by Sarah J.F. Braley | June 29, 2017
On July 14, construction officially will begin on the 600-room Hyatt Regency Portland (Ore.), the long-awaited headquarters hotel for the Oregon Convention Center.
According to The Oregonian, the $224 million hotel will open in 2019. The project will use about $60 million in revenue bonds backed by lodging taxes. In keeping with Portland's reputation as one of the greenest cities in the country, sustainability practices will be used in the construction, and the hotel is expected to be LEED-certified.
According to the Metro Regional Government, since a firm timeline for the construction was announced, the convention center has been in contact with a number of convention planners looking to bring larger events to the facility. Officials have estimated that the region's convention business will grow by a third once the hotel is open. The Hyatt also is expected to increase the Portland area's annual hotel business by 70,000 to 110,000 room nights.
As part of the process of bringing the Hyatt to the city, the hotel company signed a labor peace agreement with Unite Here, the hospitality-workers union, allowing the unionization of the hotel's employees. 
The property will be at the northern end of the building, across from the center's plaza, which will undergo a $35 million renovation starting next year.
"We would really like the facility to be renovated and refreshed in anticipation of the Hyatt hotel opening in 2019," said Karol Collymore, communications and policy development manager for visitor venues for the Metro Regional Government, which oversees Portland and its surroundings. "It'd be really great to have the renovation of the plaza be more inviting to the community and other parts of the building to reflect a more modern look."
The aim of the plaza renovations is to create outdoor event space for concerts, receptions and other convention events.