Portland: Pacific NW College of Art


Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) is a leading West Coast art and design college. Founded in Portland, Oregon in 1909, PNCA has helped shape the region’s visual art and design landscape for more than a century.

The Portland Development Commission (PDC) was a significant partner in the development of PNCA’s new home. PDC was granted a deed for the 511 NW Broadway building from the National Park Service through a national monument transfer and agreed to lease the building back to PNCA for 99 years at $1 per year. With support from the City of Portland, the PDC also committed to $20.3 million in bridge and long-term financing to PNCA for the project. PNCA also received a $740,000 grant from PDC for project planning and design.

The 511 Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, had been seismically unreinforced, functionally challenged, financially unfeasible to develop on a speculative basis, and has been targeted by the federal government for disposition for more than 20 years.


Sources: $20,320,000 total commitment

  • $12,710,000 – Short Term Bridge
    • $5,260,000 repaid from Historic Tax Credits upon occupancy
    • $3,800,000 reduced from New Market Tax Credit
    • $3,650,000 from capital campaign (5 year campaign)
  • $7,610,000 – Long Term

Community Benefits

  • Renovation and repurpose of iconic historic structure
  • Long-term stability and credibility to the area, bridge between Portland’s Pearl District and Old Town/Chinatown
  • Activates the district with 500+ students and faculty, creating a significant positive impact on surrounding business
  • Provides PNCA ability to increase enrollment
  • Location for community events
  • Creates 400 temporary jobs, approximately 50 jobs relocated from other areas , additional employment as enrollment increases

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