Clackamas County Courthouse Project Takes Major Step Forward

By CN Staff

OREGON CITY, Ore.—Following a competitive procurement process, Clackamas County has selected Fengate PCL Progress Partners (FP3) as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a much-needed new courthouse through a public-private partnership.

The FP3 consortium comprises:

  • Developer: Fengate Asset Management (Fengate) and PCL Investments Inc.
  • Design-Build Contractor: PCL Construction Services Inc. (PCL)
  • Services Provider: Honeywell
  • Design Services: DLR Group
  • Fengate is managing this investment as part of the firm’s infrastructure strategy on behalf of its investors, including an investment fund owned by the LiUNA Pension Fund of Central and Eastern Canada.

The current Clackamas County courthouse is in urgent need of replacement. Built in 1936 to serve 50,000 residents, the facility can no longer handle the demands of a population of 420,000 that continues to grow. The gap between space availability and judicial needs of the growing population in the County has led to delays in trials and incarceration and affected child support hearings and civil litigation trials.

The current facility has been determined functionally obsolete and seismically unsound, causing safety concerns. A capacity shortage highlights the need for separate building circulation zones: there is currently a lack of separate paths for victims, witnesses, and prisoners/defendants. Jurors have no sequestration room on site, increasing potential improper communications.

The new Clackamas County Courthouse will be built on the County’s Red Soils Campus in Oregon City and by moving here, courthouse users will be able to quickly access County departments including Social Services; Behavioral Health; Public Health; Juvenile; Veterans Services; and the Family Justice Center. Currently, residents need to drive to multiple buildings to access the various functions of County government. The County owns this land and utility infrastructure is already installed as a part of the master plan for the campus. The new 241,073 sq. ft. courthouse will feature 16 courtrooms, 17 judicial chambers, space for the District Attorney’s Office, secure loading and staging areas, enhanced prisoner transfer facilities, jury assembly and grand jury spaces, safe corridors for courthouse users, and secure holding cells for violent offenders.

“We are honored to be selected to deliver this new, safe and secure courthouse with the features and services that the growing population of Clackamas County needs,” said Mac Bell, Managing Director, Infrastructure Investments, Fengate. “We look forward to working closely with the County and bringing our team’s deep experience to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the new facility for the community.”

“We’re thrilled to have the chance to partner with DLR, Fengate and Honeywell on this project,” said Tyler Kautz, district manager for PCL Construction’s Pacific Northwest group. “This public-private partnership project delivery model provides a unique opportunity to look at the goals for Clackamas County in order to build a courthouse that is not only iconic at completion but has long-term sustainability and lower operations lifecycle cost in mind.”

In May 2021, Clackamas County Commissioners approved a plan to pursue a public-private partnership for the new courthouse, the first of its kind for Oregon, as this approach provides the best value in keeping with the County’s commitment to affordability. The public-private partnership approach was determined to be the most cost-effective plan based on extensive analysis of alternatives and the new courthouse building will be built without any additional tax increases.

FP3 will design and build the new courthouse, then operate and maintain the facility over a 30-year period. FP3 is dedicated to fostering and enhancing the construction industry through supporting local and regional small and historically underutilized businesses by providing education, support, relationship building, networking and opportunities. The consortium’s goal is to meet or exceed subcontracting goals utilizing local Disadvantaged Minority-Owned/Women-Owned/Emerging Small Businesses/Service-Disabled Veterans Business (D/M/W/ESB/SDVBE), Small Business Utilization goals and Construction Career Pathways Project (C2P2) initiatives. FP3 is committed to engaging in a substantial good faith effort to provide opportunities to Oregon certified local and D/M/W/ESB/SDVBEs, Small Businesses and C2P2s in the surrounding community and foster ongoing relationships with these businesses.

The County owns the courthouse and the State and the County will not make any payments until the building is completed and ready for occupancy. Upon completion, the State’s contribution will be applied as a lump sum payment towards the private financing with the remainder repaid by the County over the remaining 30-year term of the project agreement.