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Gerding Edlen Development

The Brewery Blocks

A ULI Global Award for Excellence winner, Portland’s Brewery Blocks development includes a district energy system, the first LEED Gold certified condominium development in the world, and the first LEED Gold apartment building in the Pacific Northwest.

Awarded the Urban Land Institute’s Global Awards for Excellence in 2004, the iconic Brewery Blocks redevelopment in Portland, OR, is a thriving and sustainable mixed-use urban community. The development includes seven buildings on five contiguous city blocks; and contains retail, office, residential, cultural and performing arts spaces—totaling over 1.7 million square feet. The blocks have become an urban destination, enlivened with vibrant streetscapes and connected to the rest of the city by a smart transportation system.

Now owned by JPMorgan, Gerding Edlen first acquired the five blocks when there was little structure to sustainable building within the industry. Long recognized as a pioneering initiative, the Brewery Blocks was the first multi-block LEED development. And The Henry Condominiums in the Brewery Blocks was the first LEED certified condominium development in the country. Brightworks managed the LEED programs for all five buildings in the development.

Before the Brewery Blocks, the site housed the Blitz-Weinhard Brewery, set in an area virtually devoid of businesses, housing and pedestrians. Developed on principles of placemaking, sustainability, preservation and financial viability, the developers undertook an innovative mixed-use approach, using public-private partnerships and a focus on preserving historical integrity. This deteriorating warehouse district was transformed into a revitalized neighborhood—preserving iconic structures and turning the historic Portland Armory into the Gerding Theater.

The Brewery Blocks redevelopment exemplifies the notion of building for sustainability and historical preservation to guarantee long-term financial success.

“The Brewery Blocks was a very complex and innovative project and one that exemplifies our firm’s values of place making, 20-minute living and environmental sustainability,” says Mark Edlen, CEO of Gerding Edlen. “It’s been extremely rewarding for us to witness the project’s enduring success over the years and for it to be honored with this award, in the company of other such remarkable projects.”

The five buildings of the Brewery Blocks development include:

M Financial Office Building

M Financial’s office and retail building used 30% recycled and 40% regionally manufactured building materials. It also features building-integrated PVs, an eco-roof, and natural daylight.

Whole Foods

The Whole Foods building houses the district water chiller for this innovative, five-block development, a system that allows greater efficiency than traditional cooling systems and provides water for air conditioning to all five sites in the development.

The Henry Condominiums

The first LEED Gold certified condominium development in the United States, The Henry uses an air-to-water heat exchange system that captures waste heat to pre-heat the building’s domestic hot water, reducing energy use and lowering bills for owners.

The Louisa Apartments

The first LEED Gold apartment building in the Pacific Northwest boasts ambitious energy conservation measures, a green roof, and high recycled material content for its residential tower and two-story retail/commercial podium.

Cellar House Office Building

The second of five blocks converted into Portland’s celebrated Brewery Blocks redevelopment, this office building incorporated the shells of two salvaged buildings into its design, earning it the Oregon State Historic Preservation Adaptive Reuse Award.

Adapted from:

  • “JPMorgan Buys Brewery Blocks MXD for $292M,” (
  • “Brewery Blocks Selected As Winner in 2014 Global Award for Excellence” (Gerding Edlen)
  • “The Brewery Blocks – 2014 Global Awards for Excellence Winner (Urban Land Institute)


At a Glance

  • Portland, OR
  • LEED Silver & Gold