Friday Links: Week of 11/11/19

The best of the week in commercial real estate and architecture news. 

Planned 24-story downtown building nets investment from Opportunity Zone fund
A $325 million fund has announced an investment in an opportunity zone project in downtown Portland. Cresset Capital chose the Eleven West project, planned for 1116 S.W. Washington St., as one of three projects it will fund. —Portland Business Journal 

Burnside Bridge, build a new one or retrofit the existing one?
Multnomah County commissioners voted unanimously to approve moving forward on an environmental impact study of four remaining options to improve the bridge.—Portland DJC (Subscribers only, support local journalism and subscribe). 

Portland bike map, 1896
This amazing map—just for bicyclists— from May, 1896, made another appearance on Reddit this week. The area covers the city of St. Helens in the north, Cornelius to the west, Oregon City to the south, and Camas, Washington to the east. The first person to print this and sell it it going to make a mint.— Multnomah County Library  

City Auditor - Archives & Records Management - Auditor s Historical Records - Bicycle road map   Portland district.JPG

Sprucing Up Slabtown
Formerly oily machine shop to become hub for soft-handed creatives in Slabtown, as creative office space continues to boom. —Portland Business Tribune 

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.

 

Anheuser-Busch buys Craft Brew Alliance

789f6-widmer.jpg

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.”

 

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. 

PSB .jpg

Read more about the sale here. 

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.

 

A look at Portland’s oldest neighborhood; Widmer closes; Saving the Mayo house

Portland’s North End
If you’re not reading Street Roots, buy a copy from any of its vendors around town. Not only do they report on homeless (and other) issues they do a great job doing it. Proof: this piece on the history of Old Town and how it’s transformed through the years. It’s written by Doug Kenck-Crispin, co-producer of the podcast Kick Ass Oregon History so you know it’s solid.

Widmer closes
Some of us were surprised, others not so much: Widmer has shut its N. Russell pub. In 2017, they stopped serving food at the same location. The venerable brewer will still produce beers, you just can’t go to its pub to drink them.

 Widmer, before it was Widmer. Source.

Mayo house saved
What a great story: Local artist saves historic home, will move it to where the family’s long-lost apartment once stood and will renovate it —and open it to the public  “where historians, artists and members of the black community can preserve and create culture.”

 

The Redd ready; Portland Plaza facelift; O’Bryant Square closed until …2023?

Here’s a roundup of building, design and development news around Portland.

The Redd ready to open
The Redd by Ecotrust will take up two city blocks and function as an “urban ecosystem for the regional food economy.”  In its final phase of construction, it’s expected to open for full operation by the end of the year.  Here’s a feature from Lost Oregon a couple years back on its history and vision.

 The red Redd.  Source.  

The red Redd. Source.  

The Portland Plaza gets a facelift
The Portland Plaza just finished its 10-year, $10 million renovation and Brian Libby from Portland Architecture has an in-depth look. 

When it was completed in 1973, just three years after the Keller Fountain (known then as the Forecourt Fountain), the idea of contemporary or luxury living in Portland, especially in a tower, was new.

 Portland Plaza and Lawrence Halprin's Keller Fountain put on a show via a postcard.

Portland Plaza and Lawrence Halprin’s Keller Fountain put on a show via a postcard.

O’Bryant Square closed until …2023?
The DJC is reporting that the redevelopment of downtown Portland’s O’Bryant Square may take until 2023. The public space has been shuttered since March due to structural issues. The fence is so welcoming, too.

 O'Bryant Square in better times, circa 1976.

O’Bryant Square in better times, circa 1976.

Urban walking isn’t just good for the soul. It could save humanity
That’s not my headline —it’s from the Guardian, and it’s a good one. The nugget: walking around cities is good for your health and it’s good for the businesses that inhabit downtowns. You just don’t see the details when you’re driving. Case in point: Hopping off the Orange Line at PSU yesterday to watch the Timbers (win, whew), we strolled up Jefferson to the Goose Hollow Inn for a pre-match beer. The furthest I’d been up Jefferson was OHS, but as we walked I was surprised that I’d never been on this stretch before. Just when you think you’ve seen every block in downtown.

On display: Vintage 1970s Douglas Fir model of downtown Portland

This totally escaped my radar but there’s a vintage 1970s Douglas Fir model of downtown Portland on display as part of Converge 45’s installation of Ann Hamilton’s, Habitus, at Centennial Mill through September 16.

  Source. 

