For the museum, the project would fulfill a long-held goal to redevelop the under-used stretch along the Willamette River, one with the potential to create a vibrant new neighborhood. And because OMSI plans to lease the land instead of selling it, it could provide the museum with a needed revenue stream.
The effort comes as the Central Eastside is transforming around it. What was once a strictly industrial landscape has undergone rapid change in recent years as apartments and office buildings pop up. The opening of Tilikum Crossing and the launch of a new light-rail line in 2015 also increased access to the district.
Though early in the process, there already are competing visions for the museum blocks.
City leaders envision an “Innovation Quadrant,” in which OMSI, along with Oregon Health Science University, Portland State University and Portland Community College, would attract high-paying tech and research jobs.
The director of the James Beard