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Apr 26, 2007, 11:32 PM
I say leave the sign, it'll boost ridership.
In fact, Dougall may be on to something. If everybody along the tram route sold roof space for advertising, we could have an aerial version of Times Square. Hundreds of competing ads, lit up and vying for attention.

Apr 27, 2007, 12:26 AM
"Parents riding with children on the tram expressed concern over the expletive used on the sign." from the article

Other than that, I have no problem whatsoever with this particular expression of freedom of speech. Some times it takes an expletive for people to get the point. The point is that sure, while people are having lots of fun riding the tram, even as it arguably is also serving a practical purpose, others have to adapt to living in their homes and gardens with great numbers of tram riders in a position to peer down upon them throughout the day. The privacy of residents below the tram has been significantly compromised by the tram.

The fact is though, that now is a little too late for this kind of thing. I can't think of much that can be done to restore lost residential privacy other than blocking out the tram windows half-way or three-quarters of the way up.

Apr 27, 2007, 4:39 AM
^^^ haha you gave me a good laugh drmyeyes

Apr 27, 2007, 5:08 PM
I saw some other guy with roof top a sign selling condos near the tram last time I rode it. I guess some people see an opportunity, others just get mad.

Apr 27, 2007, 5:26 PM
Great point!

With all the medical community related traffic on the tram, think of the opportunity for pharma companies to place billboards on the roofs below.

"Feeling queasy from the tram ride, try Compazine" or "Is the tram the only thing in your life that rises? Not any longer, thanks to Viagra." :cool:

Apr 27, 2007, 5:38 PM
These are old, but just didn't want this thread to die...

Apr 27, 2007, 5:49 PM
damn, I forgot about the scan. I haven't gotten a chance to try and make a better conversion of the PDF to post here. If anyone want's to PM me with their e-mail, I can send you the PDF and let you dink around with it and post a better image.

Apr 27, 2007, 6:06 PM

Apr 27, 2007, 6:34 PM

Apr 27, 2007, 6:45 PM
No problem

Apr 27, 2007, 10:39 PM
thanks for posting that it looks nice i count 25 floors

Apr 27, 2007, 11:04 PM
Is this the one they expect to start construction on in Summer of 08?

Apr 27, 2007, 11:32 PM
I was forced to revive my SSP account since all the Portland action takes place on this forum rather than SSC. This is the first I've seen those SoWa rengerings posted by CouvScott. They look phenomenal. I could stare at those all day. Are each of those towers proposed or are some of them simply conceptual?

Apr 27, 2007, 11:38 PM
I think they are conceptual

Apr 28, 2007, 12:25 AM
I like it although I would rather see whats happening with block 37 that initial render for 37 looked really interesting

I must have missed the rendering of Block 37 somewhere.....can you re-post??? Secondly, is there any update on Block 41. The first posting by MarkdaMan is quoted as saying the project is on hold. Are there any renderings of Block 42 and 45a?

Apr 28, 2007, 1:29 AM
Now that you can see the renderings of Block 41, i don't think it looks that bad. Its better than the alexan and most other blobs that get built.

May 1, 2007, 12:43 AM
looks like they picked the box girder design, and now there are two branches of the bridge, one connecting bikes with macadam, and the other heading toward the condo towers in the river district
more info including redone pedestrian crossings on naito and barbur and more here: http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=43036&


May 1, 2007, 1:03 AM
looks like they picked the box girder design

Thank God :banana:

May 1, 2007, 9:29 AM
holy shit!
Looks like Portland is getting to design nirvana... I'm so glad I'm in the design field! Woohoo!

There is hope after all!


question tho: you can bike on Macadam? Where on earth would you bike to?

May 1, 2007, 2:20 PM

If anyone is interested, here is a good article on the importance of good pedestrian bridge design.

May 1, 2007, 3:07 PM
Secondly, is there any update on Block 41. The first posting by MarkdaMan is quoted as saying the project is on hold. Are there any renderings of Block 42 and 45a?

To my knowledge what I posted at the top of the thread was their current plans as of only 4 weeks ago. In a slow market I doubt anything much has happened, especially since Prometheus purchased an apartment tower next to the KOIN Tower and is starting upgrades. The lady from the company did say in a follow up e-mail that the only renderings available right now for public consumption was the one forwarded and posted here.

May 1, 2007, 3:11 PM
There is hope after all!

Finally, they didn't go with the "least expensive" (aka- ugliest) option. Sometimes, you have to invest a LITTLE extra to get a LOT more bang.

May 1, 2007, 11:02 PM
Tram to open Sunday afternoons
Trial summer service begins May 20

Beginning May 20, you can ride the tram on Sundays.

The Portland Aerial Tram, which connects the South Waterfront District in Southwest Portland to the Marquam Hill campus of Oregon Health & Science University, opened for rides in January six days a week. Sundays were reserved for maintenance.

However, the tram’s executive management committee said there had been a number of requests for Sunday service and have approved a four-month trial. The tram will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays between May 20 and Sept. 16. Fares are $4 with children 6 years and younger free.

