Library’s purchase of Gresham City Hall Park and Ride site would provide East County residents an iconic library and transit-oriented development
PORTLAND, Ore.––Multnomah County Library and TriMet are excited to announce the signing of a Letter of Intent for the library to purchase Gresham City Hall Park and Ride (1297 NW Eastman Pkwy, Gresham) from TriMet for use in building the East County Flagship, a large-scale, engaging library similar in size to Central Library in downtown Portland. This library will be a destination and serve the approximately 40% of Multnomah County residents who live east of I-205.
The agreement between Multnomah County Library and TriMet represents the conclusion of years of searching for an ideal site that will fit a large, planned library of 95,000 square feet and is easily accessible for East County community members. Of nine projects approved by voters in November 2020, the East County Flagship will be an entirely new building from the ground up. For this building, the Library has the opportunity to dream big alongside the community and provide an exciting level of services and programming in a vibrant, diverse location. The Park & Ride land provides exactly that space, along with ample accessibility, with the ability to accommodate an outdoor area for library programming as well.
The location is also one that will be easy to access by walking or taking transit. The Gresham City Hall MAX Station is served by MAX Blue Line, with stops for bus lines 2, 21 and 82 close by. Gresham Central Transit Center, the future terminus for FX 2-Division, is also about a half mile away. Once it opens this September, FX will provide a faster, more reliable and convenient way to get around, with service along Southeast Division Street between Gresham and Downtown Portland.
Per the terms of the Letter of Intent, the library and TriMet enter a Due Diligence period of 120 days or until a binding Purchase and Sale Agreement is executed. As part of the Letter of Intent, TriMet will retain a portion of the site for future transit-oriented development. Both parties will work together with the City of Gresham to establish the vision for the site and the surrounding area. Beyond this work together, the library will ensure that affirming, robust community engagement will be at the heart of this project with efforts led by the bond’s community engagement team.
Multnomah County Library, TriMet and Gresham leadership celebrated the announcement.
“With this initial agreement, the library is moving forward with its promise to work alongside the community in developing an iconic library that will be beautiful, accessible and representative of the people of East County,” said Vailey Oehlke, Director of Libraries. “This reflects our continued commitment to equity. Multnomah County Library, along with TriMet and the city of Gresham, is here to build something impactful and community-focused.”
“The opportunity to help bring further vibrancy to Gresham is an exciting prospect,” TriMet General Manager Sam Desue Jr. said. “At TriMet, our goal is to connect people to destinations to help our communities and region prosper. With this partnership with Multnomah County Library, we’re supporting multi-modal accessibility to an impressive flagship library within a few feet of transit.”
“To have the East County Flagship Library located in Gresham will be an incredible resource for our community,” Gresham City Manager Nina Vetter said. “This is a pivotal step in creating the vibrancy and engagement our community deserves and we are grateful to be working alongside Multnomah County and TriMet to make this happen.”
CONTACT: Liz Sauer, Multnomah County Library Capital Bond Projects Communications Manager, 971-350-8733, email@example.com