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Portland Real Estate

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.

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Portland Real Estate

Event amplification: My Existential Crisis and Other Random Acts | Martha Schwartz

You might have already seen this event being promoted but just in case. 

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Portland Design Events is presenting Martha Schwartz of Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP)—a leading international design practice whose work focuses on activating and regenerating urban sites and city centers—with a two-part presentation on 9/13. 

The first part will be about the work of Martha Schwartz Partners that spans from the very early installation works to the most recent work being done by the practice. The work will show an evolution of scale and approach to design.

The second part of the presentation will be sharing Schwartz’s concerns about climate change and the conflicts this knowledge has brought which has resulted in the re-evaluation of her own priorities as a professional. Here’s her take: 

I’m in a transition now as I am beginning to learn more about climate change and how we, as a practice, might fundamentally change our approach to design. As a teacher, my goals have shifted to teaching students how we, as landscape architects, can respond meaningfully to climate change.

I’m not a designer or an architect but this sounds interesting for everyone that cares about how our cities and spaces are going to be designed. Go here to sign up!

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Portland Real Estate

A stroll through Portland’s West End

James Cook, director of retail research in the Americas for JLL, has an interesting podcast called Where We Buy, “a show about the things we buy and the places we buy them.”

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In his most recent episode he explores Portland’s West End with Jonathan Ledesma, a partner with developer Project^. They talk about the challenges, opportunities and the transformation of the West End through adaptive reuse.

 Union Way: The shops may have changed since its opening,  but the design still shines. 
Union Way: The shops may have changed, but the design still shines. 

The two projects highlighted include Blackbox, a retail and creative space in a historic brick building, and Union Way, the shopping alley that connects two streets through two former night clubs. I’m probably not the target shopping audience for Union Way but I still love its aesthetics, the vibe, the design (those flush-mounted floor lights…), and the fact that it magically empties out to Powell’s (how convenient). It’s the perfect example of a building being reborn as a fun and useful space.

Grab a beverage and give the episodes a listen.

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Portland Real Estate

Milwaukie Bay Park is back

OK, it really never went away but to the casual observer nothing much has been going on since the initial grand opening three years ago. Since then, the grass has yellowed and the geese have pretty much been chased away. Now, it’s ready for the next steps: the final design phase.

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It’s been a piecemeal process.  The Klein Point Overlook was constructed (it offers a nice vantage point where Johnson Creek meets the Willamette), then a new boat dock and boat trailer parking were constructed, then restroom facilities built, and finally a connection to the Trolley Trail. Next up: A bank restoration project will begin this year, and even more park improvements will soon be planned for construction in 2020.

The survey asks : “Pick 2 photos that show how you would like artistic elements, history, and local character to be incorporated into the park.” Answer: More techno!

Construction on final park improvements is expected to begin by summer 2020, but first, the city of Milwaukie is looking for community feedback.

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Portland Real Estate

JLL Completes Sale of Indigo @ Twelve | West

Hot of the press (release):

JLL’s Capital Markets experts today announced the sale of Indigo @ Twelve | West, a mixed-use property in the vibrant West End district of Portland, on behalf of an ownership group represented by Gerding Edlen and Downtown Development Group.

Developed in 2009 by Gerding Edlen and designed by ZGF Architects, this dynamic mixed-use building offers 273 modern apartments, 85,000 square feet of creative office, 321 underground parking stalls, and curated, street level retail under one green roof. The anchor of the West End neighborhood, with its prominent, skyline-defining wind turbines, and incomparable multifamily amenities, Indigo is an iconic property that has consistently performed at the top of the Portland market.

The transaction was conducted through the combined efforts of the JLL Northwest Capital Markets team. The commercial side was lead by JLL Managing Directors Buzz Ellis and Paige Morgan, and Vice President Adam Taylor, while Senior Vice President Mark Washington and Managing Directors David Young and Corey Marx led the multifamily team.

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Portland Real Estate

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.

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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.

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Portland Real Estate

Gerding Edlen will lead development of OMSI property

Yeah, it’s not exactly “small-scale” but it’s worth noting (and we’ll definitely be following and posting more) since it has the potential to completely change Central Eastside.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) announced today it has selected the master developer with whom it will partner on the development of its 18-acre riverfront campus: Gerding Edlen. They’ll provide strategic support and guidance for the OMSI team, working with them and other firms on a long-term vision for the development of the site.

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Multiple firms, including many local entities, will be part of the development team led by Gerding Edlen and will play important roles in the development of the OMSI property including SERA Architects, The Farkas Group, URBAN.SYSTEMS, and Long Haul Capitall

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Next steps for OMSI and the Gerding Edlen team include a planning process, which will lead to an application for a Central City Master Plan and a Development Agreement with the City of Portland for public infrastructure. Gerding Edlen will also begin to work with its team to develop innovative infrastructure solutions that they hope to implement as part of the redevelopment.

Read more about the project here and here.

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Portland Real Estate

Next steps for Westmoreland church property: 31 townhomes

Last night, the SMILE Land Use Committee invited the developer to present their proposed conceptual framework to build 31 townhomes on the site of the Tenth Church of Christ Scientist at 5736 SE 17th Avenue. I attended it with Matt from SUM Design Studio + architecture (thanks for the heads-up, Matt!).