“The tram is still proving to be very interesting to people, and with the good weather and stunning views of summer, we thought it may prove viable to open for Sunday afternoon rides during this time,” said Steve Stadum, executive vice president of OHSU and chairman of the Portland Aerial Tram executive management committee.

Following the test period, the committee will decide whether to reopen the tram on Sundays in subsequent years.

– Connie Pickett


May 2, 2007, 12:17 AM
Wow, what an amazing project!.....additions like this foot bridge will help transform the SOWA from a great project into a world class project. Creativity and attention to details will garrenty continued success.

May 2, 2007, 3:40 PM
Maybe there will be enough going on in SoWa to keep this thread alive? In any case, I didn't know where to stick this story.

Wind not a blow to South Waterfront buildings
Daily Journal of Commerce
by Alison Ryan

The Willamette River isn’t Lake Michigan – and South Waterfront isn’t Chicago’s wind-whipping lakefront. But builders are still watching the wind factor as the growing district takes shape.

In some cities, watching the wind is a bigger part of building. The city of Toronto, for example, can require pedestrian-level wind studies for projects of more than six stories in some parts of the city. Studies evaluate pedestrian comfort during typical urban space activities – like sitting and walking – based on factors like wind force and wind chill.

But wind isn’t a factor in Portland’s review process for the South Waterfront District, Troy Doss, a city planner, said. An initial study of the North Macadam greenway microclimate, completed in 2000 by a University of Oregon team, showed that the way the wind blows through the district, as well as the way the streets are laid out, mostly shield South Waterfront from wind’s effects.

“The area tends to be more accommodating, in regard to the negative impact of wind,” Doss said. “But the proof will be in the pudding, when we see the district more built out.”

Wind isn’t often an issue in Portland. Monthly wind averages, collected since 1948, range between 6.5 and 9.9 miles per hour with an annual average of 7.9 miles per hour, according to 2005 National Climatic Data Center data. And according to Jan Curtis, a climatologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s National Water and Climate Center in Portland, the city’s wind levels have been steady for at least the past 15 years.

Though architects and engineers consider wind effects, he said, studies would “generally not” make sense as a widespread requirement for Portland. The city is mostly established, he said, and heavy winds are fairly atypical in Portland and most U.S. cities.

“It’s generally something we kind of live with,” he said.

But it’s something that building teams are looking at anyway. As Oregon Health & Science University buildings, condominiums and other planned South Waterfront projects rise, the dynamic of the district will change. Both, developers say, in terms of urban life and in terms of how the wind moves through the area.

Planning the Center for Health & Healing, said Dennis Wilde, principal at Gerding Edlen Development Co., meant a computational fluid dynamics study – which involved computer modeling of wind – of the area by Arizona State University. Potential for wind turbines was explored, he said, as well as the dynamics created by the high-rise building. And the center, as the district’s first tall building, is experiencing some wind problems.

“It’s a huge issue for short periods of time,” he said. “But as other buildings go in and the neighborhood matures, those wind characteristics are going to change significantly.”

Designers for the Mirabella, a 30-story senior housing tower planned for South Waterfront, will study wind, a team from Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects told the Portland Design Commission on April 19.

Investigation into wind has also been a part of the process for project such as the John Ross Condominiums. The design team, TVA Architects principal Robert Thompson said, analyzed wind patterns as part of the John Ross design process – and the final design for the tower nods to the wind, too.

“The John Ross is an elliptical tower, so it’s far more aerodynamic than a rectangle or a square,” he said. “This allows the wind to pass smoothly by the building, creating very little turbulence as it goes by.”

Working on early South Waterfront projects means, Thompson said, that teams don’t have the luxury of factoring to-come projects into their work. But one thing the podium-tower design of some of the district’s first buildings, such as the Atwater and the Meriwether, do is create a street-level buffer that tower-only designs don’t have, he said.

Although the district’s wind dynamic will change as new projects wrap, South Waterfront’s well-positioned for wind. The street grid is oriented due north. Regulations focused on “permeability,” or keeping views of Mount Hood and the river within the district, bar facades wider than 125 feet on the north and south block sides, meaning buildings’ longer sides have to be oriented east and west. The district’s natural orientation doesn’t create wind tunnels, Doss said, but it does create a setup that’s good for harnessing solar energy.

“On balance, we’re in the black in the district more than anything else,” he said.

Gerding Edlen has seized solar’s potential, most notably through the photovoltaic system on the Center for Health & Healing. Designers left space, too, Wilde said, for wind turbines on the roof of the center, should technology for grabbing low-velocity wind appear on the market. But for now, he said, the same easy wind that makes the district a good place to build doesn’t offer a good return on turbine investment.

“We didn’t find consistent enough winds,” he said, “to justify the expense.”

May 2, 2007, 4:37 PM
check out this site plan by Williams and Dame (the link has been posted before)


Does anyone else notice that Block 46 has a different footprint, apparently 65' height limits, and now says Simpson Housing Apartments under the Block 46 identifier?

May 2, 2007, 4:51 PM
Block 45 is in design process as well.

