Hyatt Place Hotel Proposed in Portland's Pearl District

A Seattle developer has proposed to build a Hyatt Place hotel in Portland's Pearl District.

Vibrant Cities, a company that's developed apartments in Portland under its former name, SolTerra, said it plans to build an 11-story, 176-room hotel at 350 N.W. 12th Avenue. The site is currently used as a parking lot.

The company has already secured a license to use the Hyatt Place select-service upscale hotel brand, said chief executive James Wong. Vibrant Cities has partnered with the Sunray Hotels, a hotel development firm based in Madison, Mississippi.

The company had planned an apartment building on the site, which it's owned since early 2016, but reconsidered after Portland instituted its inclusionary zoning policy, which requires large housing developments to include rent-restricted units, Wong said.

It's the second hotel proposal to surface in as many weeks. BPM Real Estate Group has proposed a 33-story tower, including nine floors of hotel rooms, at 936 S.W. Washington St. in Portland. That project's developer has said the planned five-star hotel would be Portland's first.

The Portland market has added thousands of hotel rooms, many of them concentrated in the central city, in a building boom that began in 2012. There are more already under construction.

"It's still a pretty robust pipeline looking forward within Portland," said Blake Reiter, director of custom forecasts for the travel research firm STR. "That said, in the last few years, occupancy has been growing. It's basically showing that demand is keeping up with the supply growth."

The sudden surge in new hotel rooms led to the first decline in average occupancy in years, according to STR. But despite an increase in empty rooms, revenue per room continued to rise.

Wong said his company remains bullish on Portland's prospects for new hotels. He said the increase in hotel space could unlock new business in the form of conventions and events that had previously passed over Portland for lack of rooms.

"We've done extensive research on the number of units that are coming online and when we're developing ours," Wong said. "We believe that we should do very well, both in terms of occupancy and a good rate that we can charge."

The company plans to break ground as soon as it's secured permits, expected in 18 to 24 months. The hotel could open in 2021.

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