May 16, 2008, 6:20 PM
Some of you might want to check out this article in the latest issue of "Just Out", page 18:
I don't know if this thread is placed in the correct section but if it isn't feel free to move. :)
May 16, 2008, 6:33 PM
I've seen him at Starky's!
Anyhoodles, Clinton Condominiums are kinda disappointing to me-- it's trying to be very scandinavian when the architecture of Malmo and Bergen have already changed into something new and edgy.
Density is good, though.
May 16, 2008, 7:50 PM
Here's the article from Just Out in non-pdf form:
by Paul Leonard
Randy Rapaport has got something big to show you.
It’s around 1,000 square feet, for starters, with tons of closet space, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom modeled after Al Pacino’s decadent digs in the classic ’70s mob film Scarface.
Rapaport, 48, is the developer of Clinton Condominiums on Southeast Division Street and 26th Avenue, a 27-unit mixed-use building set to open next month. And while condo developments of every shape and size continue to pop up throughout the city, Rapaport’s building—his second—stands out from the pack in its attention to detail in design, its unique environmentally friendly elements and affordability.
“It’s a model of possibility in mixed-used housing and healthy neighborhood density,” said Rapaport, a real es¬tate investor-turned-developer who lives in a unit in his first project, Southeast Portland’s Belmont Street Lofts, which opened in 2005.
Showing off his new building on a rainy April afternoon, Rapaport looked more like an indie rocker than a hardcore capitalist, sporting a form fitting T shirt, horn-rimmed glasses and an almost unhealthy obsession with his favorite band, The Flaming Lips. In short, Rapaport could be the quintessential Portland condo developer: DIY, lifestyle oriented, an amateur skateboarder.
And single. Although Rapaport is more likely to be at hipster haven Doug Fir than the clubs downtown on Friday night, he’s still hoping to find Mr. Right somewhere in the crowd. “I care about the gay community, but for me it’s more about inclusiveness,” he said.
That inclusive spirit carries through to Rapaport’s new condo development. Each unit has plenty of gay-friendly touches, including a bathroom with two full closets, two sinks and sleek metal fixtures throughout. And the gays who buy into Clinton Condominiums won’t be alone, since Rapaport plans on moving into one of the units as soon as the building opens.
“This building is going to be as gay-friendly as it wants to be,” said Rapaport.
With half of Clinton’s units already sold, Rapaport believes his unique development approach gives him an advantage as a nationwide housing bust and soaring construction costs threaten to cool Portland’s white-hot condo market.
“Now that the housing market is consolidating, success depends on thoughtfulness and attention to quality and design,” said Rapaport.
Clinton Condominium’s boxy frame, designed by Portland’s Holst Architecture, is coated with a mix of steel and mahogany, meant to rust and age with time. Inside, the use of a warm walnut in the flooring, kitchen cabinets and wall panels softens the austere minimalism of the units’ design.
Other design details abound in the 50,000-square-foot building, including mellow recessed lighting in the hallways, sleek Bosch and Liebherr appliances in every kitchen and 500-pound glass panels that light up the building’s façade whenever an occupant is inside.
And with a central water heater and energy-saving radiant floor heat, Rapaport hopes his building’s green cred will help seal the deal with increasingly picky condo shoppers.
“Gone are the days when you could just build it and potential buyers would come,” said Andreas Tsoumas, a fellow small-scale developer of another mixed-use building in Northeast Portland. “Now you have to put in more bells and whistles.”
But those extras come at a price. With the cost of materials doubling in the past four years, unit prices will have to go up 30 percent for another detail-oriented building like Clinton Condominiums to happen, according to Rapaport. Units at Clinton range from the mid $200s to the low $500s, still cheaper per square foot than condos in the Pearl District.
“The numbers just don’t add up using quality materials,” said Rapaport, adding that the first casualties in any future development would be expensive building materials like walnut and mahogany, integral elements in Clinton Condominium’s appeal.
When Rapaport first broke ground on the Clinton building three years ago, the housing boom was at its peak. Now, with the future of the real estate market buffeted by falling home prices, tightening credit and economic recession, Rapaport still has few regrets: “I might have made the units a little smaller, but that’s it.”
Growing up in Maine, Rapaport used to methodically take apart his toys with a Phillips screwdriver “to see how the systems worked.” Now, with a yoga studio already open on the ground floor of his building, soon to be followed by a new community of tenants who will begin moving in next month, Rapaport is definitely all grown up.
“This is totally different,” he said. “This time, I’ve really created something.”
Paul Leonard is a Portland freelance writer and a minimalist when it comes to everything but his clothes. He can be reached at email@example.com.
May 16, 2008, 8:02 PM
⇑ Thanks for posting the article..
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