May 2, 2007, 10:30 PM
I wonder if the design has changed. now all the delays make sense

May 2, 2007, 10:34 PM
do we have a render of block 45?

May 2, 2007, 11:59 PM
Multiple design schemes are being studied and evaluated...so no, not yet. :)

May 3, 2007, 6:56 AM
well damn, didn't see them going with the good design with this one. Figured with the tram being so over budget they would of built the ugly, cheap bridge. Good to see good architecture winning a few battles in this city finally.

May 3, 2007, 6:59 PM
pleasant surprise! they picked the good one!

May 3, 2007, 11:56 PM
check out this site plan by Williams and Dame (the link has been posted before)


Does anyone else notice that Block 46 has a different footprint, apparently 65' height limits, and now says Simpson Housing Apartments under the Block 46 identifier?
^^^I wondered that too when i first saw the revised site plan. I'm hoping its just the height for the smaller building that was a part of the original plan and that the tower will still be built.

May 7, 2007, 3:05 PM
Does anyone have any insight on what's going on with Zidell?

May 8, 2007, 12:16 AM
Does anyone have any insight on what's going on with Zidell?

I would like to see several highrise office towers on that site. The SOWA's primary focus thus far seems to be residential. What a spectaculiar location to put speculative luxurious office space and begin a recruting campaigne for new corporations. With so many amenities available, the possibilty of several large Corps setting up shop does not seem far fetched........

May 8, 2007, 3:01 PM
Does anyone have any insight on what's going on with Zidell?

Zidell has a M37 claim pending but have put any action on it on hold while they negotiate with the city and OHSU. Zidell has indicated they are open to almost any possibility including land swaps but have the M37 claim as 'insurance' if they determine none of the deals being negotiated are good enough. Currently there are no immediate plans for development but a potential M37 claim could eliminate any FAR or height limits.

May 9, 2007, 4:03 PM
^^^I wondered that too when i first saw the revised site plan. I'm hoping its just the height for the smaller building that was a part of the original plan and that the tower will still be built.

The B46 project is completely different now. No towers. WDD sold the site to Simpson Housing. New design should be made public relatively soon.

Low rise apartment buildings, modern in design.

May 9, 2007, 10:15 PM
well darn I hope it looks good

May 10, 2007, 6:20 PM

May 10, 2007, 6:33 PM
^that is the affordable housing project?

from amaa.com


May 10, 2007, 6:48 PM
The images on the pre ap agenda don't look as nice as your image though, but they do give insight that it will have underground and surface parking. The surface parking will all be in the courtyard created by the buildings.

May 10, 2007, 6:49 PM
That's B49, not B46. B49 hasn't changed.

May 10, 2007, 6:53 PM
^I am curious to see the new design for Block 46!

Isn't unheard of to reuse the old design in another location?

May 10, 2007, 8:40 PM
B49 is affordable (I.E - subsidized) housing by WDD. (typically requiring a budget so tight that it could turn coal into a diamond)

B46 is market rate apartments by Simpson. The renderings that I have seen for both, are better than what is shown above.

The Simpson block is particularly modern.

May 10, 2007, 10:20 PM
^you can't say more then modern? materials, glassy?...maybe please...

May 14, 2007, 9:18 PM
link to pre app for block 49


May 14, 2007, 9:42 PM
Eeesh! Looks boring...

May 14, 2007, 10:56 PM
well we haven't heard anything about the park in a while. Are they designing it now? Does anyone have any ideas of what the park should consist of? maybe something like this:

May 15, 2007, 4:21 AM
link to pre app for block 39


That's not 39, that's 49 (again). And those B&W elevations always look terrible.

^^ Nice park, Dougall. Where's that? VanBC?

May 15, 2007, 3:02 PM
It's in toronto, maybe a little more just grass in it would make it perfect

May 15, 2007, 3:23 PM
thanks 65MAX. I noticed I put the wrong block number yesterday and totally spaced changing it before I posted.

That's cool Dougall. I really would like to see them start planning for that park!

May 17, 2007, 5:00 PM
^you can't say more then modern? materials, glassy?...maybe please...

B49: "semi-quiet" modern. B&W elevations don't come close to doing the building justice. It's affordable housing, built as inexpensively (as is required) as possible, to make it financially feasible. Thankfully there will be affordable down in SOWA. They can't ALL be high-end residences...sheesh. Think Sitka quality, but modern... and you get the idea. Common financial models.

B46: Two more progressive low rise designs and one very progressive modern (almost deconstructivist) design, fronting the rail turn-around. It's always a challenge to do something like that out of wood framing (unconventioanl plans/ meandering walls, etc), and not have an intimidated contractor price it out of reality or have an envelope consultant pepper the design with "No, you cant...that'll definitely leak" comments. That one will be tough to get done perfectly, but good for Simpson in accepting a challenge by AMAA, to try it there. Particularly for apartments. They are really just cash machines for the ultimate owners, and some are mostly interested in that aspect, with as minimal risk as is possible for a 30 million dollar project. Especially the developers that have a corporate model (TCR, etc)

If Simpson thinks they can develop it (and potentially sell it off once done) successfully, great.

