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51 Posts
Great shots!! Is that the Benson? This tower should be nearly completed, correct? I'm curious to see the water feature. The 1st few, is that the new park block? Are there any new renderings for this park?

Also, what type of camara do you use? I'm looking into getting a new cam, is SLR the way to go?

208 Posts
^actually the first few pictures are the Metropolitan, in the Pearl. Park Block 5 in downtown (the big hole) doesn't have a design yet.

87 Posts

another photo thread by dougall!! there might be a couple duplicates but oh well

a little tram action

somebody didn't get the memo

bye bye john ross crane

glass on atwater!



good morning tram

tram hug

these skyline shots are from yesterday

the u/c strand and the south waterfront


51 Posts
Wow!! Awesome shots! From the pictures, you really get a sense of how great SoWa will be. All the towers look amazing, even the Strand! The John Ross is close to completion, I absolutely love this design. A nice contrast to the towers we have in Portland. On top of that, the best looking tower (at least IMO) is soon to be rising from the ground, Block 38.

Any word on the height restrictions at SoWa? I've heard a developer wants to increase the hight to 500'(?).

My last question, what camara did you use? I'm looking to upgrade and I love the quality and clearity of your pictures.

87 Posts
my new dream job well not really but it would be cool.
Tram man goes back and forth and back
Thursday, December 28, 2006
By Spencer Heinz
By the lights of night and day, he sails above the city. He wears no cape, and he works out of a cabin that climbs by cable from here to there. About 50 times per shift under rain and sun and stars, he rides from bottom to top and back again.

Kevin Holtzman Jr. is the Portland Aerial Tram's first tramway cabin attendant, and as the city's last few elevator operators prepare to ride into history, he stands for what comes next.

"Bottom floor," he announces for fun because this is not a department store. The bottom is Portland's waterfront. The top is 3,300 feet up and away, to beyond the other tower near the top of Pill Hill -- the overlook that holds the expanding Oregon Health & Science University that spawned the construction of this ride. The point is to zoom its nurses and doctors and others -- and by late next month, the public -- between the old hillside campus and its new Center for Health & Healing below.

Holtzman takes them back and forth. Passengers board, and his fingers pinch his ID card into a tilt for easy reading: "Cabin Attendant." At 5-foot-9 with short brown hair, glasses, black trousers, steel-toed boots and a lightweight jacket with an L.L. Bean logo, the 29-year-old Holtzman was the first of six attendants hired.

"An all-around good personality," says the boss who hired him, tram General Manager Mike Commissaris, who looks for technical and people skills.

It was not Holtzman's burning boyhood dream to grow up and become a tramway cabin attendant. Then his horizons changed. Born in Florida into a family that moved to Oregon, he had worked as a paperboy, warehouse cherry sorter, shelf clerk in a discount store, English major in college and a credit union service rep before spotting an online ad for people to run the tram.

"I came in," he says, "pretty much as a blank slate."

This fall, he was dividing his time between an apartment in Eugene and his family's home in The Dalles. The tram people called back and hired him. He says his father, Kevin Holtzman Sr. -- a carpenter who has worked on the city's tram-linked $2 billion South Waterfront project -- was thrilled.

Young Holtzman went through training that ranged from operating the cabin control panel -- you touch the buttons to slow the cab or speed it up -- to how to disembark in an emergency by descending more than 100 feet in a harness.

He enters the good-looking new pod and replaces the morning-shift attendant. A ground-based tram operator oversees the largely computerized runs with, if necessary, override controls. The cab is the size of a den, vaguely egg-shaped and equipped to carry more than 70 patrons per run.
With them, Holtzman views, from the top of the run, the Cascades that rut the horizon like flash-frozen waves. The topography of rooftops, pitched to flat, reveals anything from sweet architecture to shingles begging for repair. From his ceiling, the control panel hangs like a finely sculpted periscope. And below it the floor shows touches of home -- a little broom and dustpan, plus a tiny straw mat of the kind you might want to put on your porch.

