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Jun 19, 2007, 9:45 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

Jun 19, 2007, 10:22 PM
John Ross I heard a pizza place is going into retail c

atwater it looks like there is a riverfront property in this one

Jun 19, 2007, 10:40 PM
I might just have to go to that presentation. Hopefully they'll have some prelim site plans or renderings.

Jun 22, 2007, 7:05 PM
block 31, mirabella: http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?a=158415&c=42263

Jun 27, 2007, 6:30 PM
They have started excavation at Block 46.

Jun 27, 2007, 7:12 PM
good news! do we have a final rendering for b46 yet?

Jul 3, 2007, 10:28 PM
Car lifts reflect elevation of local real estate prices
Portland Business Journal - June 29, 2007
by Wendy Culverwell
Business Journal staff writer

Phyllis and Ron Maynard retired a few years ago from a home in the Sylvan area to a condo in Portland's Riverplace district.

There was plenty of downsizing, but the couple balked at cutting back to a single car.

Phyllis, who retired from the Portland Public Schools, and Ron, who retired from the city, felt they each needed a vehicle -- a BMW wagon for her and a Porsche roadster for him.

Parking was a sticky proposition until earlier this year, when they moved to The Strand, a new riverfront project by developer Jack Onder.

The Maynards moved to The Strand because they wanted steel and concrete construction instead of the wood frame variety of their former home. But it turned out the building offered something more: Portland's first mechanical parking lifts.

Onder Development installed German-made car lifts in about 30 parking spots that had enough headroom to accommodate vehicles parked double-decker style. The high-density parking arrangement complements the high-density living arrangements above and is yet another sign of the value of pressing every square inch of space into service.

Beth DuPont, a broker specializing in multifamily investment properties at Colliers International, said it's natural to start looking for ways to maximize space when real estate and parking are at a premium. Car lifts have been successful in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., she said.

"It's a natural to come to Portland."

Klaus Parking Systems has installed its system in 88 West Coast locations, according to its regional representative, Norm Brudigan. Most are in and around the Bay Area, but there are a few noteworthy exceptions. In addition to The Strand, Klaus has put its lifts in condominium projects in Kansas City, Mo., and Seattle.

Brudigan said he's gotten lots of inquiries from the Northwest.

The technology is nothing new, which makes permitting relatively easy. Jeff Joslin, a land use manager for the city's Bureau of Development Services, said car lifts have a place in Portland and could be a meaningful addition to high-density projects if they are widely adopted.

Noting that parking garages are among the most costly and permanent structures built, he said it's surprising they didn't arrive earlier.

The Maynards said they initially balked at paying $28,000 to put a car lift in their one-car parking spot. They decided to go for it, treating it as both a convenience and an investment that could pay off handsomely if or when they sell their unit and can boast that it comes with parking for two vehicles.

Most of the time, the Porsche is parked on the lift and elevated over head, while the wagon is at the ready on ground level. The Maynards say they love having two parking spots and the convenience of parking both their cars a short elevator ride away from their home outweighs the inconvenience of having to coordinate who parks and when.

Ron Maynard said the elevated parking comes with another bonus. It puts his Porsche out of reach of other cars, protecting it from door dings and accidental bumps. The idea has clearly caught on, with sports cars and collector vehicles making up the majority of the population of elevated vehicles in The Strand's garage.

Onder, who has built luxurious condos all over Portland, said he first saw the Klaus parking lift system while visiting Chicago. He weighed bringing it home to Portland but didn't know if real estate was pricey enough to warrant the cost.

The Strand offered the perfect opportunity to find out if it was, he said.

The project consists of 189 condominiums and 27 townhouses in three towers. Most important, it occupies a sloping site bordering the Willamette River waterfront.

That sloping terrain means the floor of the underground parking garage rises and falls, creating areas inside where the ceiling is high enough to accommodate two vehicles stacked one over the other.

About 30 spots (out of 250) had sufficient clearance to allow cars to be stacked two high by way of an electric-powered hydraulic lift.

Had the garage been specially designed to accommodate the lifts, the cost would have been prohibitive, which is one reason they aren't part of Onder's other ongoing high-rise condominium project at the Uptown Shopping Center.

Lift-equipped parking spots have been a hit with Strand buyers, said Kathleen MacNaughton, principal broker for the project. The lifts are offered as an upgrade and as with condos, released for sale in batches.

Every one that has been offered has sold, she said.

wculverwell@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3415


Jul 13, 2007, 10:14 PM
I don't know if excavation has really started it looks like its still going through the approval process: http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?a=161808&c=42263

and theres a new small crane up at sowa, look to the right of the john ross its dark against the river, I have no idea what its for

Jul 16, 2007, 3:15 PM
Design panel picks on Parks, PDOT in South Waterfront
Daily Journal of Commerce
by Alison Ryan

Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects’ slim, sculptural design for a 30-story retirement home in South Waterfront drew raves from members of the Portland Design Commission. But other issues surrounding the review process for Portland’s newest neighborhood inspired rants during Thursday’s commission meeting.

Portland Parks & Recreation’s slow movement on a planned two-block neighborhood park is an “embarrassment,” commissioner Paul Schlesinger said.

“The city has promised the community, not just South Waterfront but the community, and we’ve yet to see or hear anything on this important project,” he said.

Development of the two-block park bordered by Southwest Moody, Bond, Gaines and Pennoyer streets is behind schedule, Sandra Burtzos, South Waterfront neighborhood park project manager, said Friday.

“It’s a staffing issue,” she said.

A request for proposals for design consultant services was originally scheduled to go out in spring 2007; the RFP is now expected to be written this month, with a consultant retained by winter 2008. A programming plan for future South Waterfront park spaces, she said, will likely be developed along with designs for the two-block park.