May 17, 2007, 6:11 PM
Crane base just went up on the Alexan

May 17, 2007, 8:12 PM
PDC is about to sign an agreement with Williams Dame for development of Parcel 8. I think that also gives them rights on parcel 3 if I remember correctly.

May 17, 2007, 11:06 PM
thanks for the info brg!
Crane base just went up on the Alexan
I guess this means the parking is above ground or is there still hope?

It would be cool if we get some more dense buildings about the size of the stand of parcel 8 and 3

May 18, 2007, 3:00 AM
now this looks like vancouver! http://flickr.com/photos/portland-pete/499026916/

May 18, 2007, 3:11 AM
Well, if the Strand was 10 stories taller, maybe. It's a good start though.

May 18, 2007, 3:24 PM
Onder-W&D likely pick to develop RiverPlace site
by DJC Staff

The Portland Development Commission will recommend to its board of commissioners that Onder Development Co. and Williams & Dame Development Inc. redevelop RiverPlace Parcel 8 at Southwest River Parkway and River Drive.

The Onder/Williams & Dame team was the only respondent to a request for proposals issued in February. The team proposes a mixed-use building with residential units and ground-floor retail space.

If the board approves the PDC’s recommendation, the next step would be to sign a memorandum of understanding with the developer, along with a disposition and development agreement. Negotiations between the developer and the PDC will continue through the fall. Design and construction is slated to start soon after, according to PDC records.


May 18, 2007, 4:04 PM
it appears the Alexan thread has expired, if anyone can find it, please revive it!




More evidence Portland's apartment market is back
South Waterfront development bodes well for the future
Portland Business Journal - May 18, 2007
by Wendy Culverwell
Business Journal staff writer

In the biggest sign yet that Portland's rental market is regaining its legs, Trammell Crow Residential has broken ground on a $90 million apartment tower in the South Waterfront District.

The 22-story tower will have 294 apartments and is slated to open in two years. It's located on the south side of the district's undeveloped park.

Trammell Crow is giving it the name it uses for its most luxurious properties, Alexan. The premier tag is expected to carry premier rents, anticipated at $2 or more a square foot. When it opens, Alexan South Waterfront will bring a novelty to an already novel district: the opportunity to rent a home in the region's latest emerging neighborhood. To date, the district has gained a medical facility in Oregon Health & Science University's new Center for Health and Healing, and a handful of condominium towers, most still being built.

Design-wise, Alexan South Waterfront echoes its condominium neighbors to a degree. It features a slender tower set atop a five-story podium.

But there is a major difference: The economics of apartments didn't support major excavation, so the parking garage is above ground, concealed behind units and many screens.

"We've spent a lot of time hiding the parking," said Thomas DiChiara, managing director for Trammell Crow Residential.

To DiChiara, the pool of potential renters interested in South Waterfront living is huge. The Portland Aerial Tram connects the waterfront and Marquam Hill, bringing South Waterfront into play for the estimated 12,000 people who work on the hill.

The Portland Streetcar, which will run past two sides of the apartment site when the latest extension opens this summer, provides links to downtown and Northwest Portland.

Trammell Crow is optimistic enough about South Waterfront that it is seeking a second site for another apartment project.

The Alexan South Waterfront is immediately south of the district's major park -- to be developed in 2009 -- in the block bordered by Southwest Moody and Bond avenues and by Southwest Gaines and Lane streets.

In addition to being the first apartment project at South Waterfront, it will be Trammell Crow Residential's first time to pursue the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design "Silver" certification for extensive use of energy and water-saving designs.

Trammell Crow's partners include Ankrom Moisan Architects, Walsh Construction, Green Building Services and North Macadam Partners, which sold it the site two years ago. U.S. Bank provided the loan for the project and Trammell Crow and Massachusetts Mutual are the equity investors.

Urban Works Real Estate is representing the 14,000 square feet of retail space designed into the podium base.

Alexan South Waterfront will not contain below-market units because Trammell Crow Residential failed to win property tax abatements for the project.

The tax breaks are given in exchange for cheaper rent on some units and are used by municipalities to compel builders to include subsidized or affordable units in their projects.

The Alexan South Waterfront is the first for-rent project at Portland's newest and tallest neighborhood and its start signals a resurgence in interest in apartment construction after a drought of several years, said DiChiara.

It's been four years since construction started on any new apartment project in the downtown Portland area.

The most recent addition, The Louisa, a 242-unit project by Gerding Edlen Development Co., opened in the Pearl District in 2005, with construction starting about two years prior to that. Trammell Crow's most recent downtown apartment was the 10th at Hoyt, which opened in the Pearl District in early 2004.

As buyers -- and bankers -- flocked to condominiums, apartment rents stagnated and vacancy rates climbed. To entice renters, landlords offered free rent and other concessions and had little room to raise rents.

All that changed around 2006. The housing market cooled but newcomers kept coming anyway, putting pressure on for-rent housing. Apartments that hadn't been converted to condominiums suddenly started to look good.

