The City of Hillsboro just dropped a bombshell on its social media pages, announcing the development of the Block 67 site, former Hanks Grocery, on Baseline between 6th and 7th. The proposal has announced Rembold as the developer and a number of pre-leased tenants. The most exciting part of this for many locals is the addition of a significant grocery known as Fresh Foods. The announcement was sudden in so much as the Urban Renewal Advisory Committee has not met to hear about or weigh in on this matter yet. This deal seems to have been in the works for a while and will certainly involve a very large commitment from the Downtown Hillsboro Urban Renewal District funds which will use public and taxpayer money to fund projects like this. Time will tell on that, but the Herald will speculate that the number could be in the millions. Projects like this one require financial carrots. The land (3.5 acres) which is owned by the City could also be offered up to make such a large deal work. No matter what, this is big news for the City of Hillsboro and the downtown core area.
From the City of Hillsboro’s Public release:
Block 67 Development Proposal Moves Ahead
Rembold’s Mixed-Use Project Plan Has Tenants Lined Up
A proposal to redevelop Block 67 in Downtown Hillsboro to provide market-rate and affordable housing, medical offices, retail space, and a public plaza will move forward.
The City of Hillsboro has agreed to begin negotiations on a mixed-use development agreement for the property – between 6th and 7th avenues, between Oak and Baseline streets – with real estate developer Rembold, in partnership with Related Northwest.
The agreement with Rembold is anticipated to cover the land transaction, uses on the site, design, financing, and construction of the Block 67 site in Downtown Hillsboro.
Rembold is a woman-led real estate development company based in Portland. The company recently developed multiple mixed-use projects in Beaverton, in partnership with the City of Beaverton. Rembold is currently partnering with the City of North Plains Urban Renewal Agency on the development of a grocery store-anchored retail center.
Rembold’s Concept for Block 67
In November 2021, the City of Hillsboro issued a formal request-for-proposals (RFP) to attract a qualified partner to redevelop this critical site, deliver needed housing, and contribute to Downtown Hillsboro’s vibrant mix of uses, housing, and authentic character.
Rembold’s proposal describes developing the Block 67 site into a mixed-use project that will provide housing, including co-generational affordable housing, medical offices with classroom space, retail, services, and plazas for public benefit.
Project partners include:
- Fresh Foods: A family-owned, veteran- and minority-run, full-service grocery store specializing in natural, organic, gluten-free, vegan, and environmentally friendly products, as well as traditional favorites.
- Mamancy Tea: Founded on the belief that nothing is more important than spending quality time with the people you love, Mamancy Tea is a small, woman- and minority-owned business that crafts exceptional teas and chocolates for any occasion.
- Centro Cultural: Founded by a group of migrant families who wanted to make Washington County their permanent home, Centro Cultural serves the needs of our diverse community by promoting personal growth and empowerment, and by providing social and support services.
- Beyond the Wall Climbing: A local company with extensive experience advancing the sport of indoor climbing, including roped climbing, bouldering, fitness classes, and group experiences.
“This announcement is incredibly exciting for our community and for the future of Downtown Hillsboro,” said Mayor Steve Callaway. “The City of Hillsboro purchased this property to ensure this block was developed well and developed right to support our dynamic Downtown, and Rembold’s proposal meets and surpasses our expectations.”
Community Engagement Fuels Interest in Block 67
The City’s plans to negotiate with Rembold and finalize the uses and scale of the project follow extensive community engagement over several years. A 2021 survey received responses from 1,165 community members, and community conversations took place at four in-person open house presentations and one virtual presentation.
“It is extremely exciting to be at this critical point in the Block 67 project and to have proven partners in Rembold and Related Northwest,” said Hillsboro Economic and Community Development Director Dan Dias. “The project concept does an amazing job of capturing the elements that our community hoped to realize. Our team will engage over the next couple months to ensure the feasibility of the project and negotiate a win-win project for the Hillsboro community and Rembold/Related Northwest, and we will continue to engage with our community to inform them on progress.”
In addition to its project partners, Rembold has received letters of support for their proposal from other community organizations:
- The Hillsboro School District
- Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center
- Washington County
- The Hillsboro Downtown Partnership
“Rembold, in partnership with Related Northwest, is thrilled to be moving forward with the development of Block 67,” said Rembold Vice President Kali Bader. “We look forward to working with the City of Hillsboro and greater community to bring this dynamic project to Downtown.”
For more information about Block 67 and the history of the project, visit Hillsboro-Oregon.gov/Block67.