The number of in-the-works South Waterfront projects is growing, with projects like the six-story mixed-use development at Block 46 also in the pipeline for design review. Commissioners said they were concerned that the park and other public spaces were being viewed as afterthoughts.

“Parks has abdicated an enormous responsibility by not being propositional. ... I don’t accept build all this stuff and then what’s left over is the park,” said commission vice chairman Michael McCulloch.

Commissioners also questioned what Schlesinger called the Portland Office of Transpor-tation’s “feeble response” to a requested study of the effect of South Waterfront traffic on existing neighborhoods.

Requesting additional information from building teams also needs to be discussed, commissioners said, as more projects line up in South Waterfront. Commissioners can ask for research like wind studies – which the Mirabella team commissioned at a cost of about $100,000 – but their requests aren’t backed by code.

“We’re in a situation now where we’re starting to layer on requirements for approval that are not in the code,” Commissioner Jeff Stuhr said.

Meanwhile, the design of the building was met with enthusiasm. The Mirabella, designed as a series of smaller podiums topped by a slender tower, will hold 224 independent senior living units and 60 special care units. At ground level, a series of outdoor spaces support café, retail, and public community room uses.

A citizen request to hold the record open for comment for seven days, as well as a need for revisions to the staff report, meant the commission couldn’t approve the project. But commissioners said the project – especially the building top – was an exemplary effort.

“A very carefully done piece of sculpture, and I’m confident that it will be beautiful,” McCulloch said.

The team is expected to be back before the commission in mid-August.


Jul 16, 2007, 11:22 PM
I don't know if excavation has really started it looks like its still going through the approval process: http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?a=161808&c=42263

They were digging on the North side of the property. It could have something to do with some street utilities, or a partial excavation permit.

Jul 23, 2007, 10:31 PM
South Waterfront attracts Denver apartment builder
Portland Business Journal - 1:51 PM PDT Monday, July 23, 2007

Simpson Housing LLP will build a 270-unit apartment building on Block 46 in the South Waterfront district.

SHLP Block 46 LLC, a subsidiary of Denver-based Simpson Housing, bought the property from Williams and Dame Development, which is the lead developer for the South Waterfront district. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The project will be coordinated by Simpson Housing's Seattle office, which plans to develop the neighborhood's second market-rate apartment building. Trammell Crow Residential is constructing a luxury apartment building adjacent the district's central park.

Simpson has retained Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects to design its project, which calls for two six-story buildings with 270 units of housing and ground-floor retail space.

"We are pleased that Simpson Housing will be leading the development of market-rate apartments on this important block in the South Waterfront," said Homer Williams, chairman and founder of Williams and Dame.

Simpson Housing focuses on the luxury market on a national scale. It has more than 1,750 units in development on the West Coast.

Jul 23, 2007, 11:16 PM
^^^ Didn't we already know this? That article makes it sound way farther back in the process than I thought.

I heard a whisper that Trammell Crow is doing another apt tower on block 43 (next to the Alexan) and plans are well underway.

I like the idea of W&D selling off blocks in the River District. Anything to get a little more diversity down there, if not a better mix of height among the buildings.

Jul 23, 2007, 11:38 PM
do you know who is designing it?

Jul 23, 2007, 11:42 PM
I do but I'm not allowed to say. A firm with a solid reputation has inherited a pre-existing design.

Jul 23, 2007, 11:56 PM
can you tell me the approximate height/# of stories? at least tell me if it looks good or not

Jul 24, 2007, 12:00 AM
I haven't seen the design yet, but my friend and source says they're working overtime to make it "look good". I believe it is the same height as the Alexan, or close. I'll try to wrest more info next time I see him.

Jul 24, 2007, 3:19 AM

Jul 24, 2007, 3:45 PM
^^^Interesting...I figured as much though. When TC pulled out of the Oak Tower the said they were in essence hungry to build a second apartment tower, and looking into SoWa. I hope they get the second one up quicker than the Alexan took!

Developer to build apartment project
South Waterfront - Simpson Housing plans 270 units amid the condo towers as the rental market thrives
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
The Oregonian

A Denver-based developer will build a 270-apartment project among South Waterfront's towering condos, another signal that Portland's robust rental market and sluggish condo sales are starting to reshape the city's housing mix.

Simpson Housing last week paid about $8 million to buy Block 46 from South Waterfront's lead developers, North Macadam Investors, said Homer Williams, who leads the North Macadam team.

Williams said they had explored apartments and smaller, less expensive condos at Block 46. Over the past few years, Williams' company has peppered the Willamette River bank with high-priced towers. But Block 46 is a good site for less pricey condos or apartments because it's a few blocks from the riverfront where the views are best and sales prices highest.

"We could have gone either way," Williams says. But staring at slumping condo sales and Simpson's three-year quest to build in South Waterfront, Williams said they agreed to sell the site for apartments.

Williams' company is the lead developer in South Waterfront, a new high-rise, riverfront neighborhood just south of the Ross Island Bridge. Construction began in the area after North Macadam Investors signed a $2 billion deal with the Portland Development Commission and Oregon Health & Science University.

Williams' company has finished two towers at the Meriwether and has three more under construction with the John Ross, Atwater Place and 3720.

But sales have slowed.

Williams says they sold 30 to 50 condos a month when they started. "That wasn't sustainable," he says. "A lot of it was investors, speculators."

Now, Williams says they sell three to four a month. Given the slowdown, Williams says the next riverfront condo tower likely won't start construction until late 2008. Williams says he isn't worried about the slowdown. He expects the market inventory to level out in the next six months or so. But right now, Williams says of condos: "You wouldn't want any more."

With condos cooling, apartments appear to be hot in South Waterfront and elsewhere.

A streetcar ride away from South Waterfront, Opus Northwest ditched plans for a Park Blocks condo in favor of apartments.