He says heights are not his fear. Aside from a momentary lilt while passing the tops of towers, the ride is usually smooth and nearly without sound. A "swing dampener" mechanism helps the ride feel like light rail.

"If something is safer than it needs to be," Holtzman says, "I'd have to say the tram is that."

Doctors and nurses and others get on. So far, things Holtzman says include "Any first-time riders?" and "Here we go," and "Tradition is to wave at the other car as it goes by."

The rituals are at least several days old in Portland's tramming history. He guards them with a level of pride. The kinds of questions riders ask him range, he says, from whether a cabin attendant has authority to marry couples to whether his cabin carries a restroom.

Those answers are no, but he does have a fire extinguisher, a first-aid kit, a heart defibrillator, usually a few doctors and what probably can be described as direct connections to a hospital.

"I tell them," he says, "it's only a three- to four-minute ride."

Spencer Heinz: 503-221-8072; [email protected]

The lowdown on the tramway
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The tramway is about 3,300 feet long.

Peak cabin speed is 22 mph.

The cabin attendant pay scale is $9 to $15 an hour.

The tram is open, so far, only to OHSU employees. Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, closed Sundays.

The public will be able to ride after a grand-opening weekend Jan. 19-21.

The city of Portland is the tram's owner and regulatory authority. Doppelmayr CTEC, a subsidiary of a Swiss firm, supplied the tramway equipment, and maintains and operates the tram under contract with OHSU. Mike Commissaris is the Portland Aerial Tram general manager. He is one of 12 employees who maintain and operate the tram.


87 Posts
lets try and get you SSCers up to date
Applicant: Tom Gibbons, LRS ARCHITECTS
Site address: 1405 SW Morrison St, MANHATTAN TOWER

The applicant seeks design advice on a potential development of a 325-foot tall, 32-story condominium "point" tower. The tower will house approximately 207-220 residential units, including townhouses that will front SW Alder
Street and SW 15th Avenue. Above ground office parking and below ground residential parking will be provided. The applicant will be requesting a 75-foot height bonus through Design Review above the allowed height of 250-
feet. Modifications to rooftop mechanical area and mechanical screening may also be requested.

eveloper conjures up Manhattan for name of next high-rise
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The Oregonian

Despite talk of a cooling condo market, Portland real estate magnate Joe Weston is working on plans for a 32-story tower at 1405 S.W. Morrison St. that would add 207 to 220 units to the local supply.

Weston, finishing construction of the 26-story Benson Tower downtown, wants his proposed Manhattan Tower to rise 325 feet. That's as high as the nearly completed John Ross going up in South Waterfront and the tallest that would be allowed under city zoning rules.

Weston owns the block by Interstate 405 on which the Manhattan would sit. His planners are expected to hold one more meeting with the Goose Hollow Foothills League planning committee before taking their proposal to the Portland Design Commission in mid-January.

Though major national investors are pulling back from condo plans, Weston may hold enough financial clout to build the Manhattan the old-fashioned way -- by himself.

87 Posts
pictures from flickr:
atul666 taken december 18th

greg_e taken december 28th (looks like they're closing in the upper station for you mark)

more greg_e same day

big set by crumj on december 19th


87 Posts

the benson tower

the recently completed elliot

this is the site of the approved ladd tower

in this building opus is moving into a space and the door it says "ladd tower" construction office" so it looks ready to start

its going to be interesting to see this house get moved

this building will be demolished for a low-rise and additional future developtment

happy new year

6,806 Posts
Just came by to check out the Portland thread and all I can say is wow. I had no idea Portland was booming so much. It looks like it will be an even more fantastic place to live in the near future when most of that construction is completed. Is SoWa being developed by a single developer? What is the total investment of that development? My only qualm with Portland is that for all its amazing architecture at street level, the skyline seems so boxy. Hopefully, these new developments will spruce it up a bit. Also, does anyone have a transit map and includes the new tram? I'd like to see one.

