Downtown Portland to get Ritz-Carlton hotel

  • A rendering by GBD Architects of a proposed Ritz-Carlton hotel in downtown Portland. Marriott International has signed a deal with Portland developer BPM Real Estate Group to build the Ritz-Carlton, which would be the first in the Pacific Northwest, Marriott announced Thursday, June 20, 2019.
    (GBD Architects/rendering)

Elliot Njus The Oregonian

A Ritz-Carlton hotel is coming to the site currently occupied by the Alder Street Food Cart Pod, which is slated to close at the end of the month.

The Marriott-owned chain announced the planned location Thursday. The developer of the hotel, Portland-based BPM Real Estate Group, previously said its 35-story tower at 900 SW Washington St. would include Portland’s first five-star hotel, as well as office space.

Ritz-Carlton is the first hotel chain ranked as a top-tier “luxury” brand by the travel research firm STR to announce a Portland location. Until now, the city has only reached as high as “upper-upscale” chains.

The hotel would be the brand’s first in the Pacific Northwest, it said. It would also include co-branded condominiums, where owners would get the same services as hotel guests, including room service and housekeeping.

Portland has seen a glut of new hotels open in recent years — the city has added more than 2,000 downtown hotel rooms in the last decade, with hundreds more under construction — but most have traded on the ability to show on Instagram rather than out-and-out luxury.

Ritz-Carlton hotels often include a full spa, a fine-dining restaurant and glitzy room finishings. Its service is famously attentive, with employees encouraged to use guests’ names and anticipate their every need.

Marriott reported last year that its portfolio of North America luxury hotels, including The Ritz-Carlton, charged an average of $336.58 a night.

Portland’s Ritz will include 251 guest rooms and 138 condos, including eight penthouses. It will also include a 19th-floor swimming pool and a 20th floor restaurant and bar, as well as a food hall on the ground floor.

The building will cost $600 million to build, BPM said in Thursday’s announcement. Construction is expected to begin this year; the building would open in 2023.

The condo units mean the building is subject to Portland’s inclusionary zoning mandate, which requires developers to include rent-restricted units in large residential buildings.

BPM said previously it would opt to pay into a city fund to have the units built nearby, an alternative offered under the rules.

Food cart pod

Before it closes for good, take a look back at the carts that made this downtown Portland pod a destination.

The owners of food carts at the Alder Street pod, one of the city’s largest collection of food carts, were told last month they’d have to vacate by June 30. Many of the pod’s best-known carts had already left in anticipation of the planned development.

Possible culinary corridor

The city, meanwhile, is weighing alternatives to maintain food carts as a downtown presence. One concept, the Culinary Corridor, would put them along city streets in certain curbside parking spots outfitted with utility service.

The proposal could require major changes to city and county regulations — and someone to manage the whole program.

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