In South Waterfront, Trammell Crow Residential has started construction on the district's first apartment building, a tower targeted at luxury renters. Simpson's project at Block 46 will be shorter and marketed with less expensive rents. Plans call for two six-story buildings with ground-floor shops designed by Ankrom Moisan and Associates. For a comparison, Williams offered Trammell Crow's Pearl District apartments at Northwest 10th Avenue and Hoyt Street.

Simpson, founded in 1948 and a big player in the nation's apartment market, has more than 1,750 units in the works on the West Coast.

Just south of the Simpson site, Williams & Dame Development will build affordable apartments under an agreement with the Portland Development Commission. Williams said he expects construction to start on Block 46 and 49 in 2008.

In the past year, the Portland-Vancouver market saw average apartment rents climb 6.9 percent, according to research firm RealFacts. In Silicon Valley's Santa Clara County, apartment rents climbed 11 percent, and in Seattle, rents went up 9.9 percent.

Block 46 covers 62,000 square feet or about 1.5 city blocks. The sale has no effect on North Macadam Investors' commitments under its agreement with the Portland Development Commission, said Larry Brown of the PDC.

Part of South Waterfront's apartment allure comes from Pill Hill, which is a three-minute tram ride away. Williams says about 7,000 people who work on the hill rent.

Ryan Frank: 503-221-8519; ryanfrank@news.oregonian.com

Jul 26, 2007, 3:44 PM
Early growing pains at South Waterfront
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Fred Leeson
The Oregonian

Kevin Countryman first learned about a retail space in the South Waterfront's Meriwether condo tower more than a year ago.

He likes the idea of a whole new neighborhood rising from bare ground as the home of the third Bella Espresso coffee and gourmet specialty food outlet, opening in mid-August. He and his son, Bret, have been selling coffee and a few food items from a nearby trailer since last year.

"There is a strong sense of community here, and that is very appealing to us as a company," Kevin Countryman says.

But they and others are running into some early growing pains in the budding neighborhood, with three completed high-rises and planning and construction under way on several others.

"The biggest headache we have is parking," Countryman says. "It's hard getting a grasp on where our employees or customers will park. Parking seems to have been an afterthought. That really surprised us."

Off-street lots in the neighborhood are owned by Oregon Health & Science University, and efforts to negotiate haven't succeeded. "They have all the parking," Countryman says. "We don't have any."

Susan Harntett, OHSU's new director of transportation planning, says she hasn't ruled out a parking-sharing agreement.

"We are very interested in saying yes," she says. But she notes that the high-rise neighborhood always "is going to be a constrained parking and transportation environment" given its geography.

Some residents, meanwhile, worry that Southwest Curry Street is becoming overburdened as a loading access street. And development of a park and the riverfront Willamette Greenway are lagging behind original schedules even as plans for new buildings roll in.

"It's getting harder to sit here and approve the public taking of our sun and sky without seeing the complement of that," says Michael McCulloch, a member of the Portland Design Commission, which enforces city height regulations in the urban renewal area. He thinks the Bureau of Parks & Recreation has waited too long to plan improvements for a two-acre grassy patch to be known as South Waterfront Neighborhood Park.

"It feels like there is a huge missing piece," McCulloch says. "You don't design the whole city and what's left over is the public realm."

The Parks Bureau is scheduled to launch a public planning process this fall, aimed at adding improvements to the park in 2009. The bureau relies on citizen involvement, and until recently, there were few residents in the area destined to be home to nearly 10,000.

The latest building plan nearing approval is for a 325-foot, 30-story tower intended for seniors. Mirabella, bounded by Southwest Bond Avenue and River Parkway between Curry and Pennoyer Streets, it will face the new park.

Pacific Retirement Services plans 224 units for independent living and 60 for residents needing special care. The proposed slender, curving tower offers the most interesting addition yet to the neighborhood skyline.

Jeff Los, a principal with Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, says the building will add colors to the neighborhood, and nonreflective glass will make it more visible at night. Most new buildings use reflective glass to minimize heat gain, but Los says engineers decided clearer glass would work better with the Mirabella's configuration.

"That was quite a surprising finding," he says.

Los is also considering rooftop solar panels to help heat water. The panels would rest flat and out of sight.

"It's an extraordinary building in lots of ways," McCulloch says. "It's going to be a wonderful beacon in the neighborhood."

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


Jul 26, 2007, 9:17 PM
channing frye, the newest member of the portland trailblazers, is also the newest resident at the south waterfront. not sure what building

Jul 26, 2007, 11:10 PM
^yes, he was fortunate enough to buy 2 units and combine them into 1.

Jul 27, 2007, 2:18 AM
seriously!? how did you find out, and do you know which building?

Jul 27, 2007, 8:46 AM
seriously!? how did you find out, and do you know which building?

Actually, I think it's "how did you find out, and can I have one, two?"

:haha: :tup:

Jul 27, 2007, 9:45 PM

Streetcar stop at Lowell and Bond to open with a party on August 17th

Jul 29, 2007, 2:52 AM
From Tokyo with love
Saturday, July 28, 2007
T hat sound you hear Homer Williams making this week? Maybe it's a huge sigh of relief. The South Waterfront developer may yet be able to sell all those leftover condos.

To baby boomers.

From Tokyo.

We knew Portland was the hot pick these days as a place to retire. We weren't quite expecting the next wave of 401(k)insmen to come from Japan.

Wednesday, a crew from Fuji TV starts shooting a 90-minute special on Oregon as the ideal place for a second home, an unhumid haven for those fleeing Tokyo's notoriously muggy summers and population density of more than 14,000 people per square mile. (Portland's is closer to 4,000.)

The show is the latest triumph for travel executive Sho Dozono, Portland's de facto ambassador, whose shuttle diplomacy has taken him everywhere from New Orleans to Pyongyang. Japanese viewers, Dozono reminds us, are no strangers to Oregon's allure. The hit TV series "From Oregon With Love" first aired there in 1984. Its executive producer, Hisashi Hieda, now is CEO of Fuji.

