ECOnorthwest is Analyzing the Financial and Structural Feasibility of Converting Downtown Portland Offices into Housing

January 13, 2023

View of Pioneer Square Courthouse in Portland, Oregon

The last few years have been hard on Portland. The city has been slammed with a housing crisis, nationally-recognized protests, and rising crime. However, the heart of this town is beating strong, and change is in the air.

The Willamette Week just published a series called “How to Save Portland: 13 big ideas to turn this city around.” ECOnorthwest is mentioned in a couple of these big ideas, and we’re excited to be working on one complex, intriguing issue in particular: turning vacant office buildings into housing. Seems like an obvious solution, right? As businesses scatter and leave downtowns deserted, why not turn all of those empty rooms into apartments, resolving our Ghost Downtown and Housing Crises in one fell swoop? As usual with obvious solutions, reality—specifically, the reality of financial feasibility—gets in the way.

Read more about the idea, and its roadblocks and opportunities, here.