Awesome pictures! South Waterfront is looking great. Atwater is going up faster than I had expected. I assume the Alexia(?) is the next project to go up?
Also, is 325' the height limit for SoWa? In a few renderings I've noticed a building a few blocks from Atwater that looks to be 500' (give or take) in the renderings. It would be great to see a tower taller than the god aweful Well Fargo tower.
^The Alexan is still pending. There is a disagreement with the city over tax waivers for affordable housing ($850 for a studio). The city is balking and ended the program, the developer threatened to go condo, and now appears headed to build a luxury apartment complex without the affordable housing. The next building to go up, currently under construction, is Block 38 or I think it is now 3720?
and Block 46 which is undergoing site prep, the first for Prometheus development, which owns something like 8 city blocks in SoWa
The current height limit in SoWa is 325' and that was boosted in early 2005 by about 100' in the face of great neighborhood opposition. The Lair Hill neighborhood complained that their views and neighborhood would become blocked and cast in a shadow. Well, that didn't happen. It does seem as though Prometheus is looking to expand on the current 325' limit now that the sky didn't fall when the John Ross went up. My hunch is that it might be boosted by another 100' in a year or so as the district continues to grow.
I'm not sure Dougall what was up with SSP yesterday, I couldn't get in either.
Getting ready to start construction is the five block Burnside/Bridgehead development by OpusNW. The rendering of the project includes a Lowes which is no longer in the project due to neigborhood demands.
Two major projects are set to begin on East Burnside in Portland
Daily Journal of Commerce (Portland, OR), Nov 1, 2006 by Kennedy Smith
Traffic gets a bit congested during the morning drive along East Burnside leading up to the Burnside Bridge headed into downtown. Commuters, freight trucks and buses stop and go, day laborers hang out at an empty lot at Sixth Avenue, and early risers jog up and down the street.
But underneath the hustle and bustle, the noise and traffic, there's a change going on at East Burnside from the bridgehead to 12th Avenue.
"It's going to be a street that people don't even recognize once it gets all built out," said Tim Holmes, president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council.
Two major projects are set to begin on East Burnside - Opus Northwest's Burnside Bridgehead and the Burnside-Couch couplet headed by the Portland Office of Transportation.
When complete, the Burnside Bridgehead project will be a 195,000- square-foot, $250 million mixed-use center at the east end of the Burnside Bridge. The Burnside-Couch couplet project will turn East Burnside and Northeast Couch streets into one-way thoroughfares, with East Burnside heading east and Couch heading west. It will extend to the intersection at 12th Avenue, where Sandy Boulevard meets Burnside, and will reconnect Couch where it gets dissected by Sandy.
Lloyd Lindley, an urban designer who was involved with the Burnside-Couch couplet, completed economic analysis of the couplet, which indicated that in 20 years a revitalized Lower Burnside would generate about $7 million a year in new taxes and have a net assessed value of more than $300 million.
"You can look down the street and see the underdeveloped parcels that have the potential to be unlocked once there's better pedestrian access, wider sidewalks and narrower streets," Lindley said.
"This area is priming itself for change," said Bill Hoffman, project manager at PDOT. "What we have is two gateways at the Central Eastside: one at 12th and one at the bridgehead. What happens in between it will act as a catalyst."
Although the two major projects are still on the drawing board and not expected to be completed until at least 2009, activity is already picking up on the street, Hoffman said.
That's partly due to the popularity of the Doug Fir Lounge at 830 E. Burnside St. and its adjacent Jupiter Hotel. The restaurant and music venue has brought to town a slew of popular musical acts and has been listed as a top destination in magazines like Sunset, Jane and Metropolis, as well as the Frommer's guidebook. To boot, the Doug Fir has helped keep afloat a few independent art boutiques located directly across the street.
Up the road on 11th Avenue is developer Kevin Cavenaugh's emerging Burnside Rocket, an under-construction mixed-use building slated to house a restaurant, office and retail space. Cavenaugh is reaching for gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.