As for Hieda's timing, it couldn't be better. The Japan-America Society of Oregon celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. And, with daily nonstop flights, Tokyoites can be here almost as quickly as folks from Beaverton can get to Bandon. Now, if we could only get Ichiro to play for the Beavers.


Jul 29, 2007, 11:08 AM

Jul 29, 2007, 11:35 AM
I've noticed there has been a veritable boom in the number of japanese tourists in Portland the past year or so, compared to 3 or 4 years ago. I see several groups almost every day downtown.

Jul 29, 2007, 5:00 PM
Portland State seems to have a decent sized japanese student population too. Now that we have a direct flight to japan the city should really push developing better ties with japan

Jul 29, 2007, 9:27 PM
What's going on the lot next to the Meriwether towers?

Jul 29, 2007, 9:28 PM
block 27: go to www.tvaarchitects.com

Jul 29, 2007, 9:42 PM
Are they going to start on that soon? I can't see anything going on from the webcam.

Jul 29, 2007, 10:02 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if it doesn't start until 2009 or 2010

Jul 29, 2007, 10:20 PM
I wonder if homer would consider turning block 27 into apartments?? If the market is right then it may be a possibility, unless 27 is permanently on hold no matter what.

Aug 8, 2007, 5:33 PM
Spaces in between offer connections for city life
Daily Journal of Commerce
by Alison Ryan

The sliver of urban fabric between the 16-story Civic condominium tower and the six-story apartment building rising next to it connects the commerce and chaos of East Burnside Street with fanfare of PGE Park. Across the city, on South Waterfront’s Block 46, designers envision a Euro-inspired concourse between the site’s two apartment and retail buildings.

Different projects, different dynamics. But the spaces between both two-building projects have potential to be destinations in themselves, say members of the Portland Design Commission.

Block 46’s apartments are contained in two six-story buildings. To the north, a horseshoe-shaped building outlines a courtyard at the block’s center. The building to the south caps the block.

The streetcar line will wrap around the site, said Dave Heater of Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects, and the design responds to that flow of traffic. The southern building’s undulating, multi-planed metal façade was inspired, he said, by stone that has been eroded and sculpted by the movement of water.

That movement is hoped to carry into the interior courtyard and the broad path that bisects the site, connecting Southwest Bond and Moody streets.

The project’s wider contribution, said Commissioner Jeff Stuhr, is in the context of South Waterfront’s broader urban planning.

“That really intense kind of urban space where people can gather had not materialized,” he said.

What could happen there, said Commissioner Andrew Jansky, is similar to what could happen at the Civic.

On East Burnside Street, the Civic’s 286 concrete-and-glass condominium units sit side-by-side with the wood-and-concrete affordable apartment units. The courtyard bracketed by the two, planned as a space to hold public art, the activity of retail, and resident life, could see the same kind of spill-over exterior buzz that designers of Block 46 are aiming for.

Space for life in the public realm, commissioners said, is as important as space in the private realm. And diversity of development and activity for the new district should be considered along with building design.

“Once it’s done, it’s done,” Commissioner Michael Mc-Culloch said. “Then it’s just front porches and poodles.”

Aug 9, 2007, 10:47 PM
I thought the streetcar wasn't going to open on lowell until aug. 17th but there it is next the the mirabella site. maybe their testing

Aug 10, 2007, 2:41 PM
Tentative Schedule of Cases for
Design Commission

3. LU 07-146222 DA Abigail Fowle, 503-823-0624
Applicant: Paul Jeffreys, SERA ARCHITECTS
Site address: 0601 SW Abernethy St
Design Advice for a mixed-use development on Block 43 of South Waterfront.

4. LU 07-151174 DA Kara Fioravanti, 503-823-5892
Applicant: Bruce Brown, GBD ARCHITECTS
Site address: Block bounded by SW Bond Ln, Abernathy and River Pkwy
Design Advice Request for Block 42 in South Waterfront. The proposal is for a 250' tall tower atop a varied podium.
The building wil house approximately 273 apartments and ground level retail, with 3 levels of underground parking.
Parking and loading access will be from Abernathy.

Aug 10, 2007, 3:22 PM
"The building wil house approximately 273 apartments." I don't know why, but I'm very amused by this. (Well, I know why I'm amused...)

Aug 10, 2007, 6:41 PM
Tentative Schedule of Cases for
Design Commission

3. LU 07-146222 DA Abigail Fowle, 503-823-0624
Applicant: Paul Jeffreys, SERA ARCHITECTS
Site address: 0601 SW Abernethy St
Design Advice for a mixed-use development on Block 43 of South Waterfront.

4. LU 07-151174 DA Kara Fioravanti, 503-823-5892
Applicant: Bruce Brown, GBD ARCHITECTS
Site address: Block bounded by SW Bond Ln, Abernathy and River Pkwy
Design Advice Request for Block 42 in South Waterfront. The proposal is for a 250' tall tower atop a varied podium.
The building wil house approximately 273 apartments and ground level retail, with 3 levels of underground parking.
Parking and loading access will be from Abernathy.

where did you find that?
heres the map in case anyone forgets the location

Aug 10, 2007, 7:45 PM

Aug 10, 2007, 8:13 PM
Hmm, nice to see this stuff moving along. :)

Aug 11, 2007, 12:47 AM
isn't block 43 the one that tworivers was hinting about last week?
and 42 - i thought that was prometheus, but i could be wrong.

Aug 11, 2007, 4:48 AM
isn't block 43 the one that tworivers was hinting about last week?

Yes: Sera. I'll try to get a render asap.

And yeah, I too thought 42 was Prometheus.

