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Housing development planned on Ankeny bikeway

Posted by on February 23rd, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Drawing of new senior housing planned
for corner of SE 12th and Ankeny.

This morning, a reader tipped us off about a property development that could have an impact on one of Portland’s busiest bikeways, SE Ankeny Blvd.

A permit request (PDF) submitted to the City’s Bureau of Development Services says the Foursquare Gospel Church plans to develop a surface parking lot at SE 12th and Ankeny into “Foursquare Senior Living.” The four-six level structure would have 132 units of senior housing and 7,200 square feet of ground floor retail space with two levels of underground parking (the existing parcel is an underutilized surface parking lot). While the main entrance will face SE 13th Ave, plans also call for a new driveway on Ankeny just east of 12th…

Ankeny is a major artery in the bike network. It was built as one of Portland’s first bike boulevards back in 1997 and PBOT counted over 1,200 daily trips at SE Ankeny and 6th in their 2010 bicycle counts.

It’s great to see more dense housing in the city, and it will be interesting to see how/if this development impacts the bikeway. Perhaps some readers that live in the Buckman Neighborhood can report back as the project moves forward. You can download the permit request here.

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  • Allan February 23, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Is this thing designed to take up the entire block? If so, why can’t they orient the driveway towards 13th street? That would solve this problem

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  • Lance P February 23, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    The link is not working. I would like to invite them to talk at the BCA but we need to have the names of the developers.

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    • Spiffy February 24, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      the “PDF” link is broken but the “here” link at the bottom of the article works…

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  • Jeff February 23, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    seems like a non-story really. why do we need anyone’e name? next someone here is going to condone critical mass against all elderly people….

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  • Bob_M February 23, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Granny’s got a trike w/ a basket. Welcome to the hood

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  • Rob February 23, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    “Urgh, lofts, why?!?” – F.Armisen

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  • matt picio February 23, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Jeff – it’s not a non-story. Look at the design, they’re potentially putting tree wells on the sidewalk in the sight lines of the driveway when people will be pulling out of that garage directly onto Ankeny. That’s a bad idea in general, and it’s good for the public to know about this before the developer has constructed it, because it’s much harder to fix later.

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  • isaacknight February 23, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    @ Jeff and Allen, It’s worth it to look at the submittal as I believe it will address your comments. Unfortunately, the image shown of the ground floor plan does not show the full parking plan. The 70 spaces on street level shown are accessed from 13th. The 35 spaces below are accessed from Ankeny.
    I agree with Sarah Mirk that the design is uninspired, (http://bit.ly/h10b4S) but the density and location is probably good.

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  • Hart Noecker February 23, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    What could be better for seniors than riding their bike on their own street?!

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  • was carless February 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    Even if all seniors drove each day, we’re only talking about 35 cars/day, which isn’t much.

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    • Schrauf February 23, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      Visitors, employees and vendors (food) would account for most vehicle trips. Most of the residents probably won’t even have cars. But yeah, the street should be able to handle it fine.

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  • Bjorn February 24, 2011 at 1:03 am

    The big problem with the design is two floors of parking. Senior living does not need that much parking and could benefit from the reduced cost of one floor instead of two. Gordon Price has a great example of using zipcar and reduced priced units for carless folk to eliminate an entire floor of parking in Vancouver while allowing lower income people to afford inner city living. It would be nice to see that implemented here.

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    • are February 24, 2011 at 7:53 am

      much of the parking will be for the church across the street

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    • rigormrtis February 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      Depends what kind of senior living for one…..then there is the staffing. So they might actually need 2 levels.

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  • andrew February 24, 2011 at 6:20 am

    when gas passes $4, get an american flag and ride around local gas stations

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  • Chris Shaffer February 24, 2011 at 7:54 am

    One wonders if the two floors of parking are really for churchgoers?

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    • Kt February 24, 2011 at 10:29 am

      It’s probably more for people coming to visit their parents and/or grandparents and/or great-grandparents.

      These people aren’t living in a black hole, you know… people will want to come visit them, and most of those people will be driving.

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  • q`Tzal February 24, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Bjorn
    The big problem with the design is two floors of parking. Senior living does not need that much parking and could benefit from the reduced cost of one floor instead of two. Gordon Price has a great example of using zipcar and reduced priced units for carless folk to eliminate an entire floor of parking in Vancouver while allowing lower income people to afford inner city living. It would be nice to see that implemented here.

    Odds are that the parking is included as code compliance for the number of residential units regardless of the occupants ability to drive.
    It seems much more likely that this mixed zone development, with retail conveniently placed at ground level, needs the parking spaces to have any realistic chance of drawing in any useful retail businesses.
    Lets be honest: this type of high FAR is good for cyclists and pedestrians in the long run because it will reduced the need for autos.
    In the short term though the developers will need to entice economically conservative businesses in to a small mixed use space with little surrounding parking.
    By supplying parking to start with perhaps the will avoid the pitfalls of The Round in Beaverton.

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    • Michael Miller February 26, 2011 at 2:45 pm

      q`Tzal
      Odds are that the parking is included as code compliance for the number of residential units regardless of the occupants ability to drive.
      It seems much more likely that this mixed zone development, with retail conveniently placed at ground level, needs the parking spaces to have any realistic chance of drawing in any useful retail businesses.