Between Sixth and Seventh avenues, Dave Dernbach of Mattsonian Investments LLC is busy renovating 10 studio apartments on the second floor of a currently vacant building. He bought the property nine months ago because he saw the neighborhood as "up and coming."
The ground floor of the building was leased Tuesday to Jeff and Shelia Kish, who plan to open a vintage and new clothing store in December.
Bernbach said the renovations are designed to maintain the building's historic feel, but right next door, there's a modern touch being added to the street.
Developers Brian Faherty and Lance Marrs on Nov. 16 will go before the Portland Design Commission to seek final approval of Bside 6, a 7-story mixed-use building designed by Works Partnership Architecture, which earned two awards from the Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects for its design.
"When we had a pre-design review, the question of how this building would fit with its surroundings came up," Faherty said. "You have historic buildings next to surface lots, and the Plaid Pantry next door. But we think it's going to fit very well, especially with the Rocket and the Burnside Bridgehead in the future. We're a part of the pioneering of the new Lower Burnside."
Faherty said he realized about three years ago that it was prime time to snatch up property along East Burnside. "We work on Southeast Oak and Sixth, so we're already part of the neighborhood. What we liked about the Central Eastside is that it's a real working men and women neighborhood, and we like the fact that Burnside, more than other streets like Hawthorne and Belmont, could become this neat little urban enclave to have retail, businesses and services to provide more of a mix and more diversity to the expanding neighborhood."
The corner of the empty lot where Bside 6 is slated to stand is currently a top spot for day laborers, who gather there everyday. Faherty said that's part of the fabric of the neighborhood. "That is something that we kind of embrace as a working neighborhood; we're not trying to displace them. They're already sort of moving down to Couch Street."
I'm not sure if it is Prometheus site prep or if the city is still building the infrastructure to support the tower. The tower has been approved and supposedly permits granted...so it might be a combination of both. Maybe I'll call the company tomorrow.
^yes, the Cosmopolitan has a very good chance of being built...I'd put it above 90%. Weston, the developer, is building this and a pretty identical tower over by the 405, across from the Tiffany Center. Weston has some money he'd like to spend on development, and is getting pretty old, so we might see him become more active in his remaining years. He is also discussing the possibility of a 20-30 story tower in the Rose Quarter area.
^it appears there might be more than one player pushing for higher limits...
SOUTH WATERFRONT SKIRMISHING The barge-building firm plays a cagey game with the area's key players, including filing a Measure 37 claim to protect its interests on the riverfront
Sunday, December 17, 2006
By RANDY GRAGG
It's hard to find a more striking contrast of old and new than where Southwest Gibbs Street meets the Willamette River.
On Thursday, the press got its first rides on a shiny new aerial tram departing from the end of Gibbs up and down Marquam Hill. Mere steps away, 75 proud workers of Zidell Marine Corp. are finishing the largest barge they've ever built -- 365 feet long, weighing 3,000 tons and with a capacity of 86,000 barrels of oil.
Rumors are flying that it's the last barge Zidell will build, boxed in as it is by condos rising to the south and Oregon Health & Science University's planned academic village to the north.
Au contraire, says company CEO Jay Zidell. He's got a 56,000-barrel barge under way, a contract signed for an 80,000-barrel barge after that and one, maybe two, on a waiting list -- as much as four years of barges in the pipeline.
That said, Zidell appears to be making the first tentative moves toward joining -- or maybe crashing -- the South Waterfront development game. Nov. 27, he dropped the seven lawsuits he filed against the city for what he considered unfair local-improvement-district assessments to build the tram. A few days later, his lawyer, Edward Trompke, filed a Measure 37 claim for $120 million.
The lawsuits, most insiders agree, were windmill jousts. The Measure 37 claim is a potential cluster bomb. If the claim is upheld, the city would either have to pay Zidell or waive regulations enacted since his family bought the land. That's a lot of regulations: According to the claim, the family has owned the land since 1955.