191 Posts
I know it seems far off

but out here in Hillsboro they are planning to put in ten, 20 story residential towers in...It is in the Amberglen Parkway area....and there is going to be a street car that loops up from the MAX Line and to the new hospital, lots of other midrise buildings...along with other improvements to over passes, and roads in the vicinity

they said the development would bring in about 10,000 new residents

they said it wont be started until 2010/2011

still very interesting if you think about it because it would make Hillsboro one of the only other cities in Oregon with buildings this tall....

Except maybe a few random ones in Eugene as well as Salem...but it would still be the highest concentration outside of Portland......

also i think they had a density increase out in hillsboro in the recent years.....or maybe it was the entire west side/ Tualatin Valley....

191 Posts
i copied this from

please let me know if i am not supposed to copy from another still kinda new to this :)

Is this the next Pearl District?
A daring vision in Tanasbourne to build a high-rise community of 10,000 people could make the suburbs the new urban jungle
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Oregonian

HILLSBORO -- Imagine: New York City in Hillsboro.

Or a scaled-down version of Central Park and all the sky-high buildings that surround it, at least.

Five years from now, the idea could start to become reality as the city plans to build an urban community that would attract an expected 10,000 new residents to nearly 600 acres in the Tanasbourne area. Buildings would reach 20 stories tall, and the budget could call for billions of dollars.

"This project is a wake-up call for people who don't think of us as part of the Portland metro area," Mayor Tom Hughes said. "It asks them, 'Have you thought of Hillsboro lately?' "

Known for bold moves such as Orenco Station and Intel's Ronler Acres campus, city planners want this area south of Northwest Cornell Road to be a magnet for high-income singles and two-person households seeking alternatives to Portland.

Planners and developers face a series of hurdles with the project, including its high cost, securing land rights and lining up public and private funding -- not to mention the traffic congestion that could result when developments go in.

Although it's not clear whether the real estate market will take to the idea, the time and location are ideal to build the project, officials said. The planning area consists of plenty of vacant and redevelopable lots, it's next to Beaverton, it's easily accessible for U.S. 26 commuters, and it's adjacent to Tanasbourne, one of the county's most popular hubs with its variety of stores and restaurants.

Also, in coming years 7,000 to 8,000 new employees are expected to settle in Hillsboro as companies such as Genentech and Standard Insurance build sites and Kaiser Permanente plans a new hospital a few blocks from the planned new community. And in the next 25 years, it's expected that more than 270,000 more residents will arrive in Washington County.

Planners want to expand on the success of Streets of Tanasbourne, an outdoor shopping mall that opened in 2004 along Northwest Cornell Road, to build the new community. Construction could begin as early as 2010 and be complete in 2026.

High-rises and a park

The plan, with as many as nine 20-story buildings and a series of smaller towers stacked around a 35-acre central park, would set a new urban tone in suburbia. Condos and town houses would mix with retail, office space and research centers.

The planning area is bounded by Northwest Cornell and Walker roads on the north, 185th Avenue on the east, the MAX line on the south and Northwest 206th Avenue on the west. The city owns five acres of the land on the west end.

Referred to as the OHSU/AmberGlen Area Plan, it now consists of vacant lots, green space, office buildings, research facilities for Oregon Health & Science University and education centers for Portland Community College and the state.

Planners see the new community -- built intensely dense and unusually high -- as a way to alleviate concerns about growth citywide and as a solution to the land crunch brought by the urban growth boundary. The more people who live in this area, the more relief the rest of Hillsboro will see, said Wink Brooks, the city's planning director.

"It really is unique," said Brian Campbell, a project manager with PB PlaceMaking, an international consulting company based in Washington, D.C., that is working with the city to plan the community.

Though there are a few examples nationwide of this concept, Hillsboro's community would be a first in the Portland suburbs, Campbell said. Portland's Pearl District would be the closest example, with its mix of condos and town houses built along a streetcar route that's dotted with shops and restaurants.

"Hillsboro has stepped out there," Campbell said.