DiChiara said Trammell Crow Residential tallied an uptick in occupancy rates -- and rents -- about eight months ago.

"We've seen strong rent growth and expect it to continue," DiChiara said. "People keep moving here. All the fundamentals are in place."

The Metro Multifamily Housing Association, which tracks the apartment industry, reports a hot apartment market for landlords.

The overall vacancy rate for the Portland/Vancouver area sank to 3.23 percent in February, a 4 percent improvement from the previous survey conducted in fall 2006. Association members report that empty units re-rent faster and they are having an easier time boosting rents to keep up with rising costs, including taxes, staffing, equipment and utilities.

The new effort at South Waterfront is one of a handful of big projects that indicate Portland's apartment market is attracting interest from investors, said Greg Frick, of Hagerman Frick O'Brien Investment Real Estate LLC. His Portland firm specializes in multifamily brokerage.

Opus Northwest's decision to turn its Ladd Tower project in downtown into apartments, after originally conceiving it as a condominium project, is another good example.

wculverwell@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3415

May 21, 2007, 3:43 AM
new mirabella renderings




May 21, 2007, 3:58 AM
Wow! Those are great renderings...I can't wait til they get started on that one :) BTW, when do they start on the mirabella?

May 21, 2007, 4:02 AM

May 21, 2007, 6:30 AM
Well, if the Strand was 10 stories taller, maybe. It's a good start though.

Well, there are some lower-rise Vancouver condos lining the waterfront... right across from Granville Island, for instance.

pic taken by me, 5/8/05

May 21, 2007, 7:34 AM
I like these shiny renderings too, but I think the uniform height limits are a big mistake. The risk of sterility looms large, and I'm afraid the area is going to suffer from a built-in lack of the poetry of jumbled urbanity.

I was in Seattle a few weeks ago for the first time in 3 years (travelling by train and bike, staying at the Ace), and I was struck by the density and vibrancy of their downtown. It makes Portland look like a sleepy college town. Throw in the boldness and brilliance of the new library, and PDX looks positively second string, and with a bad case of smugness to boot. I don't want to sound overly negative, but it made me suspicious of the ability of the local economy to absorb so much mixed-use dvlpt on the edges of downtown AND fill in the cbd, which is not nearly dense enough and full of parking lots and parking garages. And our riverfront is desperately in need of activation (Potter, you're fired!) beyond jogging and biking.

Sorry to go off topic, but seeing these renderings just made me think of all the density and verticality these buildings could have added **in my ideal world** to downtown, and how overstretched and awkward the westside of the river looks to me.

May 21, 2007, 8:46 AM
^ Yes, our dense developments are definitely quite spread out. If they were all focused within one district, or even in downtown itself, it would have made a much larger impact in the central city by concentrating all that new housing, retail, and activity.

As it stands, however, is that downtown is still relatively affordable... I suppose that makes it viable for smaller locally based businesses. Our downtown isn't as shiny... and I'm not so sure that this is a bad thing. In any case, there is definitely steady interest by landowners and developers to continue building in our downtown, albeit at a slower pace than Seattle. Yet Seattle is also larger, denser, and wealthier... who knows what P-town's real estate/development market will be like in 10 years?

May 21, 2007, 1:19 PM
does anyone know whats going on with this little area of the meriweather?
It looks like a dog park now, but on the map of the development it looks like it is supposed to be made into another retail building or something

May 21, 2007, 2:25 PM
Portland architects love affair with the square. I guess they felt the design wasn't enough of a box. That picture of Vancouver is telling, notice that the architects in BC not only play with height, but shape. Those building actually have rounded edges, nooks, balconies at various location. Portlands building tend to be square, uniform and missing a sense of location. You have this meandering river out front, but the buildings are lined up like soldiers. There is no sense of location to the development. Its good to see the john Ross, and some of the newer developments coming on that finally breaks away from the box approach, but they continue the cube farm feel by boxing the base of the buildings. I'm sure this has to due with the 200ft blocks forced on the area, but still, it would be nice if they could deviate just a bit from the square when they have opportunites like that small grass area in the Meriwether.

May 21, 2007, 4:12 PM
Compared to seattle, san francisco and vancouver, portland is definitely second string.

May 21, 2007, 5:35 PM
Compared to seattle, san francisco and vancouver, portland is definitely second string.

Let's keep it that way. I love Portland. You couldn't pay me to live in Seattle or San Fran. Both are fun to visit, but they both have that gritty, dirty feel and the people are so cold and unfriendly (this is not necessarily a bad thing, some people like the grit and brashness). That is because they are cities. Portland is just a combination of a bunch of small towns and villages with a 1960s-1980s skyline built before Portland lost its competitiveness to the world economy. Seattle, SF and Vancouver all have geographically better locations to be port towns which is how the west coast developed over the last 100 years. You can also say that since Portland never burnt down as our neighbors have we have less downtown land worthy of development. I would rather have our slow, meandering style of development than large corporate players making all the towns shots.