      Parking regulations are complicated, but this development shouldn’t require any minimum amount of parking. Title 33 ‘Planning and Zoning’ of the city code eliminates parking minimums for any site within 500 feet of a ‘transit street’ with minimum 20-minute peak-hour headways. This development sits directly on the intersection of three streets that qualify.

      The land use review proposal states that the parking is partly for the use of the church (to replace the surface parking currently on the site).

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  • postair February 24, 2011 at 9:12 am

    In NYC the elderly/bicycle intersection drives some issues – older folks tend to get hit by more bikes (not quite as aware, or quick), and tend to suffer more serious injuries when struck. I could see a conflict brewing once the units are occupied and bike-pedestrian injuries start to tally.

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    • rigormrtis February 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      Who is not quite as aware? They cyclists or the elderly?

      Surely, if a pedestrian gets hit by a bike, it’s the cyclist’s fault for not being more aware of their surroundings. At least that is the argument used for cars and bikes.

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  • q`Tzal February 24, 2011 at 11:47 am

    PDF link seems to have been truncated.
    Found working link to PortlandOnline doc:
    http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=42262&a=335937

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  • Spiffy February 24, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Lance P
    The link is not working. I would like to invite them to talk at the BCA but we need to have the names of the developers.

    the “PDF” link is broken but the “here” link at the bottom of the article works…

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  • q`Tzal February 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Trees: the architect’s profile drawing/pictures propose trees that are tallish. There are in fact trees downtown in similar deployment that are non-obstructing.

    Bike vs pedestrian “interaction”: perhaps there needs to be some preemptive redesign for auto traffic calming on the surrounding streets. Less road traffic stress keeps more timid cyclists off of the sidewalks.

    Sidewalks: they seem kind of narrow given that this is a dense, or planning to be dense, urban area. Wider sidewalks will facilitate the sort of walk up business that retailers will need and will be more conducive and inviting to slower elderly users that generally need more space to be able to walk safely or simply to be able to use mobility devices. Wider sidewalks would further accommodate sidewalk cafe type retail establishments. Perhaps grandma or grandpa doesn’t want to stay cooped up inside all day long; it would be nice to have a hospitable environment for those that deserve it.

    Retail: it needs more. The plan as proposed shows maybe one or two shops worth of floor space on the corner facing the Burnside/Sandy/SE 12th intersection goat rope. Conversely there are far too many parking spaces provided. The ground level west facing side of the proposed build out could profitably be converted to locally targeted retail. The residents could really use a convenience store, maybe even a pharmacy. A coffee shop, deli or other cafe style food business would be a welcome change of pace from staring at four walls all day because you know you can’t safely drive anymore.

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  • Spiffy February 24, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    ok, I’ll be the one to say it… I’m not comfortable with senior citizens driving up from a dark garage out to a light outdoor setting with trees blocking their light-blinded vision as they pull into the path of bike traffic…

    building the parking simply encourages driving… I’d rather there was no parking and everybody found another way to get there… we’ll never reduce automobile usage by encouraging it…

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    • matt picio February 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Or a lit garage into a darkened street. I’m not comfortable with it either. The state has no real mechanism to remove drivers whose physical capabilities make them no longer safe to drive, nor adequate testing to identify those whose skills are no longer up to snuff. (this isn’t an age issue – any such program should address ALL motorists, and remove those who lack the proper reaction time, or can’t handle the cognitive load)

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    • wsbob February 24, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      “ok, I’ll be the one to say it… I’m not comfortable with senior citizens driving up from a dark garage out to a light outdoor setting with trees blocking their light-blinded vision as they pull into the path of bike traffic…

      building the parking simply encourages driving… I’d rather there was no parking and everybody found another way to get there… we’ll never reduce automobile usage by encouraging it… ” Spiffy

      “Or a lit garage into a darkened street. I’m not comfortable with it either…. …(this isn’t an age issue – …” matt picio February 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Just a coincidence then, that you’re agreeing with Spiffy’s expressed apprehension over senior citizens and whatever driving abilities those of them planning to live in this building may have?

      I think you guys can probably calm down. Underground is a great use of space for parking that doesn’t always get used for parking because it costs a lot more to build than either surface or above ground parking. The developers should be commended for their willingness to make the extra investment in this type parking.

      Taking just a couple examples of underground parking that come to mind, in thinking of precautionary measures taken to avoid collisions between people entering and leaving such parking facilities and people on the sidewalks and street outside the parking facility: They both have lighting in the underground parking area, wide angle wall mounted mirrors for drivers to be able see whats’ happening on the street and sidewalk before crossing and entering onto them, and warning horns that are automatically triggered when a car approaches the exit of the parking structures, to alert people on the sidewalk and street that a car is exiting the facility.

      You want to brighten the underground parking lights to account for weaker vision and reflexes that come as everyone ages? Make the mirrors larger? The parking facility horns louder to accommodate diminished heaing ability? Then say so.

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  • jocko February 24, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    This kinda sounds like a good place for some good bike PR with the residents an management.

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  • Liz February 24, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    I would hope this development would only be granted permission if a **much needed** diverter were installed on Ankeny at SE 12th as a condition.

    There’s far too much aggressive car traffic using Ankeny trying to beat the lights on Burnside already as it is. It’s a highly, highly unpleasant route to bicycle on these days during rush-hour. :-(

    But I love the idea of turning a total waste of space (ie surface parking lot) into something useful (namely high-density housing).

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