Downtown by Design
|Facts and Figures
Developers: Specht Development, Inc.
Type of Project: A new Civic Center and mixed-use facility
Architect: LRS Architects, Inc.
Construction Manager/ General Contractor: Skanska USA Building,
Inc., Housing - GSL Properties
Size: 358,000 square feet (total)
Cost: $33.5 million
Construction Time: July 2003-December 2004
Incorporated in 1876, Hillsboro is a thriving suburb of
Portland. As the Washington County seat, Hillsboro is also
a center for government and business.
The Hillsboro Civic Center is designed to consolidate
city government into one building, regain a city hall identity
and provide a mixed-use development, including retail and
housing that will serve the city’s needs for years
to come and help revitalize downtown.
The Hillsboro Civic Center is an intricate project spanning
three large city blocks and adjoining a light rail line.
The centerpiece is the 120,000-square foot city hall and
two adjoining plazas. The project contains a 90-unit affordable
housing complex, 9,000 square feet of retail and 12,000 square
feet of commercial/flexible/office space. A third parcel
is slated for a future market-rate housing project.
The large outdoor plazas are pedestrian-friendly and designed
to host public events such as concerts, holiday activities
and the local farmers’ markets. The first floor contains
a 250-seat public auditorium connected to 3,500 square feet
of conference rooms. The lobby features a monumental staircase
with a Northwest-themed mosaic.
The development site was a brownfield, contaminated with
dry-cleaning chemicals and petroleum by-products accumulated
over the past 125 years, requiring extensive cleanup before
The community identified an environmental
goal for all future municipal development through the Hillsboro
Hillsboro City Hall has received a Gold Leadership in Energy
and Environmental design (LEED TM) certification from the
U.S. Green Building Council, which makes it the first city
hall in North America to be so designated. The project includes
some very unique indoor air-quality features – the
building closely monitors carbon dioxide and uses a dynamic
filtration system in HVAC&R equipment, and only low volatile
organic compound (VOC) emitting paints, carpets and sealants
were utilized. Eight existing builds were demolished and
the team achieved a 90 percent recycling rate for the demolished
The result is a project that is environmentally
friendly and fulfills the city’s needs by providing
a functional and inviting space.
Source: Real Estate and Construction Review, Northwest
Edition, Volume 3 2006 Edition.