Built Links: Occasional curated news from the web (April 2020)

Pandemic, yep. Still in disbelief, yet saw it coming in slow-motion (“there’s no way they will suspend the NBA, right?!). But, here we are. The shutdown. The social distancing. Job losses. You know the drill.

However, projects are (for the moment) still getting built, buildings still need to be saved or re-used, and communities are still trying to figure out how to stay alive or readjust.

Do I have answers? Nope. But I do have an idea: collect and curate news from across North Americ each week that explores, reports on, looks at or follows news that’s related to new or used building projects, how communities and neighborhoods are coping and responding, and small-scale city ideas that are emerging and being enacted. I’ve been impressed at the great reporting and the thoughtful discussions on LinkedIn and elsewhere about real ideas that might get us in a better place, but probably not the place we all remember.

“Community building” has taken on a whole new meaning.

I hope the occasional updates are a helpful resource for you. And if you have news to share, send it my way.

People to follow on social media 

Revitalize or Die
Jeff Siegler’s Facebook page offers insight, daily content, interviews, and more. He’s also got a website. As it says, “he believes revitalizing communities is the most important work we can do.” Great stuff. 

Recast City
Ilana Preuss’ Recast City has always been favorite, focusing on neighborhood revitalization with an emphasis on small-scale manufacturing and local business. Follow her on LinkedIn, where she shares tons of info. 

Civic Brand
They’re an agency with a team of strategists, creatives and story-tellers with a passion for helping communities tell their story. Also, they had me at this post on breweries and economic development.


Articles or posts you already might have read, but if not, check them out

Opinion: In A Pandemic, We Need Green Spaces More Than Ever
What does redling, trees and more (or less) nature have to do with other? Plenty. 

The “Why” of Preservation Matters Now More than Ever
Why spend time and money on saving historic sites when people are getting sick, losing their jobs, and struggling to stop every aspect of their lives from unravelling? Start with regarding our historic places as luxuries to recognizing them as necessities. 

National Park Service Announces $14 Million in Grants to Preserve African American Civil Rights
The National Park Service (NPS) has announced $14 million in African American Civil Rights Historic Preservation Fund grants to fund 51 projects across 20 states and the District of Columbia that will preserve sites and history related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century.

Unease at Kentucky Project Mirrors Construction Industry’s Fears
A $35 million plan to redevelop one of Louisville’s oldest and poorest neighborhoods is threatened by the coronavirus outbreak.

City walks

Quick take: Downtown Long Beach

An occasional quick exploration of cities we visit 

I recently had the chance to walk around downtown Long Beach, Calif., between a couple of meetings recently and discovered real gems. Without knowing the background of the history, the architecture, or planning I stumbled upon a lot of mid-century architecture still intact, light rail, small-scale buildings with mix of businesses, and walkable streets. ⁣(Dropping in to Beachwood for a beer and BBQ kept me fueled.)







Portland Real Estate

Voodoo Doughnut coming to Portland suburb?

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Looks like it. A commercial tenant improvement license has been filed with Clackamas County. The spot is the former Starbucks space (moved across the street) and the long-shuttered Pizza Schmizza. Interesting move here. Growing area, lots of traffic, close to Portland. We’ll be keeping an eye out on this one for sure.

Update: 11/21/19: Yep. 

Here’s the press release:

PORTLAND, OR (November 21, 2019): Voodoo Doughnut, known for its innovative handmade doughnuts, will expand its Oregon footprint with the opening of a Milwaukie location in the Oak Grove neighborhood later this year, making it possible for more Oregonians to enjoy Voodoo.

Located at 14620 SE Mcloughlin Blvd, this location will feature indoor seating and 24/7 service.

The Oak Grove – Milwaukie location plans to hire more than 70 energetic and passionate individuals to serve the Oak Grove – Milwaukie community.

“We’re excited to continue to grow the Voodoo brand through new store openings by joining the Oak Grove community and great city of Milwaukie. This new store will not only bring more job opportunities, but demonstrates our commitment to serving and supporting local
communities,” said Chris Schultz, Voodoo Doughnut CEO.

Currently with eight stores, Voodoo plans to open three new locations in the coming months,
supporting its long-term plan to open stores in select new markets around the country. You’ll be seeing Voodoo’s signature pink boxes in new cities soon!

Portland Real Estate

Listing: Land for sale, SE 17th Avenue & SE Schiller Street

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Sited along the Orange Line, across from the Iron Fireman building (and Ruse Brewing), strategically located off of McLoughlin and SE 17th. The parcels are zoned for  IG-1 (General Industrial ) and CE (Commercial Employment). Approximately 2.53 acres. 

Price: $11,500,000

Check out the website for more information. 

