This is a guest post by Kiel Johnson, a resident of the Lloyd District who operates the Go By Bike shop and valet.
The Portland Development Commission’s startling new approach of publicly financing massive parking garages to pay their future operating costs should concern any citizen who does not want Detroit-style bankrupt public spaces.
The viaduct on the left is Interstate 5.
(Renderings via NextPortland)
The city’s economic development agency agreed this month to have city taxpayers make an eight-figure bet that driving to the Rose Quarter area is going to remain popular for decades.
The Portland Development Commission voted Feb. 10 to borrow $26 million from one of its property tax funds to build a new 425-stall parking garage on public land between NE Holladay Street, Multnomah Street, 1st Avenue and 2nd Avenue, across the street from the Rose Quarter Transit Center.
Fifty of those stalls would then be resold to TriMet for an estimated $8 million, and the other 375 would be set aside for rental to the publicly subsidized 600-room Hyatt Regency Convention Center Hotel that’s supposed to go up across the street.
There aren’t many ways that a new six-story $13 million parking garage subsidized by a health care company is good news. But at least in this case it might not be entirely bad.
Kaiser Permanente, the medical insurer and provider that owns more than three acres of surface and two-story parking lots between Northeast Grand Avenue, 7th Avenue, Wasco Street and Holladay Street, said Monday that it’s looking to build a new 700-space garage with ground-floor retail at 500 NE Multnomah Street.
That’s the site of Kaiser’s existing, seismically delicate two-story parking garage, immediately east and southeast of its office tower.
The site is adjacent to a MAX stop with service east and west every three to seven minutes for most of the day, plus a streetcar line and four bus lines, three of which offer frequent service or will soon.
It’s hard to say yet whether living in Velomor is leading people to bike more. But the people who’ve moved in certainly own a lot of bikes.
Bike parking for the 177-unit Lloyd District building that opened in July is already full and overflowing, and the apartment managers have set up two overflow racks in the still-vacant first-floor retail space that faces Holladay Street. Residents access the overflow racks by asking a concierge to let them in.
Velomor, the first of three buildings to open at Hassalo on Eighth, is currently about 80 percent occupied but almost entirely leased up for next month, a concierge said Thursday.
This is the third in a three-part series about the biking potential of the Lloyd District. Read the first two here.
If 1,597 new homes were about to land in the space where, seven years ago, new homes in the Portland metro area would have been most likely to land, they would be the biggest news story in the area.
In the rural outskirts of east Vancouver (yes, that counts as Portland metro), beloved farms would be shutting down. Work crews would be widening intersections and stripping away street parking to make room for more turn lanes. For miles around, residents and businesses would be bracing themselves for traffic paralysis.
But in the next few years, 1,597 homes are lined up to land somewhere else instead: right in the middle of Portland.
This is the second in a three-part series. Read the first installment here.
For most of Portland’s history, the land we know today as the Lloyd District was best known for failure.
Holladay Park: named for a scoundrel who planted its trees and then gambled away his fortune. The state and federal buildings along Lloyd Boulevard: advance outposts of a government center that never arrived. And Lloyd himself: an oil multimillionaire who died all but cursing the city he’d fallen in love with 40 years before.
Here’s a business owner’s perspective that breathes some fresh air into the us-versus-them framing that can bog down so many discussions about bike infrastructure in Portland.
Yesterday we kicked off a three-part series about the past and future of the Lloyd District. The third post in the series, coming in several weeks, will focus on the many street changes the city is lining up over the next 10 years that could help the neighborhood finally reach its potential — first among them, probably, a new biking-walking bridge that’s been proposed across Interstate 84 at 7th, 8th or 9th avenues.
This is the first in a three-part series made possible by Hassalo on Eighth.
At first glance, the changes sweeping across the Lloyd District right now look like a story Portland has told at least twice before.
Developer makes big bet on underused land near downtown. Residential towers shoot up. Amenities multiply. Streetcar whistles through. Bikes roll in by the hundreds and eventually the thousands.
(Image: Google Street View)
The divided four-lane street that runs between the Holladay Park Plaza senior-housing skyscraper and the Lloyd Center Mall is about to get a lot easier to cross.
For most of the distance between Northeast Multnomah and Halsey streets, two of the four current general travel lanes on Northeast 15th/16th will be converted to massive five-foot-wide cross-hatched buffers. The bike lanes, meanwhile, will be widened from five feet to seven. Finally, a zebra crosswalk and median refuge will also be added between the Holladay Park Plaza tower, just east of 15th/16th, and the mall parking lot, just west.
The link is significant to the city’s biking network because the rapidly developing Lloyd District currently offers no low-stress biking connections between the Multnomah Street protected bike lane and the neighborhoods to the north, including the commercial district on Broadway and Weidler.