Aug 11, 2007, 6:35 AM
Yes: Sera. I'll try to get a render asap.

And yeah, I too thought 42 was Prometheus.

actually, just now checked - prometheus was (is?) 41, not 42.

edit: i take that back. 42 appears to be prometheus property (according to a map scanned from the oregonian from a year or two back), but it's block 41 that someone here posted renderings of at some point.

Aug 11, 2007, 11:34 PM
What's the latest on the height limits at SoWa? Is 325' the ceiling for this community?

Aug 12, 2007, 3:41 PM
^ I don't believe it has been raised. I think it is still 325'.

Aug 12, 2007, 11:14 PM
Has block 41 been reviewed yet by the PDC?


Aug 13, 2007, 1:22 AM
Has block 41 been reviewed yet by the PDC?

looks like it has (http://www.portlandmaps.com/detail.cfm?action=Permits&folder=2541438&propertyid=R327891&state_id=1S1E10DB%20%20300&address_id=673821&intersection_id=&dynamic_point=0&x=7645864.186&y=674041.924&place=3510%20SW%20BOND%20AVE&city=PORTLAND&neighborhood=SOUTH%20PORTLAND&seg_id=141051). back in 3-2006. interestingly, there's later activity on the same block that identifies it as block 42, and what's more, the same (or virtually the same) wording is used in notices - with the same dates - on block 43. anyway, the map i have shows block 41 went thru design review in 2006, yes.

Aug 15, 2007, 1:01 AM
Not a bad design - I like what appears to be curving, interleaved balconies on the top-left portion.

Aug 15, 2007, 1:05 AM
ugh look at the above ground parking at the alexan http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=547581

Aug 15, 2007, 1:45 PM
^ Yuck.

Aug 15, 2007, 8:26 PM
Saw the new renderings of block 46 over on amaa.com. I must say i'm very disappointed. Low rise, especially poorly designed, does not belong in sowa. Oh well...

Aug 15, 2007, 11:28 PM
ugh look at the above ground parking at the alexan http://www.emporis.com/en/il/im/?id=547581

i am not sure what is uglier - the building, or the parking component.

Aug 15, 2007, 11:46 PM
heres what pdxman was talking about. I wish they had not built anything on a quarter of the block and when the market gets better build a tower there later so that whole block is not all lowrise.





Aug 15, 2007, 11:50 PM
I think that project will be fine in the South Waterfront, however, what a waste of a super block!

Aug 16, 2007, 12:49 AM
Hmm, apparently Ankrom has hired some actual designers now...?

Aug 16, 2007, 1:42 AM
looks like they tried to incorporate as many materials as possible on one project, they have wood, metal, brick, I'm not sure if thats nesicarilly a good thing though...

Aug 16, 2007, 1:55 AM
Cool buildings. Nice architecture too.

PDX City-State
Aug 16, 2007, 5:18 AM
Feels a little sterile. I don't like it at all.

Aug 16, 2007, 6:03 AM
yeah, it looks a little like something from kruse way.

Aug 16, 2007, 6:22 AM
[QUOTE=Dougall5505;3012361] I wish they had not built anything on a quarter of the block and when the market gets better build a tower there later so that whole block is not all lowrise.

You took the words right out of my mouth! All this lowrise crap taking up a whole block. The developers SHOULD wait awhile on at least part of it to build a tower. There are only so many blocks to develop in SOWA. Use the 325' limit to develop that block to it's potential. SOWA is billed as a "high rise" neighborhood. City planners and developers should keep that in mind and not rush to build. It's all about the $ though....

Aug 16, 2007, 6:33 AM
Ouch. That is one ugly building. It looks like a cheap office building.

Aug 16, 2007, 4:31 PM
It looks like a medical building, all it needs is a heliport on top.

Aug 16, 2007, 4:51 PM
This looks like a similar mistake made when they built the stadium apartments next to the MAX stop in Goose Hollow. It has that same "cheap" lowrise look. I guess this is the only way to get low rent joint built in SWF.

Aug 16, 2007, 8:01 PM
^this project isn't the affordable housing block. That's block 49. From my understanding these wont be priced at the same level as the Alexan, but will be comparable to the rents at 10th and Hoyt, which is not cheap. I looked at a second floor, one bedroom place overlooking the Post Office parking lot in back, and all their noisy trucks 24 hours a day. It went for just over a grand a month. For a terrible location, I was appalled.

Aug 16, 2007, 10:46 PM
This looks like a similar mistake made when they built the stadium apartments next to the MAX stop in Goose Hollow. It has that same "cheap" lowrise look. I guess this is the only way to get low rent joint built in SWF.

It is a "cheap" lowrise. Same as 10th at Hoyt.

There's only so much you can do with an unsubsidized, stick frame and punched window apartment building, on a very expensive plot of land....all on very tight budget.

Particularly with the design commision all but designing it for you these days.

I don't think an aerial view rendering does much justice to any low rise.

PDX City-State
Aug 16, 2007, 10:56 PM
It looks sterile...

Aug 17, 2007, 6:20 AM

Its a little odd how the rendering shows all the neighboring blocks as empty park land.... And yeah, if you are going to build a six story apartment building in SOWA, thats perfectly fine, but please build it on one of the blocks next to Macadam or something, not on one zoned for up to 325'.

Aug 17, 2007, 4:16 PM
I don't think it is that that bad. I just miss the original condo design for this block. The 20 story and the 2 six story buildings. I thought that design was GREAT! If I hadn't seen that, I would probably be much more okay with this.

Aug 17, 2007, 10:15 PM
I think the material selection is fine, particularly considering the nature of the design.

I think the low-rise nature of the development is going to be used to farm out the extra FAR to enable towers in the surrounding blocks. It looks maybe 3-4 FAR, and there are still pretty low FAR limits in SoWa, even if the height limits are 325'. We won't get ANY towers if they don't transfer those FAR rights.