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Portland Real Estate

New exhibit focuses on the historic city of East Portland


What we think of today as Portland covers a broad swath of land on both sides of the Willamette River. In the late 19th century, that same area contained several mostly independent communities, including Albina, St. Johns, Sellwood—and East Portland, a small city on the eastern shore of the river roughly bounded by Division Street to the south, 12th Avenue to the east, and Sullivan’s Gulch to the north. While people had lived in this area for far longer than recorded history, East Portland only existed as an official city for two decades before merging with Portland and Albina in 1891.

The Architectural Heritage Center’s latest exhibition, East Portland: A Changing Landscape, a Forgotten City, focuses on the historic city of East Portland from the 1840s to the 1910s. It explores the people who lived there, the impact of the arrival of the railroad and industry, and the changing landscape that in the course of only a few decades turned a flood zone into a thriving city.

The exhibit runs through April 25, 2020.


Portland Real Estate

Anheuser-Busch buys Craft Brew Alliance

929 North Russell Street, 1980, pre-Widmer Brothers. Source. 

And for Portlanders that really only means one thing: Widmer Brothers.

  1. This isn’t a real shocker. It almost happened in August.
  2. The smaller brands in CBA might be dissolved.
  3. Widmer will still sell its popular Hefe.
  4. Our question? What’s going to happen to the physical location on Russell that shuttered as a restaurant then the brew pub?  It’s still listed as administrative  offices for CBA but it could be so much more.

Here’s more from the press release on the sale:

“Today’s announcement represents an exciting next step in a long and successful partnership with Anheuser-Busch, whose support for the growth of our business and brands traces back over 25 years,” said Andy Thomas, CEO of CBA. “By combining our resources, our talented teammates, and dynamic brands, we will look to nurture the growth of CBA’s existing portfolio as we continue investing in innovation to meet the changing needs of today’s beverage consumers, all while delivering certainty of value to our shareholders.”


Portland Real Estate

Power + Light Building sold to Gerding Edlen


Beacon Capital has sold the Power + Light Building to Gerding Edlen for $131.5 million, according to Yardi Matrix data. The seller had owned the 16-story property, also known as the Public Service Building, for more than 25 years, paying $3 million for the structure in mid-1992.

The seller had extensively renovated the property in 1999, per Yardi Matrix data, with additional updates completed in 2018. Following the improvements, the building now has an upgraded lobby and a modern amenity mix including a conference center, rooftop deck and fitness center.

For architecture and building fans, the Power + Light Building was designed by A.E. Doyle and originally named the Public Service Building, the third of three similarly Italianate buildings built in Portland by his firm. 

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Read more about the sale here. 

Portland Real Estate

New PSU tool guides planners on where new trees should be planted


A new article on unveiled that a research team at Portland State University has built a mapping tool, called the Trees and Health App. It overlays tree density with vulnerability and lets users see where poverty intersects with lack of vegetation. The tool also “lets urban planners, neighborhood groups, and local government find the most polluted neighborhoods in their city and then figure out how many trees they would have to plant, and where to put them, to improve air quality.” The article goes on:

The Trees and Health App is being put to use in Portland, where the city and Multnomah County just passed a climate action plan informed, in part, by Portland State University’s work on heat islands and tree cover. Neighborhood groups are using the tool to set agendas. The Johnson Creek Watershed Council, for instance, is working on a tree planting project in the diverse Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood in southeast Portland.

Read the whole thing here. 


Portland Real Estate

New tenants in Wells Fargo Center


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Wells Fargo Center, pre-retrofit, 2014. Source.

CBRE Portland announced last week two leases totaling more than 27,000 square feet at the Wells Fargo Center in downtown Portland. Campbell Global, a sustainable timberland and natural resource investment management firm, has signed a 17,520-sq.-ft. lease, and will move its corporate headquarters into Oregon’s tallest building; while the Portland branch of San Francisco-based law firm Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani will take 10,068 square feet.

If you spend any time in downtown Portland, you’ve seen the scaffolding and orange cones—Wells Fargo Center is wrapping up a major renovation.


Portland Real Estate

Restore Oregon announces most endangered buildings for 2020

The Mayo House, constructed in 1895, is a Queen Anne Cottage with a complex history. Source. 

Restore Oregon has unveiled its list of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places for 2020. From their website:

Nominated from people and organizations across the state, Oregon’s Most Endangered Places list sheds light on important examples of our state’s heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. The 2020 list includes endangered places from communities that for too long have been underserved–that embody Oregon’s diverse cultural heritage and require concerted efforts to be retained and passed forward.

I’m especially excited about the Mayo House:

The Mayo House now sits on the property, representing an opportunity to repair a grave injustice. The Davises envision the Mayo House with a multipurpose future by creating a hub for African American arts, history, and culture.