The new owners of the Lloyd Center Mall are real estate barons of few words.
In October, when KKR Real Estate Finance Trust announced its intention to foreclose on the crime-ridden cavern of broken retail dreams, it didn’t even dignify the place by saying its name. It called the mall the “Portland retail asset.”
This week, KKR announced it had hired Urban Renaissance Group out of Seattle to figure out what to do with Lloyd Center. URG, as it’s known, has a history of remaking Portland. It turned The Oregonian’s old printing plant near Providence Park into an eight-story office tower with an “epic” (its word) beer garden on the roof.
URG managing director Tom Kilbane didn’t say much about what Lloyd Center would become, calling it a “uniquely situated property” and saying URG “takes seriously our responsibility for making sure it continues to be a community gathering place.”
Gathering place? Has anyone from URG been to Lloyd Center lately?
One solid detail: The ice rink just might survive. “Our ambition is to embrace and preserve features of the property that make it special, including retail, creative work spaces and ice skating,” Kilbane said.
Sounds like a mall with an ice rink, which is what’s there now. So much for Portlanders’ dreams, chronicled in these pages for the past eight weeks, of restoring the street grid or building affordable housing.