Anyways, I'm not going to complain if the shortest building in SoWa is 6 stories. Half the blocks in downtown are shorter than this...

Aug 17, 2007, 10:33 PM
^ Agreed, and it would look odd for every building to be about the same height in SoWa. I'll bet most will disagree, but I'll bet once the district is built out people will appreciate the open air space this low-rise building affords.

Aug 19, 2007, 12:30 AM
^ I don't believe it has been raised. I think it is still 325'.

If I remember correctly the first height limits for SoWa was 225' but was eventually raised 100'. Is this even in the realm of possibility?


I know this is just a rendering but that building looks to be pushing 400'+

*edit* I just realized this was the first rendering for block 46. And now this has turned into the cheap looking medical building. What a big let down.

Aug 19, 2007, 1:34 AM
^ if you follow the renderings perspective lines from the other two 325' towers to the "400' " tower you will notice it is in perfect alignment to be only 325'. This is a common illusion in renderings today.

Aug 22, 2007, 2:09 PM
Site address: Block 45
The applicant seeks Design Advice for an apartment building on Block 45A in South Waterfront.

Aug 22, 2007, 2:37 PM
this is new... how do they get to the design commission without us ever seeing the pre-app documents?? i know you check them all the time and i check them once a week or so. damn! oh well.

Aug 22, 2007, 5:36 PM
this is new... how do they get to the design commission without us ever seeing the pre-app documents?? i know you check them all the time and i check them once a week or so. damn! oh well.

I don't understand the correlation either. :shrug: It might be that the pre-application process is optional for those developers that want to test the waters of city and neighborhood approval.

Aug 23, 2007, 3:11 AM
New retailers add life to S. Waterfront
Portland Business Journal - August 17, 2007
by Wendy Culverwell
Business Journal staff writer

Tina Chong was a virtual pioneer when she staked out a 1,400-square-foot claim in the South Waterfront and opened a small grocery.

Now, she's getting company. As of today, four businesses are up and running in the Meriwether condominiums, the first building to open in the 130-acre neighborhood. The Meriwether includes more than 270 residential units and about 7,000 square feet of street-level retail space, all leased.

The joint opening of a Japanese-French fusion restaurant, a cleaner and an espresso shop is an important development in the evolution of the South Waterfront from industrial land to high-rise urban neighborhood.

This fall, retailers such as Umpqua Bank, Pizza a Fetta and Pampered Pooch will open at the John Ross condominiums, which has about 20,000 square feet of retail space.

To date, the neighborhood has about 35,000 square feet of retail space, in the Meriwether, the John Ross and Atwater Place. Leasing hasn't started for several other projects in the offing, including the 3720 condominiums and Trammel Crow's Lexan apartment building.

When complete, the South Waterfront is expected to have between 100,000 and 200,000 square feet devoted to retail space.

Chong didn't need to be sold on the South Waterfront as the location for her business, called Urbana Market.

A Beaverton resident, she sold her former grocery in Old Town/Chinatown and was on the lookout for a spot to site an upscale store. She drove by the construction zone south of the Ross Island Bridge and immediately called Ashley Heichelbech, the Urban Works Real Estate broker working on leasing retail space at South Waterfront. She signed a five-year lease with a five-year renewal option and opened for business in May.

* Bella Espresso, a small Oregon chain with locations in Cannon Beach and Tanasbourne, took a 2,100-square-foot corner space at the Meriwether. Owners Julie and Kevin Countryman said the community-oriented focus of South Waterfront suits their business model.

The Countrymans and partner James Faurentino self-funded the new store on their own, as did most of their neighbors. Though they don't disclose finances, the partners were confident enough in the future of South Waterfront to sign a 15-year lease.

* At 900 square feet Bee Tailors and Cleaners is the smallest addition to the neighborhood. It's the third location for the Portland chain, owned by Jay Bleich.

Bleich leased space more than a year ago, before construction of the Meriwether wrapped up.

"It just looked like it was going to be a high-growth area," said Bleich, who self-funded the new location.

Bleich said he encountered only one skeptic when he considered expanding. His attorney suggested negotiating an escape clause in his lease if the numbers didn't pan out.

Bleich declined and signed to a 10-year agreement.

The South Waterfront has a daytime population of 1,200 to 1,600 people, including about 700 residents in the Meriwether condominiums and the neighboring John Ross condominiums, and 1,000 employees and visitors to the Oregon Health & Science University waterfront building.

Tenants will start moving into Atwater Place's 10,000 square feet of retail space next spring.

* Of all the people opening locations at South Waterfront, perhaps none is more busy than Sung Kim, of Le Hana Restaurant Group.

The Korean-born restaurateur opens Le Hana, a fine dining restaurant that fuses French cuisine and sushi, at South Waterfront today.

The first time he visited South Waterfront, the district was a massive construction zone and the future of the Portland Aerial Tram was very much in doubt. Undaunted, he visited the sales center and was convinced he needed to be in business there.

Kim is also considering opening a sushi restaurant and a tea business.

"I will be investing down here. I like the neighborhood a lot," he said.

wculverwell@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3411

Aug 24, 2007, 7:54 AM
info and elevations: http://www.portlandonline.com/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=166010

Aug 24, 2007, 9:16 PM
It seems like all of a sudden renderings and news about southwaterfront are starting to come out fast and furious.

block 43 MORE ABOVE GROUND PARKING :( http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?a=166009&c=42263

The applicant seeks design advice for a 22-story mixed-use development on Block 43 in the South Waterfront District. The design includes a full block 4-story podium consisting of ground level commercial uses, 3 levels of above grade parking on floors 2-4 and some residential units. The tower portion will include only residential units. 295 residential units are proposed and approximately 300 parking spaces.