Yet it's difficult to predict how suburbia would react to such a project, although Hillsboro's concept has the right ingredients and makes sense, said Matt Brown, a project manager who looks into new projects for Williams & Dame Development.

The Portland-based company was one of the primary developers of the Pearl District and has been heavily involved with projects in Portland's South Waterfront and, most recently, in Los Angeles.

Developers would need to study closely the demographics of the area, Brown said. "The $64,000 question is whether Hillsboro and the western suburbs are ready," he said. "When you think of suburbs, you don't think of that type of environment."

Brown said suburban areas are challenged because "you have to create a highly vibrant, mixed-use community out of whole cloth. You don't have the bare bones of an interesting urban area. It can be done, but it must done right."

Residents weigh in

During open houses this year about the project, residents greeted the vision with awe. Although some are troubled by the project's high density and high cost, many welcome the idea and hope it will pan out during the next 20 years.

"I think it's great," said Kevin LaBreche, who's lived northwest of the property for a decade. "They're really putting a lot of thought into how these people are going to fit in this area. . . . Things are going to change."

Bob Martin, who lives west of the planned area, said he's "cautiously enthusiastic." The Beaverton School District employee said he likes that the city is planning this far in advance but worries about the quality of the development and the traffic headaches it could generate.

"I know there's no escaping it," Martin said about growth in the area. "I'm concerned whether they can maintain the original vision to make sure it's consistent and compatible so that the last building looks like the first."

With the long timeline, some wonder whether the city and property owners can deliver. Steve Cook, a retired dentist and businessman who lives on six wooded acres inside the planning area, welcomes the proposal. He just wonders whether the market will support it.

"Somebody's gotta say, 'This is so unique that I'm willing to go out on a limb to support it,' " said Cook, who wants to preserve the tree-filled land he's owned for 30 years south of Northwest Walker Road. "In order for this thing to be pulled off, there has to be instant attraction."

Potential roadblocks

Because the idea is so new, officials say they'll have a hard time testing market forces. The fact that real estate sales have slowed in recent months does not intimidate planners, because the project won't be built for at least five years, Brooks said.

Along with the market, other challenges have given developers and property owners pause.

The city must find savvy developers -- the fewer, the better -- willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into the idea. The project also will require significant changes to the surrounding roads to accommodate traffic, which will be one of the biggest hurdles, Campbell said.

In addition, because the 582 acres have more than a half-dozen owners, the city must coordinate a vision and keep property owners from selling and dividing the land. Officials say it will be difficult to settle on a master plan if there are too many participants.

Oregon Health & Science University, which owns 300 acres at the site, is the key landholder. In coming years, the university plans to maintain a presence on about 160 acres in the center of the site where its primate center, the Neurological Sciences Institute and the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute are located.

Last month, OHSU agreed to sell its 40-acre Oregon Graduate Institute campus at the site for about $44 million. The buyer has not been disclosed. Officials are discussing whether to sell about another 70 acres of the land.

"We're not sure who we would sell it to," said chief administrative officer Steve Stadum. "We're studying whether or not it makes sense to sell."

Esmeralda Bermudez: 503-221-4388; [email protected]

Plan highlights
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Oregonian

Here is a look at key components of the OHSU/AmberGlen Area Plan. Information is provided by the city of Hillsboro.


Buildings would range from three to 20 stories tall. About nine high-rise towers would rise from the center of the site, circling a central park. Building heights would decrease as they move out from the center to blend in with Tanasbourne's existing neighborhood. (The tallest buildings in the city now are the Hillsboro Civic Center and a Tuality Community Hospital building, each six stories.)

Area would include a mix of condos and town houses. Some apartments might be offered for rent.

Housing would be mainly high-end market-value developments, with some middle-income and affordable housing.

Area would be high and medium density.


