Supporting Nonprofit in Redevelopment


A nonprofit investment group needed Farallon’s help to reclaim a neighborhood eyesore.

A mostly vacant strip mall in one of northeast Portland’s most-diverse neighborhoods had been occupied by a variety of adult entertainment businesses.  When the property became available for purchase, a neighborhood-focused nonprofit group began to raise funds to acquire the property.  Historical uses of the property indicated that an environmental site assessment was necessary.  Because the nonprofit group was operating on a tight budget, Farallon conducted a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment of the property pro bono.  Farallon’s assistance in the early stages of acquisition helped the group obtain private contributions, loans, and grants to purchase the property long considered a blight on the neighborhood.

The presence of a gasoline service station on the property in the 1950s and 1960s was an issue of environmental concern.  Farallon assisted the group in its application for funding to finance the necessary additional investigation.  Farallon conducted the additional investigation, which included use of ground-penetrating radar to ascertain whether the property contained abandoned underground storage tanks.  When the ground-penetrating radar detected a subsurface anomaly, Farallon negotiated a discounted rate with a local excavator, and advanced test pits in the location indicated by the radar, but found no evidence of tanks or contamination.  With Farallon’s help, the investment group was able to qualify for loans and purchase the property.

According to Jennifer Whaler, Project Environmental Scientist and the Project Manager, “We were honored to assist the coalition of nonprofit and neighborhood groups in performing their due diligence when taking a large financial risk to purchase this property.  Now that the purchase is complete, we are excited to see the property’s transformation into a development that will benefit neighborhood residents.”