If crazy development is all you want to see around you: move to dubai. But, you might find that that type of incredibly fast paced mega-project building makes for a pretty poor livability in the long run. I prefer Portland's more european, slow growth over time, feel than that of any other city in the US.

This is just my opinion, please do not take my words as an argument.

Eagle rock
May 21, 2007, 6:11 PM
I don’t think it’s fair to compare Portland with Seattle or Vancouver. Portland is much smaller then Seattle and even though we are comparable size to Vancouver, Vancouver is the equivalent of Chicago to Canada in prominence being the third largest city in the Country. I personally feel that San Francisco is in another league all together compared to Seattle and Vancouver.

I think Portland should be compared to Denver, Sacramento, Charlotte, and other midsize, fast growing cities. I think that we compare incredibly favorable in terms of urban development. I also think that while the architecture is lacking on many urban projects in Portland (although this is changing with Holst and other firms). I think the street level presence of our infill buildings and there contributions they make to a walkable urban environment are much more successful then Seattle and even San Francisco. I think this can be attributed to Portland’s planning and design codes as well as the fact that developers in Portland understand cities and how to really do mixed use right.

May 21, 2007, 7:40 PM
You all have great points, thanks. Just for the record, I do NOT want crazy development all around me. I also love Portland and have no intention of pulling up my deep roots and going anywhere, let alone a soulless nightmare like Dubai.

I definitely had some architecture-envy in Seattle, sorry, and was surprised by the vitality everywhere we went. Just the playfulness alone of the interior of the library seemed like a reflection of a few things Portland could use. Also, for the record, everyone we interacted with was exceedingly friendly, and we biked all over the city (downtown-Fremont-Wallingford-U-district-Greenlake-Capital Hill) and were not honked at, passed too close, or told to "get on the sidewalk!" once. This despite an obvious auto-centrism in general. That said a lot to me, probably because I was worried about what our experience was going to be like. We also walked a lot. Overall, I guess the trip made me want to re-think some of the mythologies I've bought into regarding our two cities specifically, if that makes sense.

May 21, 2007, 7:49 PM
tworivers...your opinions are valid but not everyone is crazy about the central library in Seattle. (Ask many of the library patrons who actually have to use the facility). Also, be careful what you guys wish for....do you really want millions of more people downtown Portland? Seriously?

When the downtown transit mall and Macy's/hotel are completed (along with the other new tower/retail development coming on board) downtown Portland can hold its own when compared to other cities. You guys don't know how lucky you are to live in Portland...even with its problems.

May 22, 2007, 7:02 AM

This is currently the dog-pooping area.

May 22, 2007, 3:17 PM
^right I know but according to this map it will be developed around 2008
I was just wondering if anyone had any info on it

May 22, 2007, 3:20 PM
^probably will just be a retail space. It would be nice to see something tight go there, even if it was one story.

May 22, 2007, 3:21 PM
Well, there are some lower-rise Vancouver condos lining the waterfront... right across from Granville Island, for instance.

pic taken by me, 5/8/05

Great pic, Z. You're right, the Strand does look like the foreground buildings here. Now if we can just get some 20-30 story towers on Parcels 3 & 8.....

May 22, 2007, 3:31 PM
Compared to seattle, san francisco and vancouver, portland is definitely second string.

I wouldn't characterize Portland as "second string". In fact, Portland is in the Top 10 of just about every "best of" list from every magazine. Population and economic prowess are not the only determinants of what makes a city great. There are also factors like uniqueness, physically and culturally. Portland is nothing if not unique.

May 22, 2007, 5:30 PM
Funny, I think the architecture in Seattle is horrific. When I look at the plans for buildings up there, I'm shocked. I hate how they are ruining capitol hill with suburban style cheap condos. Its about bigger, bigger, are we big yet? There is no public space downtown and it seems like a wall of gray monoliths - extremely corporate. The library might be playful, in a theme park sort of way, but it's relationship to the street is a disaster.

Second string? Who cares and what string are we talking about. Both Seattle and Vancouver are second string. I think the beauty of Portland that it really isn't in the competition, it's a losing game anyway.

May 22, 2007, 11:43 PM
Ok, fair enough, I regret the "second string" part. I realize that it makes me sound like a "bigger is better" type, a mentality which I have never shared and have even argued against on this forum. In fact, the reason why I was originally drawn to this site had everything to do with the discussion of the general urban fabric and nothing to do with skyscrapers. I think I just felt somewhat humbled by my experience in Seattle, after writing many a paragraph like the first one in sopdx's comment, and expecting the worst from my bike trip. I think the reality is more complex than we Portlanders portray sometimes. Forget the hierarchy implicit in my original comment, I was just surprised by the street-level vitality and residential density of Seattle. Let's just leave it at that!

May 23, 2007, 5:58 PM

these are nice renderings, but I really hope those 2 towers on block 27 are placeholders... talk about minimalist architecture

May 23, 2007, 6:09 PM
TVA has renderings of block 27 - not sure the status. I think the rendering above is pretty right on as to their detail.

