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  #881  
Old Posted Dec 26, 2009, 1:08 AM
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wow struck a nerve in this forum about Fox tower. You guys seriously think this is good design? I like the base, TVA does nice pedestrian scale and detail - they should stick to lowrise designs. They got the recessed channel detail down, and the same could be said for the John Ross, but the tower is bland. The proportions and compositions of the different materials are just odd - I don't know how else to say it. The slight play of windows and double mullions gets lost. This is a tower - tower design needs to be bold and be read from different vantage points. The glass is shiny, Titanium and Silver...and ribbons of it. So. And what the hell are those buttresses flying out of the West side of the building - whoops - forgot a transfer beam - they look like a big mess . Maybe I am alone on this, but I certainly have better hopes for PAW if it moves forward.
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  #882  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2009, 5:37 AM
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Maybe I am alone on this
Yes, it does seem that way. Count me among those who really enjoy Fox Tower. In fact, the only part of it I don't care for is the part you like the most. From a distance, I don't care for the east side of the base (although I assume that was an effort to step the tower away from Pioneer Square). From the sidewalk, however, I love it all. I look forward to seeing how PAW compliments Fox Tower.
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  #883  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2009, 7:20 AM
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.... And what the hell are those buttresses flying out of the West side of the building - whoops - forgot a transfer beam - they look like a big mess .
The buttresses are not arbitrary. They were a solution to the structural requirements for the multiple uses of the building, specifically, the theater portion of the tower. The loads from the upper floor offices had to be transferred down past the theaters where column placement was especially challenging. Then down through the retail/lobby and the underground garage.

For the most part, this is a graceful, well-proportioned and well-built tower, both inside and out. The only problem I have with it is the convoluted top. To me, it's rather choppy and anti-climactic. I'd love to see a redesign of the superstructure.
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  #884  
Old Posted Dec 27, 2009, 11:12 PM
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The buttresses are not arbitrary. They were a solution to the structural requirements for the multiple uses of the building, specifically, the theater portion of the tower. The loads from the upper floor offices had to be transferred down past the theaters where column placement was especially challenging. Then down through the retail/lobby and the underground garage.
duh! I get they are a structural solution, just not a very graceful one, nor very well integrated one into the overall architecture. They look like an afterthought, a band-aid, and there are other ways to transfer columns (won't labor over that) - the butresse just looks out of place, and I guess I think the entire tower has very little grace. It has moments, but this does not make for a good design. Nor does Portland not having a decent highrise in the past 50 years make an excuse for this one to be held up with such high regard. Again, I have hopes for PAW.
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  #885  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2009, 12:25 AM
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Crow, I am gonna have to agree with everyone else, you might be alone on this opinion of the Fox. Before moving to Portland, the Fox was one of those towers that use to impress me whenever I would see it from its postcard shot from Pioneer Square. Though I will say the west end of the building looks like any other typical office building. The Broadway side of the building is definitely the more impressive side. But the most important factor that I love about this building is how it interacts with the street, which really is the most important factor...looking cool in the skyline can only go so far with a tower.
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  #886  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2009, 6:33 PM
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TMT project remains stalled

Cathy Cheney | Portland Business Journal
TMT halted work on the 33-story tower in April, citing an inability to land a construction loan.

Construction was supposed to resume in early 2010 on Park Avenue West, the stalled office tower that has come to symbolize the real estate economy in Portland.

With the new year just a week away, it remains unclear if owner TMT Development can secure the financing it needs to complete the $150 million project at Southwest Park Avenue and Yamhill Street.

Portland-based TMT Development remains close-lipped about the building’s status.

President Vanessa Sturgeon said there have been no new developments and declined further comment. Bart Eberwein, vice president of Hoffman Construction, the contractor building the tower, said he is “in the dark” about the project’s status.

TMT Development halted work on the 33-story tower in April, citing its inability to secure a construction loan. It was a surprising development since the building had signed a major office tenant and a major retailer.

Stoel Rives LP, Portland’s largest law firm, agreed to lease nearly 160,000 square feet or about half the building’s office space. Nike Inc. planned to open a Niketown store at ground level. Together, the two leases signaled that Park Avenue West would be able to attract tenants despite the recession.

When asked if the lease remains in effect despite the construction delay, a Stoel Rives spokeswoman said there is “nothing to report.”

By the time TMT stopped work, Hoffman had excavated nearly five stories into the ground and started to build the elevator shaft and other core building features. The contractor pulled its workers and secured the site, leaving a fenced pit in the block immediately west of the downtown Nordstrom store.

Behind the scenes, TMT and its partners have been busy. The team reinvented Park Avenue West without the condominiums that were to occupy 10 floors. In August, the city approved the new design — a boxy 26-story office tower with underground parking and street-level retail space.

But with the “early 2010” deadline to resume building now just weeks away, there is no indication TMT has lined up financing.

The Portland office of Holliday Fenoglio Fowler LP previously lent TMT Development at least $112 million, including $80 million for Fox Tower and $32 million for 1000 Broadway, two buildings in its downtown portfolio.

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler officials couldn’t be reached to discuss prospects for financing Park Avenue West.

Privately, local commercial lenders predict only a major bank such as Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank or Bank of America will be able to finance Park Avenue West. All are likely to take a skeptical view.

Wells Fargo doesn’t discuss specific deals, but generally speaking, lack of demand from tenants, not lack of funds, keeps it from issuing construction loans.