Potential Modifications to Ground Floor Windows and Ground Floor Active Uses along the SW Moody frontage, to Loading Forward Motion and to Drive Aisle and Parking Stall Minimum Dimensions.




Aug 24, 2007, 9:34 PM
well, this one is sure to win architectural awards...

Ooooo, I like the MAX in the last render too!


Stepping Razor
Aug 24, 2007, 9:43 PM
Whoa, is it really going to be bright green? Very Wizard of Oz... Also hideous.

Aug 24, 2007, 10:27 PM
It could be worse...at least its above 6 stories.

Aug 25, 2007, 4:09 AM

My friend at Sera told me they got a rotten egg to work with... but this doesn't look all that much improved. The street sandwiched between the two parking garages --the Alexan's and this one-- is going to be especially pleasant. One thing he mentioned, though, was that with the way they were designing the garage, it could be converted pretty easily to residential in some car-free future.

Aug 25, 2007, 4:13 AM
I think they took the wrong definition of 'green' (architecture).


One thing he mentioned, though, was that with the way they were designing the garage, it could be converted pretty easily to residential in some car-free future.

Hmm, that is very interesting. Sounds like they are minimizing the usage of parking ramps then and sticking with flat horizontal floor plates.

Aug 31, 2007, 12:18 AM
Is there any news floating around as to what the Zidell family is planning to do with their waterfront properties???

Aug 31, 2007, 12:45 AM
I'm also wondering if well see anymore 325' towers at SoWa after the Mirabella.

Aug 31, 2007, 1:28 AM
Hopefully prometheus will come thru with some good stuff--when it comes to height

Aug 31, 2007, 2:20 AM
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:

When are they going to start on the huge open field behind the John Ross and Mirabella? It's been a while now and literally nothing has happend to that piece of land. :yuck:

Aug 31, 2007, 5:31 AM
^ the city has been bitching about the lack of initiative of the portland parks dept on that one. Apparently they're years away from even getting a team together to start figuring out a design.

Sep 17, 2007, 3:24 PM
Tower designs take emerging district in different direction
As South Waterfront rises, SERA and GBD challenge sea of similarity with materials
POSTED: 06:00 AM PDT Monday, September 17, 2007

Both proposed South Waterfront projects the Portland Design Commission saw Thursday are towers on podiums – but building type aside, the two hit different design goals.

SERA Architects’ 250-foot tower, planned for Block 43, puts 22 stories of ivory brick atop a four-story chocolate brick podium.

“This is actually a reaction to the amount of glazing that exists in South Waterfront,” architect Paul Jeffreys said. “We wanted a less commotional look.”

It’s a different materials reaction, Commissioner Andrew Jansky said during the design advice session, and one that may mark the beginning of a shift for South Waterfront.

“As the district develops, people’s attitudes change,” Jansky said. “And five years from now, people will say, ‘We don’t want it to look like this. We want to do something new.’”

Tower, podium and ground floor are conceived as distinct elements, with the vertical “stagger” of the tower window and balcony patterning playing against the horizontal “stagger” of the base, and a transparent ground floor pushing activity at the street level.

“Our direction is to really improve the streetscape, define the streetscape more clearly, and create a more iconic form for that base,” Jeffreys said.

On a neighboring South Waterfront block, GBD Architects’ designs for another 250-foot tower-and-podium building are also redefining the streetscape. The tower, with three subtly stepped levels of metal and glass, sits at mid-block. A collection of podiums of different heights edges the site to the east and west, creating small courtyard spaces to the north and south.

“Shifting the levels was a brilliant move,” Commissioner Lloyd Lindley said. “It added more corners, and an offset in there.”

The tower is primarily glass – the same, or perhaps a little lighter, as used in the district’s Meriwether condominium towers – and the podiums are planned as white panels.

“What we want to do is make a nice transition, in a different way, to the other side of South Waterfront,” architect Steve Domreis said.

The two buildings are the latest in a wave of South Waterfront work that’s appeared before commissioners recently. Ankrom Moisan’s designs for retirement community Mirabella and a two-building apartment project on Block 46 arrived in July and August, respectively. The Alexan, a 22-story apartment building, is under-construction on the site bordering the SERA-designed Block 43.

Contextually, both design teams said, South Waterfront is ever-shifting.

“It’s really a guessing game of what things are going on around you,” SERA’s Jeffreys said.

“Every time back, we have more context to design to,” GBD’s Domreis said.

SERA and GBD are both moving in the right direction with their designs, commissioners said.

And both designs, they said, try something different – massing and podium treatment for GBD, materials and streetscape activity for SERA – in a sea of similarity.

“My personal feeling is that a lot of these buildings are starting to look the same,” Jansky said.

Sep 17, 2007, 7:43 PM
Any renderings?

Sep 18, 2007, 4:29 AM
The GBD tower, from the DJC website:


Block 43 Sera renderings have been posted here before in one of the SoWa threads.

Sep 18, 2007, 4:48 AM
Block 43:


Sep 18, 2007, 5:45 AM
thank the lord, JR, Atwater and now with the glass on 3280 (?) it's all the SAME. it's awful! Some mixing it up might actually make those three buildings, being so similar, nice and dense, but right now....ugh (and I'm a HUGE fan of the idea of SoWa)

Sep 18, 2007, 6:02 AM
they both look a bit uninspiring and boring...I guess the bigger the firm, the more boring the work...which is why I only really want to work for small firms.

Sep 18, 2007, 2:08 PM
The architecture in SWF seems to be degrading. We're starting to see the boxy slabs of the Pearl and above ground parking. Its a shame, you would think a architectural firm would want to one up its competition.

Sep 18, 2007, 4:12 PM
Campus starts to take form
Trib Town • Plans for streets, new MAX route rest on OHSU’s choices
By Jim Redden
The Portland Tribune, Sep 18, 2007

What may be the largest, most complicated redevelopment project in city history is under the gun.

