LDA and Ground Lease Approval

On June 19th, 2018, the Gresham Redevelopment Commission (GRDC) (the entity responsible for decisions regarding development in the Rockwood-West Gresham Urban Renewal Area) formally and unanimously approved the project documents for the Rockwood Rising Project.

What Happened?

The GRDC approved several documents that have been developed over the last two years: the design development drawings from YBA Architects, the Land Development Agreements with RKm Development, and the Ground Leases for the Catalyst Site. The GRDC was unanimous in their decision, many expressing great excitement that the project could move on to the next stage. Click here to see the video of the June 19th Meeting.

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What Are these Documents?

A Land Development Agreement (LDA) sets out the terms of a development project, including continuing rights to develop a site.  The Rockwood Rising Project has two LDAs, both approved by the GRDC on June 19th, because the Rockwood Rising Catalyst Site is technically partitioned into two separate sites. The LDA outlines the GRDC's expectations of its development partner, RKm development, to complete the project in accordance to the GRDC Urban Renewal Plan Goals.


A Ground Lease allows a developer to build on land that they do not  own.  The GRDC will maintain ownership of the land at 18535 SE Stark (the Rockwood Rising Catalyst Site), but the execution of this lease allows RKm Development to develop and own buildings on the site.  The Catalyst Site has two Ground Leases, both approved by the GRDC on June 19th, because it is technically partitioned into two separate sites. Leasing, rather than selling, the land allows the GRDC to have more input on the uses of the site now and into the future.

Design Development Drawings lay out mechanical, electrical, plumbing, structural, and architectural details for the location of buildings, streets, the public square, and other capital improvements on the Catalyst Site. These were completed by YBA Architects, based on extensive community outreach, and were approved by the GRDC on June 19th.

Construction Documents are elements of design that provide detail sufficient to obtain building permits and construct the project. These were completed by YBA Architects and were approved by the GRDC on June 19th.

What Does it Mean for Rockwood Rising?

Rockwood Rising has, since the City of Gresham Design Review Committee's May 2017 approval of the design, been in the "Construction Document" stage of the project.  This stage of design includes permitting and code analysis for the construction of the project's three buildings and public plaza.

During this time, GRDC staff and legal counsel, as well as RKm Development, were also creating the business terms of the project in the LDAs and Ground Leases. These cover everything from construction to management to programming to tenant recruitment, and were driven by the data the Project's staff received from the community during the community engagement portion from 2014-2017.

The project's next steps include RKm Development securing the final piece of project financing in the form of New Market Tax Credits.  When all financing is fully secure, construction will begin. 

What does this mean for me, a Rockwood resident?

When project construction is set to begin, there will be an official groundbreaking ceremony announced on RockwoodRising.com as well as all major City of Gresham communication outlets.  In the meantime, we're excited to share that programming on the Catalyst Site has already begun.  Join our partners and future tenants in the project in the following ways this summer:

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Stay tuned for more updates, announcements, and information in this exciting next stage of the project!

Questions? Comments? Send an email to RockwoodRising@GreshamOregon.gov or call 503-618-3208.