, according to Meyer’s website.

Diebele noted the value in Meyer’s philanthropy to help ensure the viability of affordable housing which also leverages public and private funds.

“Many projects directly leverage large public investments, which often come from restricted funding sources (e.g., tax increment financing that must be spent on capital in a certain neighborhood region),” she wrote, “and philanthropy can play a role in helping to fund the staffing and support services needed to deploy such funds.”

PCRI is honored to have Meyer Memorial Trust’s support to develop The Beatrice Morrow and is looking forward to beginning construction. As of November 2016, the development was pending building permit approval and finalization of financing terms. Construction is expected to begin in winter 2016-17.


February 23, 2016 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

IMG_8768PCRI and our development partners, Gerding Edlen, Colas Construction and Carleton Hart Architecture, will host our first open house forum on Monday, March 14 to share information and invite feedback on the redevelopment proposed for the site of the former Grant Warehouse.

Grant Warehouse Community Forum
Monday, March 14, 2016 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
New Song Community Church
2511 NE M L King Jr Blvd
Portland, Oregon (Community Room entry on Russell)

Initial designs for the housing and commercial space at this site are being developed and community feedback is important to guide decisions and choices that will benefit and impact the residents and business tenants of the finished building, as well as the larger neighborhood.

Please share information about this community event and join us on Monday, March 14. Light refreshments will be provided. RSVPs are requested, but not required.

The development site is located at NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. between Cook and Ivy Streets. Answers to many other frequently asked questions can be found HERE.

November 16, 2015 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

PCRI and the members of the Grant Warehouse redevelopment team have issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting proposals for professional services. These services include a variety of disciplines related to the design and pre-construction phases of the project. This RFQ will be used to solicit proposals in response to the design challenges required to achieve a sustainable, mixed-used, affordable housing development.

The proposed project will be a single, to-be-constructed building of between 50 and 80 units of affordable family rental housing, and will include approximately commercial/retail space on the ground floor as well as on-site parking. In addition to providing affordable housing in a neighborhood that has experienced displacement and gentrification over the last several decades, one of the goals of the Grant Warehouse Redevelopment is to create opportunities for minorities and local businesses in all phases of development. Team members include co-developer Gerding Edlen and certified minority-owned firms Carleton Hart Architects and Colas Construction, who are both invested in and connected to the community.

Professional services sought in this RFP will be part of the pre-design, design, and construction administration phases. Services from the following disciplines will be contracted by Carleton Hart Architects, the architect of record, except as noted otherwise:

  • Geotechnical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Architectural Design Services (limited)
  • Structural Engineering
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Cost Estimating Services
  • Interior Design Services
  • Surveying (contracted by PCRI)
  • Environmental Review (Phase I/II; contracted by PCRI)

As noted above, a goal of the Grant Warehouse redevelopment is to create opportunities for minorities and emerging small businesses in the North/Northeast Portland business community. Responses to this RFQ will be evaluated by their ability to meet these social objectives with their firm and staff, in addition to factoring in the firm’s experience and qualifications. The Owner and the development team will review responses and a Request for Proposal will be issued to firms who are deemed to have met the qualifications through the RFQ response.

The deadline for RFQ submission is November 30, 2015. The development team anticipates selecting consultants in early December, 2015.

Click HERE for the full Request for Qualifications and additional information.


August 17, 2015 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI, The Beatrice Morrow

IMG_0230At an August 17 event, Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Dan Saltzman announced the selection of a PCRI-led team to develop the former Grant Warehouse site. The site, located on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, between Cook and Ivy streets, is envisioned with new affordable rental housing and community-serving ground floor commercial retail space.

“Even though this is just one site, it is the beginning,” said Executive Director Maxine Fitzpatrick of the project’s goals to mitigate involuntary displacement.

PCRI and our project team, including co-developer Gerding Edlen, general contractor Colas Construction, and Carleton Hart Architects, were selected following a Request for Qualifications issued by Portland Housing Bureau. The RFQ served to identify the development team which could best meet the goals of Housing Bureau’s N/NE Neighborhood Housing Strategy and develop a project which would involve and benefit the Northeast Portland community as well as its its historically African-American residents.

“This is an important opportunity to provide access to affordable family rental housing in a neighborhood that has experienced displacement and gentrification in the past several decades,” said Ms. Fitzpatrick. “PCRI was formed as, and continues to be, a solution to involuntary displacement. This project will help ensure everyone can experience the stability, safety and dignity that a home provides.”

IMG_0218The announcement about the development team for the Grant Warehouse site was one of two cornerstone projects highlighted at the public event, held at the site of the former Grant Warehouse. Colas Construction and Majestic Realty will develop a new commercial project a short distance away at NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd and Alberta Street. That project will feature a grocery and other commercial retail space.

“Through their focus on commercial activity and affordable housing, both projects will add to the vitality and diversity of the community, and will serve to underscore our commitment to this vital section of Northeast Portland,” said commissioner Saltzman in an email invitation for the event.

“This is a happy, long awaited day,” said Mayor Charlie Hales.

For continued information about the Grant Warehouse redevelopment and project updates, visit or follow PCRI on Facebook.