Zidell immediately suspended the claim, stopping the clock on the 180 days the city has to respond. Meanwhile, he hired the Sacramento firm EDAW to begin master-planning his 33 acres of South Waterfront. Even his development consultant, Bob Durgan -- who has long chafed South Waterfront wheeler-dealers with his pushing and shoving for bigger roads and a smaller greenway -- is showing off slides from recent brainstorming trips to Chicago, New York and San Francisco.
"Our family hopes to have a big say in the property's future," Zidell says. "The market will determine what we do."
In many ways, Zidell has little choice but to develop or sell. The company faces a $4.5 million cost to clean up its land, long used to build and scrap ships. The tram and streetcar assessments will cost him more than $2.7 million. Neither fits well into the expense column of a barge business spreadsheet. He's weeks from closing the sale of 35 North Portland riverfront acres to the University of Portland, land he bought only nine years ago as a potential new location for the barge business.
Zidell missed his best moment for the quick-money exit from South Waterfront when developer Homer Williams back in 2001 began connecting the deals for the new district. All the key players -- the city, OHSU and Williams -- wanted land to leverage. Zidell says no one made any offers. Williams says Zidell could have "easily walked away with $15 million."
That window slammed shut in 2004, when another important player, the Schnitzer family, donated 20 acres next door to Zidell to OHSU. That sandwiched him between the university and Williams, both ready for action.
"Jay was cooked," Williams says. "If the majority landowners want a local improvement district, then a local improvement district is what happens."
Insiders chortle at the twist. For most of the last century, the Zidell family blocked valuable river access for the Schnitzer land with a narrow finger of land running north. But the early 20th-century advantage turned into an early 21st-century liability. Zidell is responsible for the environmental cleanup of land that is almost certain to become a greenway and restored habitat, a wonderful amenity for OHSU.
Zidell says he doesn't know whether to feel "anger or envy" about all the deal-making. He filed the Measure 37 claim for leverage, "to protect our interests and our rights."
The city's master plan for the district earmarks 35 percent of Zidell's land for streets and parks. Zidell points out the city has bought the parks being built in Williams' development. On the other hand, Zidell can build huge towers by right that Williams and other landowners must earn with setbacks for the greenway and other amenities.
And so a very, very delicate game begins.
Zidell paid a 20-minute visit to Mayor Tom Potter last week, asking for one city point person to deal with. He says he hopes to plan his property together with OHSU.
"It's a terrific institution," he says. "We're very hopeful."
OHSU and the city are quick to curtsy back.
"We're having productive discussions," says Mark Williams, development director for OHSU, who has also hired a master-planning consultant, Perkins + Will, for the land north of Zidell's.
"We don't feel like there's gun to our head," according to Portland Planning Director Gil Kelley. "Zidell understands they are receiving benefits from the city and other developers working down there."
Up to now, Zidell and Durgan have been checkers players among chess masters like Homer Williams. Measure 37 isn't a checkmate, but it sure puts some powerful new pieces on the board.
The public interest, of course, is connecting OHSU and the rest of South Waterfront to the city with unbroken streets and a seamless greenway. And, so, as much as Zidell hopes to benefit from joining the South Waterfront game, that game might benefit from him, too. Keep in mind, this is a guy who keeps his father's antique glass and ceramics collection in his office, who feels "strong loyalty" to his workers, who earnestly talks about leaving "a family legacy."
And, lest we forget, in 2003, when Homer Williams was routinely saying a ski lift would be just fine for the tram, Zidell wrote the first $50,000 check to sponsor a design competition for it -- an ante Williams and OHSU had to follow to stay in the tram's political game.
It will be fun to watch not just the urban, but the personal drama unfold. Zidell has a choice: be remembered as the barge builder who kept everybody aiming high or the ruffian who dropped anchor on everybody's game.
Very nice photo. Actually only the small addition on the right is new, along with that "thing" on the left. That station has an interesting history.
The original fire station, built around 1913, housed Engine 28. Around 1984 it was closed and the engine was moved farther east and re-numbered Engine 40. The fire station became a community center of sorts.