May 23, 2007, 6:10 PM
^why are they showing block 27 in that rendering, which isn't set to be built until the 3rd phase, but they have a park like area on block 37 which IS scheduled in phase 2?

May 23, 2007, 11:17 PM
... ... at least the RI bridge will be in the way in the view from OMSI :rolleyes:

May 24, 2007, 3:04 PM
A trail to Beaverton? Plan gets green light
Thursday, May 24, 2007
By Fred Leeson
The Oregonian

Someday, Southwest residents -- and anybody else -- will be able to walk or bike along 15 miles of gentle grade between the South Waterfront and Beaverton safe from high-speed traffic.

Making it happen will take many years and maybe $16 million to $17 million. Thanks to a unanimous City Council vote last week approving the route and giving the go-ahead to look for funding, however, the pieces can begin falling into place.

"This is a valuable first step, just knowing where the route is," says Gregg Everhart, a Portland Bureau of Parks & Recreation landscape architect who helped plan the Red Electric trail. The route in large part follows the path of an electrified rail line Southern Pacific abandoned in 1930. Parts of the old right of way became public streets; some fell into private ownership.

Railway engineers found the gentlest grades when they started laying tracks in the 19th century. Don Baack, a veteran Southwest trails enthusiast, says other potential east-west routes are too hilly for comfortable biking and walking.

When finished, the trail should provide safe access along a corridor connecting parks, schools, community centers and churches. Since it will connect to the Fanno Creek trail system in Washington County, walkers and bikers could proceed as far as Tualatin.

"This section really makes Southwest Portland and the South Waterfront connect to the rest of the region," says Mel Hui, a Metro regional trails planner.

"People in the city and the Southwest are ready to walk and ready to bike," says Commissioner Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Parks Bureau. "This is going to be a great addition to Southwest Portland."

Planning the route was not quick or smooth. Planners met for years with residents along the route, many of whom were concerned about litter, noise, homeless campers and the risk of depressed property values.

"In typical Portland style, Parks beat this to death and then wrote an excellent report," says Lillie Fitzpatrick, chairwoman of the Hayhurst Neighborhood Association. Fitzpatrick, who presided over several contentious neighborhood meetings, says she is convinced trail supporters outnumber opponents. No one voiced objections at the City Council hearing.

Chris Hathaway, another Hayhurst resident, says evidence from other urban trails shows no increase in crime and indicates that being close to a trail improves property values. "Trails are a valuable amenity for any neighborhood," he says.

"Trail" conjures an image of a meandering path through a forest. The Red Electric will include some natural areas but also will traverse low-traffic city streets and use sidewalks where available. Painted street lines and signs will indicate routes along much of the way.

In an 11th-hour change, the Parks Bureau decided to avoid Southwest Capitol Highway in the busy Hillsdale area. Instead, the trail would use Southwest Vermont Street, taking pedestrians to an existing trail through George Himes Park while bicyclists travel on Southwest Nebraska Street.

Access to privately owned portions will have to be achieved by purchase or easement. Hui says some money for trail sections might be available from a 2006 Metro bond measure for buying open space from willing sellers. He says Metro would not use condemnation to force any sales.

"The next step," Saltzman says, "is piecing together the funding to make this work."

Portland News: 503-221-8199; portland@news.oregonian.com

May 25, 2007, 3:59 PM
hmmm, it seems they are still interested in buying already built projects instead of building new...but their continued interest in Portland's market I guess is a good sign.

California real estate firm sets an apartment record
Portland Business Journal - May 25, 2007
by Wendy Culverwell
Business Journal staff writer

A California firm has reportedly broken its own record with the purchase of the 10th @ Hoyt apartments in the Pearl District.

Trammell Crow Residential opened the 178-unit luxury apartment building at 925 N.W. Hoyt St. in the Pearl District in 2004. It apparently sold an interest in the full-block property, which includes retail space and an underground parking garage, to Prometheus Real Estate Group of San Mateo, Calif.

The price hasn't been recorded, but is rumored to exceed $300,000 per unit, well above the previous record, also held by Prometheus. In late December, Prometheus purchased the 156-unit City Heights complex in downtown Portland, for $39.7 million, or more than $254,000 per unit. Like the 10th @ Hoyt complex, City View consists of retail space at ground level with apartments on the floors above.

Officials from neither Trammell Crow Residential nor Prometheus would comment on the sale. However, Prometheus recently added 10th @ Hoyt to the list of residential properties it publishes on its Web site.

At $300,000 per unit -- and likely more -- 10th @ Hoyt would hold the current title for highest price paid per unit for apartment property in Portland. The record isn't likely to hold.

The Louisa apartments, which opened after 10th @ Hoyt, is for sale along with the rest of Gerding Edlen Development Co.'s signature project, the Brewery Blocks. Apartment watchers expect The Louisa will eclipse 10th @ Hoyt when it sells.

Prometheus is a private company with an extensive network of apartment properties across the West and a handful of nonresidential holdings concentrated in the Bay Area.

wculverwell@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3415

May 25, 2007, 11:33 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Prometheus the company that started the whole south waterfront? By that, I mean, they wanted to go in and build a gated community so the city jumped in, platted the whole thing, and essentially said no, hence the beginning of the planning for what we now have. I believe they tried to sue the city and lost. Maybe I've got the name wrong.