Architect and developer Cody Johnecheck walked the committee and local citizens through some of the details of the project. Here are some of them

  • Five buildings, 31 units (townhomes), with some three-story and some shared courts
  • A public access street for non-residents that connects SE 17th and SE 18th
  • One (or maybe 2) parking spots per unit; guests will park on the street
  • Based on the dimension plan, they’d like to keep three of the larger trees and incorporate (according to Johnecheck they’ve “proposed” keeping them to the city, the city could deny, so…)
  • The project, if approved, will be completed in three years; townhomes are expected to go for the mid $500,000s
  • The style will be contemporary or transitional

Next steps: Since this is a Type 3 project, there will be a public notice generated and more opportunities to comment during the land use approval process.

Interesting note: The SMILE presenter says there are “1,000 units in the pipeline” in Sellwood-Moreland, including 304 parking spaces, or a 25% increase in more housing.

 31 units and five buildings. 
31 units and five buildings.

 

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Portland Real Estate

New timber building breaks ground in Central Eastside

Beam Development and Urban Development + Partners (UD+P) continue to transform the Central Eastside with District Office, a six-story mass timber creative office building located at 525 SE MLK Blvd. With construction underway, the project features ground floor retail, open office floorplates, generous ceiling heights and innovative, double-height indoor/outdoor deck spaces.

 The mass timber project is underway just as another timber building was scrapped. 
The mass timber project is underway just as another timber building was scrapped. 

Hacker Architects designed the project and will be moving its headquarters to the top floor of District Office upon completion in late 2019 with Andersen Construction building the project and JLL leading the leasing efforts.

“As one of the first development companies to recognize the potential of the Central Eastside and help pioneer its transformation, we anticipate District Office will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of the emerging Grand/Stark corridor,” said Beam Development Principal Jonathan Malsin.

With 72,000 square feet of office space, District Office offers an extensive list of best in class amenities such as highly efficient mechanical systems, indoor / outdoor lounge space with operable windows and abundant natural light.  The innovative design includes a 40’ column-to-window span to maximize floor plan flexibility and allows for efficient open or private office layouts. In addition, the building will be built with cross-laminated timber sourced in Oregon, which is a highly durable and resilient type of mass timber construction that achieves larger spans, beautiful exposed structure, lower environmental impact and benefits the rural Oregon economy.

“This project prioritizes year-round usable office space that feels connected to the outdoors,” said UD+P Principal Eric Cress.“ With the massive windows and location in the heart of the Central Eastside, District Office is going to be an outstanding place to work.”

The new space will add 9,500 rentable square feet of ground-floor retail space, encompassing dining and retail, to the district to provide building tenants and the community with social and recreational features amongst the professional environment. District Office also offers onsite parking, showers and lockers, and bike parking for its users.

“The Central Eastside continues to see an amazing progression of placemaking for some of Portland’s most dynamic businesses,” said JLL Managing Director Jake Lancaster.

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Portland Real Estate

Zidell Yards statement on next steps, wood skyscraper DOA, Portland Building…leggings?

More on Zidell Yards
Jay Zidell, president of ZRZ Realty Company, released a statement on their site today. Here’s a blurb from it:

After lengthy negotiations with the City of Portland, we’ve decided to mutually terminate the Development Agreement for Zidell Yards.

It comes down to two simple things: the cost of public infrastructure and the need to secure outside funding. The public infrastructure that would have been a part of Zidell Yards included ten acres of new public parks and Greenway, new public docks and a publicly accessible beach as well as the extension of Bond Avenue and significant investments in affordable housing.

We were happy to contribute as much as we could to these projects, but we compete for financing with projects across the city and nation. Zidell Yards could not bear the sizable additional infrastructure costs the City was requesting and still generate the market returns needed to secure outside funding.

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Central Eastside gets (yet) another new tenant
After nearly 10 years on Mississippi Avenue, Animal Traffic is relocating to the Central Eastside. Well known for their vintage clothes, Animal Traffic will occupy a 2.465 SF space with a 1,650 SF showroom in the newly renovated Taylor Works Building at 134 SE Taylor Street. Alongside their highly curated clothing selection will be a new shoe lounge. Animal Traffic will be an exclusive retailer of Dr. Marten’s Made in England line for men and women.

Tower of wood no more
Willamette Week reported that the “deal to build a record-setting wooden Portland tower that was expected to be the tallest in North America is off.” It was going to be 12 stories tall and constructed from cross-laminated timber. Reason: the costs were too high.

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Portland Building Leggings
It’s exactly what you think it is. Portland Design Events, the “premier website for finding and sharing architecture and design-related events in Portland, Oregon,” (and a favorite site of ours) also has a store where you can buy Portland design-inspired items. Like? Like these Portland Building leggings.

Headline of the week: CVS commits urban malpractice with generic store designs that poison neighborhoods
One, the Dallas Morning News has an architecture critic. That’s rad. How many daily newspaper have an architecture critic any more? (Thankfully we have Brian Libby’s Portland Architecture.) Two, this review takes apart a new Dallas CVS, piece by piece. Here’s a nice nugget:

The interior design is manipulative, but the exteriors are worse, for they actively encourage unhealthy behavior by abetting an auto-centric lifestyle and making the city actively worse for anyone who would prefer or requires other means of mobility, above all walking.