Subsequently, Engine 40 was moved to NE Going St. near 60th Ave. Two or three years ago when the city renovated the station and upgraded it to withstand earthquakes, Engine 40 was relocated there and re-numbered to its original number 28. That just proves that what goes around comes around.
Measure 37 hammers Portland
Some of city’s richest make land-use claims, which now total $250 million
By Nick Budnick
The Portland Tribune Dec 19, 2006 (12 Reader comments)
The city of Portland is facing $250 million worth of legal claims filed just before a key Measure 37 deadline.
“It’s our worst fears, it really is,” said Chris Dearth, who heads the city’s Measure 37 program. “It affects all parts of the city. … Many, many neighborhoods will be seriously affected by this.”
Measure 37, approved by voters in 2004, allowed landowners to file claims for compensation for decreased property value caused by regulations. The influx was prompted by a Dec. 4 deadline to claim past damages.
The claims undermine the city planning process and could “change the face of the city,” Dearth said.
It’s not just the dollar figure and the potential impact to Portland neighborhoods that make the claims filed under the state’s property rights law noteworthy. In contrast to the Measure 37 poster child, then-92-year-old Dorothy English, the new claims are being filed by some very prominent figures — such as companies owned by Jay Zidell, Tom Moyer and Mark Hemstreet — using some of the city’s most well-heeled law firms.
“It’s a whole new ball game,” Dearth said. “It’s not the mom and pop, Dorothy English-style claim anymore.”
The biggest claim, filed by Zidell for his South Waterfront properties, is for about $120 million. He has put his claim on hold while he negotiates with the city over his development plans.
Another claim, for about $4.4 million, involves property near Sellwood that had been targeted for a Wal-Mart.
Even religious entities are getting into the act, including City Bible Church, the Apostolic Faith Mission and the Holy Rosary Church. Claims also have been filed by two cemeteries, including one for about $24 million filed by River View Cemetery Association of Portland, a tax-exempt nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
The names of whose who’ve filed claims protesting the effect of various regulations include claimants and lawyers who have benefited from government regulations and largesse in the past. Those include the Ball Janik law firm — which has been paid about $630,000 to assist the Portland city attorney’s office over the past three years — as well as developers Joe Angel and Kelly Bruun.
Angel was part of neighborhood group that used the city’s planning codes to unsuccessfully fight the siting of a Holocaust Memorial in Washington Park. He also was appointed by the city to sit on its Central Eastside Urban Renewal Advisory Committee, helping direct the city’s redevelopment plans and spending in that area.
Bruun, meanwhile, had been a leader in a push to get the city to build speed bumps in his West Hills neighborhood. Now he wants $3.7 million from the city in exchange for his development rights lost because of an environmental overlay zone affecting his hillside property on Southwest Humphrey Boulevard.
His neighbor, former Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Noelle, says he thinks the environmental overlay zone was adopted shortly after a landslide on the same hillside that blocked U.S. Highway 26. Noelle said he is not opposed to Bruun’s claim, but “I don’t have a clue as to whether that hillside is stable or not.”
Moyer Theaters Inc., owned by Portland philanthropist Tom Moyer, has filed a claim with the city for $6.5 million concerning several regulations affecting development rights on the firm’s property at Southeast Powell Boulevard and 108th Avenue.
Previous to the last-minute flood of claims, only about $16 million worth of claims had been filed with the city. Of those, the city has rejected 10 and granted two. Also, the city successfully negotiated with six landowners to work through their problems, and is in the process of doing so with six others, Dearth said.
In the month before the deadline was when he started receiving calls from some of the city’s most well-known law firms, including Lane Powell and O’Donnell & Clark.
“I had some suspicion that there were some claims lurking out there, but I had no idea it was this big,” said Dearth, adding that just because claims have been filed does not mean the regulations being challenged will be waived. “The commissioners have given us the go-ahead to look at these very carefully.”
A forum community dedicated to skyscrapers, towers, highrises, construction, and city planning enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about structures, styles, reviews, scale, transportation, skylines, architecture, and more!