“There’s not a lot of demand for new office, new condos, new retail,” said Nelda Scott Newton, vice president for the Wells Fargo Real Estate Group in Portland.

U.S. Bank and Bank of America didn’t answer questions about the project.

But any prospective lender will be interested in whether the project can command tenants willing to pay rents in the mid-$30 per square foot range, which is higher than most buildings in the central business district.

According to one local brokerage, the vacancy rate for Class A space in downtown rose to 7 percent in the third quarter, up a full percentage point from a year ago.

It is expected to climb further in 2010 when First & Main, a 16-story office tower at First Avenue and Main Street, opens and adds 346,500 square feet of office space to the market. First & Main has no confirmed tenants after more than a year of active marketing.

Nationally, the commercial real estate picture isn’t much better.

In November, the National Association of Realtors reported the eighth consecutive quarterly decline in an index that measures commercial real estate activity. The index was at its lowest level since the first quarter of 1995.

It adds up to a bleak leasing climate for Park Avenue West in the near term, which may be enough to scare lenders.

“I wouldn’t have it,” said Mike Glanville, president of Q10|National Mortgage, a Lake Oswego firm that brokers and manages commercial mortgages on behalf of life insurance companies.

It services a portfolio worth more than $1 billion.

wculverwell@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3415
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  #887  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2009, 8:13 PM
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this makes me sad
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  #888  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2009, 1:15 AM
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I wouldn't be surprised if a lid is put on the garage portion and another downtown park/plaza being created.
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  #889  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2009, 1:59 AM
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^ Actually not a bad idea. That would be too cool to have an expansive urban plaza larger than Pioneer Square (combined with Director Park, of course). I think most Portlanders are quite appreciative of good community space. Not to mention that the appeal to retailers around Morrison/Yamhill would likely go up.
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  #890  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2009, 2:51 AM
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Yikes......this translates to more weeks/months of delay at the VERY LEAST. Maybe HFF will once more lend TMT a chunk of money because of their association, and success of 1000 Broadway and the Fox Tower. I sure wouldn't bet on it though.

The vacancy rate in Portland SHOULD be in a little better shape in time--- assuming that tenants in the EGWW Federal Bldg will temporarily be placed over at the new First & Main, but this low demand for new office space has to improve, or PAW is sunk as deep as their hole in the ground.
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  #891  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2009, 2:56 AM
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Seems I remember reading that EGWW already knows of a place they'd temporarily relocate to & 1st & Main was not it.
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  #892  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2009, 5:51 AM
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as much as it doesn't make sense, it sort of does for the banks.

vacancies are continuing to go up and up and up in commercial space.
Even if the thing is 50% leased, it might not be more than that for 3-4 years.

If one of those tenants backs out/goes under (especially if they are a big one), then you are at 20-30% occupancy real quick, and BK comes next.

Super sucks for our town. I was drooling over this tower.
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  #893  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2009, 8:28 AM
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Where's Trump when you need him?



I guess we need a BILLIONAIRE to come build here who doesn't need to worry about financing! A 450 footer is nothing to him....maybe he could really change the height limits in PDX, and you know he'll be needing an apprentice, folks.

We need to entice the Boss to come and build a nice tower in PAW's place. (Does he even build west of Chicago?) I know, I know, I'm fired!
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  #894  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2009, 5:02 PM
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I think Seattle was rumored for a Trumpy tower.
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  #895  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2009, 5:07 AM
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I think this will move forward, but it might be a hole in the ground for awhile. That said, I wouldn't be too bummed if they were to cap it and create another park. Or, they could build the public market on top of it. Something will happen sooner rather than later.
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  #896  
Old Posted Dec 31, 2009, 5:01 PM
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Just build a park.

Or, you know, a REAL bike oasis. It's practically on-top of all the MAX lines, cyclists would love such a thing, so you'd have a nice car-free hub in the middle of DTPDX.

I'll be in town all weekend, maybe I'll peep the site and fantasize about such a thing.
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  #897  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2010, 6:08 PM
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maybe one by one we will get the park blocks connected? La Ramblas in Barcelona as Goldschmidt called it.
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  #898  
Old Posted Jan 1, 2010, 8:41 PM
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I remember this story from a while back. Maybe the city will step in and provide assistance? I was thinking issuing a municipal loan guarantee would be pretty savvy, and not necessarily chew up a lot of resources.

http://portland.bizjournals.com/port...28/story4.html

And another blurb of information that may or may not be pertinent: http://portland.bizjournals.com/port...wscolumn1.html

I'll have to counter the other sentiments here and question the point of adding more empty space to the central core. We have plenty of open space as it is.

In this area in particular, we need more people, more density and more hustle and bustle. It's bad enough that TMT had to reduce the height of the tower, making the transfer of FAR from across the street a completely moot exercise.
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  #899  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2010, 2:58 PM
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PAW money

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Originally Posted by RoseCtyRoks View Post


I guess we need a BILLIONAIRE to come build here who doesn't need to worry about financing! A 450 footer is nothing to him....maybe he could really change the height limits in PDX, and you know he'll be needing an apprentice, folks.

We need to entice the Boss to come and build a nice tower in PAW's place. (Does he even build west of Chicago?) I know, I know, I'm fired!
Portland has Phil Knight. Maybe he'd be interested in investing in some downtown property. He's already spent a lot of money in the suburbs.
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  #900  
Old Posted Jan 2, 2010, 8:03 PM
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You guys are as good as the Feds for spending other people's money.
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