May 29, 2007, 3:23 PM
^from my understanding, I think you are pretty much correct.

Jun 5, 2007, 12:30 AM
even though construction is over it would be cool to keep this thread alive for as long as possible

Jun 5, 2007, 2:53 PM
^haha! the trams look like Chipotle burritos!

Jun 5, 2007, 10:46 PM
OHSU forms new real estate unit
Portland Business Journal - 2:53 PM PDT Monday, June 4, 2007

A new campus planning, development and real estate unit has been established by Oregon Health & Science University.

Mark B. Williams will lead the unit, effective July 1. His title will be associate vice president.

The new unit will oversee OHSU's South Waterfront activities, including planning for the Schnitzer Campus, as well as the office of space planning, which administers the university's space planning and off-campus lease arrangements.

The move reflects a "strategic realignment of existing units within the university," OHSU said in a press release.

Williams currently is director of OHSU's South Waterfront Project, a position he assumed in October 2004.


PDX City-State
Jun 5, 2007, 11:29 PM
I wonder if the NIH (National Institutes of Health) or the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) would be interested in placing one of their facilities in the development?

Wouldn't that be good for Portland. I think what hurts OHSU is its lack of status as a top-notch research institution. It's innovative in some areas, but lags behind larger research powerhouses. I think that's the objective of the very probably long-term plan of merging OHSU and PSU.

Jun 6, 2007, 10:46 PM
block 46: 2 seperate buildings, 5 stories each, 275 apartments, 9 live/work units, 2 floors of underground parking

block 49: 6 stories, 210 units, ground floor retail, 143 below grade parking sports, 50 ground level parking spots (for old spaghetti factory)

edit: and portland has the banner over at ssc at least for now www.skyscrapercity.com

Jun 7, 2007, 2:52 PM
^I'll save my criticism for better renderings, but it appears the Pearl has found its way on the streetcar the the South Waterfront...at least for those two blocks...maybe something positive will come from the Block 46 odd shapped building...but otherwise it's boring and somewhat out of scale compared to the giants nearby

Jun 7, 2007, 4:52 PM
Block 49 = 210 affordable apartments
Block 46 = 275 apartments

I think that these projects will have excellent urban presence - creating a street wall, which the towers going up don't really do - the average tower going up in SOWA doesn't actually have that high of an FAR.

By comparison, the Atwater will only have 212 units... and is considerably taller. If you want affordability, lowrise is the way to go. I'm assuming that they will still make them modern-looking buildings, not influenced by historic buildings in the Pearl, like your post seems to imply...

Jun 7, 2007, 5:28 PM
Lets hope this is the last of these small buildings down there...i know its affordable housing but still, 5 and 6 stories? come on, atleast get in to the double digits. Sowa should have a minimum height limit IMO not that would ever happen

Jun 7, 2007, 5:33 PM
I'm more for a variety of building sizes... I'm more worried about the flat skyline effect of the row of 250' towers in front of a row of 325' towers.

Jun 7, 2007, 5:39 PM
I'm for a variety too, just not the 5-6 story kind. The alexan and whatever gets built by ohsu will help create different levels that are needed. I would have everything built down there be a min of 14-15 stories.

Jun 7, 2007, 9:31 PM
I'm with you pdxman. I'm not down with two rows, one with 325' and one with 250', but I do have a problem with a cluster of 250'-325' towers and than a bunch of 75'.

And sure, Zilfondel, I get the affordable housing component but from my understanding Block 46 isn't even going to be 'affordable'. What I'm worried about, and why I am referencing the Pearl is the 10th and Hoyt/Lexis type developments. Which are fine in the Pearl, but aren't what I would consider exciting, nor could I see them sitting next to a 325' glassy tower...well, soon enough I will, I guess.

Jun 15, 2007, 9:42 PM
A special on sustainable development in cities focused mostly on portland. It aired on the sundance channel and you can buy the episode on itunes for 2 bucks. I bought it and it was worth it. They spent a lot of time talking to one of the developers of sowa, and there was a section on "guirella gardeners" in portland. very cool, you should check it out: http://ax.phobos.apple.com.edgesuite.net/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/browserRedirect?url=itms%253A%252F%252Fphobos.apple.com%252FWebObjects%252FMZStore.woa%252Fwa%252FviewTVSeason%253Fi%253D251359896%2526id%253D251168692%2526s%253D143441%2526partnerId%253D30%2526partnerId%253D30%2526siteID%253DTuICr.YJnDo-Muj76km.9yjmxEqrk5gu4g
anyone have any news about sowa?

Jun 19, 2007, 9:43 PM
21 June 2007

When: Thursday, June 21, 6:00-8:00PM

Where: The Discovery Center at South Waterfront 0680 SW Bancroft Portland, OR 97239

Refreshments will be served

RSVP: lesley@southwaterfront.com or 503.222.7788