In the early days of Portland’s downtown renaissance, Portland planners created a civic ritual for thinking about new development: including this crafted Douglas fir model of the city. For years, as a requirement of design review, developers and architects were required to bring any proposed downtown building, scaled in white cardboard, and place in the city model.

Randy Gragg is currently working on an exhibit idea to combine it with new “models” of other districts of the city—current or aspired to—for Design Week Portland 2019.

If you’re not busy 8/28 or 8/30, Gragg will also be presenting some ideas to “inspire community groups, developers, designers and leaders to think about the larger context of their districts and their city.”

Here’s a quick schedule

August 28: 5:30-7 pm, Tuesday, August 28—Short talk at 6

August 30: Noon-1:30 pm—Short talk at 12:30

Where: Centennial Mills, NW Naito Parkway & NW 9th Avenue (Look for the signs leading to Converge 45 and Habitus)

Please RSVP: randygraggprojects@gmail.com

Opening the Locks at the Willamette Falls? Maybe.

The Willamette Falls project is one of the biggest undertakings the Portland metro area has seen. It’s had some bumps and stops along the way (that’s an understatement) since the paper mill closed in 2011 but for the most part, it’s back on track.

First up will be a new riverwalk, with plans designed by Snøhetta. Then it’s anyone’s guess what will happen next, from mixed use something-something, condos, shopping. It’s going to change the McLoughlin corridor, from Milwaukie to Oregon City. If you’ve ever driven on McLoughlin and seen the car lots, strip joints, this is a good thing.

And, just last week it was announced there’s yet another new plan: Possibly reopening the decommissioned Willamette Falls Locks. The Willamette Falls Locks Commission (appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown) is working to advise state, local and regional stakeholders on the “development and implementation of policies relating to the repair, reopening, operation and maintenance of the Willamette Falls navigation canal and Locks.”

The Locks are currently owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who shuttered the Locks in 2011. But, according to a Local Economic Potential Study conducted by ECONorthwest, Oregon could see tremendous economic benefits from recommissioning the Locks. The study found that over the next 30 years:

  • Transportation benefits of $12-$49 million
  • Recreation benefits of $12-$50 million
  • 80,000-220,000 truck trips removed from Portland area roads
  Source.   Stern-wheel steamboat Grahamona in the Willamette Falls locks, sometime between 1912 and 1918.

Stern-wheel steamboat Grahamona in the Willamette Falls locks, mid-1900s.

Reopening the Locks and returning navigational access around Willamette Falls holds tremendous historical and cultural value to Oregonians, and to the state’s Native American tribes.

Plus? It’d be cool to travel past the Falls and beyond in the Willamette in a boat or on a kayak, right? Crossing our fingers on this one and we’ll be writing much more on this amazing project.

So long, Lotus Cafe; New brewery & drinking map in Central Eastside; Overland Warehouse retrofit

The Lotus is no more
Avert your eyes if you don’t want to see the destruction of The Lotus. The Oregonian reported that it originally opened in 1906 (!!) at the corner of Southwest Third Avenue and Salmon Street as the Hotel Albion. The building was known for the Lotus Café and Cardroom from 1924. It continued as a hopping nightspot until its closure in 2016. YouTuber Steve the Historian hustled down there and shot some video:

Mt. Hood Brewing opens its Central Eastside location this weekend
Snuggled at the foot of the Tilikum Bridge at a former TriMet transfer station (now called Bruun Dock Studios) we think the location will work for them. Even if they only got commuters hopping off the Orange Line for a quick pint and a pizza they’ll rock it. Another win for Central Eastside.

  Source, 

Speaking of the Central Eastside (and booze)
The folks at Conveyor have put together a micro-site of the history of the Central Eastside as well as a map of places to grab a drink. You can walk, hike, even bike it. (If you drive it, you won’t find parking. And if you’re drinking you shouldn’t be driving. Wags finger.) If you’re old school like me, look for hard copies of the map at selected establishments.

  Source. 

Adaptive reuse of the week: Overland Warehouse
Originally built as a warehouse in 1889, Overland Warehouse has served as temporary housing for immigrant families, a neighborhood market, and a nightclub over the years.

In 2016, UD+P completed a full renovation that preserved and restored its historic structural elements while adding modern features that are needed for today’s creative office tenants. Unique among older brick buildings in downtown Portland, Overland features a stunning atrium built into the third floor that brings light down to the center of the building.

As part of the renovation, the building underwent a complete seismic retrofit.

And, just last month Restore Oregon presented the Overland Warehouse design and development team with a 2018 DeMuro Award.