Monday, August 1, 2022

Port of Portland Mass Timber Innovation Site with Modular Housing Facility Asking for $41 M in EDA Grants With Decisions Expected by End of September.

I recently viewed several public notices for environmental reviews associated with federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grants for the proposed modular housing facility  at Port of Portland Terminal 2 and associated offsite activities not located at that site. (Collectively titled as the Mass Timber Innovation Site).

This project has previously received funding from the Oregon legislature and EDA. 

Foe this round of funding the original ask for EDA was $99M. After discussions with EDA staff several line items were reduced or eliminated and the ask now is $41M.  

I created the table pasted below showing initial and revised requests for EDA for funding of the 10 activities associated with this project.

After reviewing those documents and dialogue with Port Of Portland staff here are my understandings and observations:

  • EDA grant decisions are expected by the end of the federal fiscal year September 30th. Once those decisions have been made alternative funding sources can be sought to fill in the gaps.
  • Based on feedback on EDA funding limitation current EDA grant requests related to this project have declined significantly, from $99M to $41M.
  • EDA grants have a five-year expiration.
  • The initial focus for the Port of Portland will be improvements that shore up the site to protect against potential seismic events (Related public notice is HERE). Those activities are currently expected to be completed towards the end of 2024.
  • There is no current EDA ask for funding to construct the modular construction building. If later funding becomes available it may be able to begin prior to the completion of all the seismic related work. It seems likely to me that the earliest a modular factory building would be complete would be sometime in 2026. Funding delays could extend that timeline. 
  • There are several activities offsite that could continue if funded by EDA. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog. 

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