The Hunden Report is published providing Metro with a set of recommendations based on current use.
Metro Council launches the Development Opportunity Study.
2020 to 2021
Metro engages with the communities and stakeholders most impacted by the site through meetings and listening sessions.
The DOS report is published, outlining several development scenarios for the Expo Center site.
MERC and Metro Council deprioritize the sell option and direct staff to create a solicitation process.
MERC and Metro Council both adopt the community-driven guiding principles as part of their framework for decision-making.
The Request for Expressions of Interest phase of the Expo Future project is launched.
Metro receives eight proposals in response to the RFEI process.
Winter 2022 to 2023
Metro engages in the partner evaluation of the submissions.
The Expo Future project has its roots in a 2013 study of the Expo Center’s future, leading to Phase One of the project, which began in January 2020. That process sought principle-driven creative ideas and partners for the future use of the 53-acre site in North Portland.
Portland’s gathering place
The Portland Expo Center attracts nearly 500,000 visitors a year to 100+ public trade shows and community events like home and garden, automotive, RV, antique, outdoor shows and concerts. Pre-pandemic, Expo generated an average of approximately $50 million in economic impact annually.
The site has 333,000 square feet of existing building area and over a million square feet of paved parking lot. Located adjacent to a Yellow Line Max light rail stop and at an I-5 access ramp, the site is served by significant infrastructure. Halls A, B, and C celebrated their 100-year anniversary two years ago, and Halls D and E are 26 and 22 years old, respectively.
Historical and cultural significance
Many communities in the greater Portland area have important historical and cultural ties to the Expo Center and the land it’s built upon. The nearby Vanport Floods and WWII Internment at the Portland Assembly Center have had lasting impacts on the African American, Indigenous and Japanese American communities. Metro recognizes the past events and injustices that took place on or near the Expo property. Expo works with Vanport Mosaic and the Nikkei Legacy Center to ensure these occurrences are never forgotten.
Over the course of two years, Metro met with members of the Black and Japanese American communities, Tribal partners and the urban Indigenous community and Expo’s clients and business partners to help shape the project’s principles and the core central vision for the site. Guiding principles were adopted by Metro Council and the Metropolitan Recreation and Exposition Commission in spring 2022.
- Honor, respect and preserve cultural, land, water and historical significance to inform future generations; do no harm moving forward.
- Require purposeful inclusion of communities who have persevered and are thriving, despite the action of colonization and/or the harmful impacts of policy and practice.
- Maximize community benefit and connection for future generations; prioritize investments in stronger communities that are community led and culturally responsive.
- Ongoing engagement and transparency.
- Seek opportunities for cultural expression, art, storytelling and learning.
- Seek sustainable and climate resilient solutions.
- Center inclusive, cultural and economic sustainability and wellbeing.