Portland, OR – May 6, 2020 Jordan Schnitzer, President of Harsch Investment Properties, today announced he has signed a lease agreement with Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers for the Bybee Lakes Hope Center. Harsch, a privately-owned real estate company, will lease the 155,400 square foot facility and surrounding land to Helping Hands for a very generous $1 annually.
“After two years of looking for the right partner, we are now entering into a five-year lease with Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers to renovate and repurpose the project formerly known as Wapato,” said Jordan Schnitzer, President of Harsch Investment Properties. “Since purchasing the property in 2018, we have entertained numerous proposals from credible nonprofits to help homeless and others in need. Meeting with Alan Evans in 2019, I was so impressed with his background, having been on the streets for 27 years and then establishing Helping Hands in 2002, which now consists of 11 facilities in four counties serving over 240 Oregonians every day.”
“Alan Evans and his team have so far achieved all the benchmarks I established for them when we met in late 2019, including establishing a Portland advisory board, raising $4 million dollars in private funding, and creating a business plan for Bybee Lakes Hope Center,” said Jordan Schnitzer.
“It has been a pleasure working with Jordan Schnitzer and Harsch Investment Properties to make this dream come true. We know that there is a giant need for our services, and this facility is perfect to provide trauma-informed assistance to the homeless in the Portland metro area,” said Alan Evans, CEO of Helping Hands. “We are grateful for this relationship and we look forward to a long partnership with Harsch.”
In addition to finalizing the lease agreement, Helping Hands has been working with Construction Project Managers at DAY CPM to build an experienced and passionate team to complete the design and construction of the hope center. After an RFP process, Helping Hands has awarded the renovation project to Precision Construction Company as its general contractor. Precision Construction is an affiliate of Hoffman Construction, the general contractor hired to build the Wapato Facility in 2003. The architecture and engineering services were awarded to Otak.
“The Precision team includes individuals who originally worked on the build and are ready to hit the ground running with intimate knowledge of the site, design, and structure,” said Alan Evans. “Their collaborative approach and understanding of the building will allow us to get this project finished on a strict timeline and budget.”
Established in 1985 as a special projects division of Hoffman Construction, Precision Construction specializes in complex, high-impact projects, employing 50 people. Their office is located in NE Portland, just three miles from the Bybee Lakes Hope Center project. “We understand how important this project is to the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Troy Weller, President of Precision Construction. “We are eager to support Helping Hands’ vision at the Bybee Lakes Hope Center.”
Otak to Design Tenant Improvements
The Helping Hands team also announced the addition of Otak, led by architect Brian Fleener. Otak is an award-winning architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, planning, and construction project management firm based in Portland since 1981. Otak will partner with VLMK Engineering + Design, Interface Engineering and Knot to provide functional architecture, way-finding, and interior design services, specifically to the common areas and dorm wings.
Otak brings to the table extensive experience working in housing and behavioral healthcare in the pacific northwest, including trauma-informed design. “We are thrilled to include Otak as a key part of our design team to create a trauma-informed and uplifting experience for program participants,” said Alan Evans. “Their engagement is a symbol of the high standards we have set to create an environment of hope and healing.”
“Otak has a real spirit of giving back to the community and this project will allow for our staff to be deeply involved in a meaningful way,” said Matt Neish, Senior Project Manager at Otak. “This project also feels very personal to me. I look forward to engaging with the team and especially the folks that will be using this facility on a day-to-day basis.”
Private Investment Fuels Bybee Lakes Hope Center Development
Start-up of the new Bybee Lakes Hope Center (BLHC) is funded completely by private donations. When complete, BLHC will be a place where people who are experiencing homelessness can get the help they need to overcome the obstacles they face reentering society. At the Hope Center, support services will be co-located with two categories of mass housing: emergency shelter and program-based transitional housing. Helping Hands will open three of the nine existing wings at the facility and house up to 228 beds in the first year of operation. At full capacity, the Hope Center will serve 525 individuals.
About Harsch Investment Properties
Harsch Investment Properties is a privately-owned real estate company that acquires, manages and develops properties for its own portfolio. The company owns and operates 27 million square feet of office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, Harsch has regional offices in Portland, Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Las Vegas, and San Diego. For further information, visit harsch.com.
About Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers
Originally called Thugz Off Drugz, Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers is an Oregon-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2004 by Alan Evans. Helping Hands currently provides trauma-informed, data-driven services in 11 facilities in Clatsop, Tillamook, Yamhill, and Lincoln counties.
About Bybee Lakes Hope Center
Bybee Lakes Hope Center will transform the never-occupied Wapato Corrections Facility, owned by Jordan Schnitzer, into a place where people who are experiencing homelessness can get the help they need to overcome the obstacles they face reentering society. At the Hope Center, support services will be co-located with two categories of mass housing: emergency shelter and program-based transitional housing. Helping Hands will open three of the nine existing wings at the facility and house up to 228 beds in the first year of operation.