The project would expand on the success of the Streets at Tanasbourne, at Northwest Cornell Road and Stucki Avenue. A mix of new stores -- such as those specializing in home decor -- restaurants and office space would be built to the south, across Cornell Road, and flow directly out of the existing shopping hub. The collection of new stores would function as a gateway into the new community. Planners also envision a high-rise hotel at the entrance.

Like Orenco Station to the west, restaurants and shops would be built on the ground level of high-rise condos and town houses.

Shops and restaurants would be clustered on the north end of the site.

Retail might include department stores and other shops, along with gyms, pubs, music venues and a variety of office space.


A bus, jitney -- a small bus or car -- or streetcar would travel inside the community on three routes. Passengers would be taken around the new area to destinations such as a Kaiser hospital, scheduled to open at Northwest Evergreen Parkway and Stucki Avenue in 2009; the Streets at Tanasbourne; and MAX stops.

New north-south and east-west road connections would be built and existing ones expanded.

Efforts would be made to alleviate congestion on Northwest Cornell and Walker roads, 185th Avenue and Evergreen Parkway.

Northwest Walker Road would be widened and expanded to connect to Northwest 206th Avenue.

Northwest Stucki Avenue might be extended to connect to U.S. 26.

Road connections to two MAX stations to the south, Quatama and Willow Creek, would be improved.

Sidewalks would be widened and trees, benches and lampposts added.

Parking options would continue to be explored. Structures might be built. Parks

A 35-acre park, referred to in the plan as Central Park, would anchor the new community. Every building would be built around the park.

The lake in the AmberGlen business park might be enlarged as an attraction of the central park.

Walking and bike trails might be built along the west side of Bronson Creek. Officials want to make the creek an attraction without jeopardizing the security and buffering required at nearby Oregon Health & Science University research facilities.

Also planned for the area

A Portland Community College campus will go in on the west side of Northwest 185th Avenue, near the Willow Creek light-rail station.

Beaverton elementary and secondary schools might be built. The area is within the Beaverton School District boundaries.

Civic spaces such as plazas, libraries and public buildings are recommended.

Entertainment and cultural buildings are possible.

Who is expected to live there

One- and two-person households

Two-income households

Educated work force

Significant foreign-born population

High-tech workers with higher incomes

Potential financing

Funding from developers

System development charges

Tax increment financing

Local improvement district

Tax abatement

Funding from Metro, the regional government agency

Metro regional parks bond

State funding

Federal funding

Current major property owners in the area

Oregon Health & Science University

Principal Financial Group


Oregon University System


-- Esmeralda Bermudez

208 Posts
Is SoWa being developed by a single developer? What is the total investment of that development? My only qualm with Portland is that for all its amazing architecture at street level, the skyline seems so boxy. Hopefully, these new developments will spruce it up a bit. Also, does anyone have a transit map and includes the new tram?
The South Watefront development is being lead by Williams and Dame Development. Homer Williams also spearheaded the Pearl, but is notorious for being a scatter brain on the fiscal side. He ended up losing most of his investment in the Pearl to pay off partnering developers.

In any case, the new W&D partnership solidified Homers ability to vision, and Dame's ability to control costs. So far, OHSU, Gerding-Edlen, W&D and a development company never seen in Portland before, Prometheus Development, are leading the initial development and own most of the land.

The initial development cost is topping $2 billion. At full build out, including OHSU's new Schnitzer campus, as well as an extension to John's Landing, will top $11 billion.

The Aerial Tram, currently, does not have a partnership with TriMet, so it probably wont show up on TriMet's transportation maps, but it doesn't open to the public for about 3 weeks, so between now and then...who knows...

Portland's skyline will be improving quite a bit in the near future. There are a ton of condo project in and around town already under construction. The Benson Tower itself improved the skyline from the Vista Ridge tunnels. Several 325 towers are proposed including one in the Lloyd, and one right off the 405. It is also verrrry possible that Gerding-Edlen, or another developer, will build an up to 500' tower, or matching towers, on the block occupied by the Smart Park garage next to the Galleria, and there is another tower on Broadway rumored to be under consideration that would test the height limits.
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