Oregon Health & Science University officials soon must decide basic questions about the design of the Schnitzer Campus that will be built on approximately 20 acres just south of the Marquam Bridge along the west side of the Willamette River.

The decisions include such fundamental questions as the elevation of the parcel and where to build the new streets that will run through it.

“This is not just a campus for OHSU; it’s a campus for the entire city, and we understand that,” said Mark Williams, the head of OHSU’s planning, development and real estate unit.

Ideally, the decisions should be made before Metro decides where to build the new transit bridge that will cross the river and connect the downtown and coming Milwaukie light-rail lines.

Two of the four options under consideration would cross the OHSU property. Metro, the regional government charged with managing growth and transportation in the Portland area, hopes to finalize the alignment by next July.

“Metro needs to know the elevation of where the bridge will touch down, and it would be best if it was aligned with streets,” said Williams, who calls the campus essential to meet the growing demand for new medical professionals to serve America’s aging population.

TriMet project manager Dave Unsworth calls the decisions a “Rubik’s Cube” of choices.

“This is not something you do every day,” said Unsworth, whose agency will operate the rail line over the bridge.
Whole feel rests on choices

The decisions ultimately will affect far more than the bridge alignment, however. They will determine the look, feel and function of what is rapidly emerging as Portland’s most urban neighborhood – the South Waterfront urban renewal area.

The so-called Central District, south of the Ross Island Bridge, already includes three completed high-rise residential towers, two more that are under construction, and OHSU’s first building not located on Marquam Hill, the Center for Health & Healing.

Although OHSU long has thought about building a satellite campus in the South Waterfront area, the idea moved closer to reality when the Gilbert and Thelma Schnitzer family and Schnitzer Investment Corp. donated the acreage to the teaching hospital in 2004.

The idea kicked into high gear when an anonymous donor gave $40 million for expanding the medical school in February. Now Williams believes ground could be broken on the first building within five years, although it ultimately could take three decades before it is complete.

According to Williams, OHSU officials have been actively developing basic concepts for the new campus for about a year. This has not involved deciding specific details, but grappling with such big-picture issues as whether it should have an active evening street scene and, if so, how to achieve that.

“The feeling was, yes, when a researcher walks out of a lab at 10 o’clock at night, it shouldn’t be dark and scary. There should be other people coming and going. And that suggests we should consider having housing and restaurants and retail on the campus, not just academic buildings,” he said.
OHSU plans to keep it green

Williams said the officials also have decided to continue the environmentally friendly practices that have the South Waterfront’s developers boasting it’s the largest sustainable redevelopment in the nation.

This includes respecting the city’s desire for a 100-foot greenway along the river, putting ecoroofs on the buildings, and linking the campus to the rest of the city with a variety of transportation options, bike and pedestrian paths.

The OHSU officials are not just talking among themselves, Williams said. They also are meeting with residents in the South Portland neighborhood west of the campus site, members of the Portland City Council and the Audubon Society, which hopes the greenway will not only be preserved but expanded into the river to include new habitat areas for wildlife.

Neighborhood association chairman Ken Love said area residents generally are supportive of OHSU’s plans but are awaiting more details.

The officials also have conducted a one-day design charette with representatives of the Zidell family, which owns much of the adjoining property. Ideas discussed included a mix of office and retail buildings adjacent to – and in some cases, within – the campus.

Although the Zidells have not publicly committed to redeveloping their property, which currently houses a barge-building operation, Williams said OHSU officials have held several “constructive and productive” discussions with Zidell representatives.

The project is so large that it will require the approval of many different governments. Metro is in charge of the process to develop the final proposed alignment for the new transit bridge.

The Portland Office of Transportation will have to amend its current street plan for the area. And the Portland Planning Bureau may have to approve a subdivision plan for the campus as well.

Williams said it is too early to estimate the total cost of building the new campus and related infrastructure improvements, but predicts it will require funds from a variety of public and private sources.

“There will be a lot of zeroes on this price tag. A lot,” he said.


Sep 18, 2007, 4:50 PM
Hard to tell anything from those renderings... both leave a lot to the imagination... we'll have to wait and see, i guess...

Sep 19, 2007, 3:26 AM
they both look a bit uninspiring and boring...I guess the bigger the firm, the more boring the work...which is why I only really want to work for small firms.

Not buying that. Among the most prestigious firms in the world, size is an asset: Foster's practice, Piano's, Richard Meier, KPF, etc. All of them are in the hundreds of employees. Even closer to home that doesn't hold a lot of water--Allied Works and BOORA get a good deal of design press and I believe they are sizable (AW 50ish? between NY and PDX and BOORA was in the ballpark in recent memory).

I think the quality of the work is independent of the size of the firm; its an easy target but not an accurate one. Size allows firms to do big work (scale) and a lot of work--but it doesn't preclude design excellence. That is about the people that run the place and the kind of work they attract.

Sep 19, 2007, 3:46 AM
they both look a bit uninspiring and boring...I guess the bigger the firm, the more boring the work...which is why I only really want to work for small firms.

I hope you like doing accessibility upgrades, redesign of existing interior space, and other such small jobs. I can say, based on my own experience working at a small firm, that small firms get a lot of mundane jobs, and bigger-name firms often get the more interesting, higher-budget projects.

Sep 19, 2007, 7:41 AM
I hope you like doing accessibility upgrades, redesign of existing interior space, and other such small jobs. I can say, based on my own experience working at a small firm, that small firms get a lot of mundane jobs, and bigger-name firms often get the more interesting, higher-budget projects.

I prefer theoretical architecture more anyway. I am just gonna be an ass in the industry either way you look at it.

oh and touche awg.

I should rephrase it, the large firms in Portland I have not been impressed with, while many of the small firms in Portland, I have been impressed with.