Gravel - Cycle Oregon

Kaiser parking plan could threaten key bikeway but may boost Lloyd’s boom

Posted by on November 2nd, 2015 at 10:38 am

People bike on NE 7th Avenue north of Multnomah, across the street from one of Kaiser Permanente’s three surface parking lots.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

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.

Kaiser Real Estate Director John Sullivan said in an interview Monday that the project aims in part to free up space on Kaiser’s other parking lots, which could then be developed or sold in order to continue the surge of big developments along the Lloyd District’s new streetcar line and protected bike lanes.

The current parking lot at 500 NE Multnomah opens east and west onto 6th and 7th avenues. NE 7th Avenue has the Lloyd District’s only north-south bike lane between Holladay and Multnomah. If a new bike-walk bridge is built across Interstate 84, 7th would likely become Portland’s most important north-south bikeway. Depending on its eventual layout, the garage threatens to concentrate a lot of vehicle turns across either Multnomah or 7th.

“This parking structure tees up the possibility of future development,” Sullivan said. “But that’s not the only reason we’re developing the parking structure.”

Sullivan said the existing garage is just 40 years old but that “the concrete didn’t cure correctly” when it was built and the “post tension cables have snapped,” leading the firm to close the upper deck to parking a few years ago.

Kaiser’s surface lots have room for only about 400 cars among them, so the new garage would be far bigger than what Kaiser’s office buildings currently use. Sullivan said the garage would take three or four years to build and will include a large covered area for both employee and public bike parking, plus space for a future city bike share station.

Owen Ronchelli, executive director of the Go Lloyd business association, said Friday that this seems to be a change of course for Kaiser since the big Hassalo on Eighth project opened next door.

“The last I heard was that they want to seismically retrofit what they’ve got, because that was the least expensive option,” Ronchelli said. “I probably heard this about four or five months ago. … So I’m encouraged that they’re trying to think of something different.”

Kaiser made its plans public last week in a request for city design guidance, first reported by NextPortland.com.

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There’s some question over whether Kaiser is allowed to build so many new parking spaces without also building something larger. City code allows a maximum of 2 spaces per 1,000 square feet of leaseable office space in the Lloyd District, and the city’s property records list Kaiser’s office tower as being only 280,000 square feet. That’d allow only 560 spaces, tops.

But Sullivan said he thinks the city website is incorrect, that Kaiser’s building is well over 300,000 square feet, and that including the new ground-floor retail space, Kaiser is allowed to build all 700 spaces.

“Our architects measured it,” he said.

Sullivan added that the fate of the surface parking lots north of Multnomah is “so far out, I don’t know if that’s even a consideration right now.”

We’ve written this year about the Lloyd District’s 70-year search for prosperity through auto traffic, its startling decision in the 1990s to start moving away from automotive development and its huge potential as a hub for bike-oriented life in the next 10 to 15 years, if the streets nearby continue to be improved.

Assuming $70 in monthly revenue per stall (and zero operating expenses) Kaiser would recoup the cost of its proposed parking garage in 2036.

In 2012, a new streetcar line arrived and Multnomah Street was also restriped from a four-lane speedway into a calmer three-lane format that included two of the city’s first protected bike lanes. Multnomah Street’s shift since then has been rapid.

American Assets Trust has built or is preparing to build 1,597 new apartments there, plus commercial space, a car-free street and one or more huge bike valets. Two blocks east, the Lloyd Center Mall is redesigning its entrance to face the street rather than blocking it off. Two blocks further east, 980 units with retail could replace the Lloyd Cinemas movie theater and its parking lot.

At the moment, Kaiser’s big lots are the exception to this trend. Despite some visually spectacular concept proposals (PDF), the health-care company has shown no interest in becoming a real estate developer.

For the moment, the exception is that it’s apparently willing to develop a big new parking structure. Sullivan said the company currently subsidizes parking for its employees, offering them spaces on its lots for $60 to $70 a month.

According to Carl Walker Inc., building a parking structure in Portland currently costs, on average, $17,875 per stall. Assuming $70 per month per stall (and zero operating expenses) Kaiser would recoup the cost of its new parking garage in 2036.

— The Real Estate Beat is a regular column. You can sign up to get an email of Real Estate Beat posts (and nothing else) here, or read past installments here. Correction 11:10 am: An earlier version of this post miscalculated the theoretical payoff time for the project.

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78 Comments
  • 9watts November 2, 2015 at 10:46 am

    I like your first sentence.

    Isn’t it curious that you always know when you’re biking by a ‘health care’ facility when you see a bunch of the employees huddled near the entrance, smoking?

    Left hand sponsors Sunday Parkways, while the right hand builds a 7 story parking garage…

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    • Middle of the Road guy November 2, 2015 at 11:56 am

      Why do you assume that people working for an insurance company have any different rates of smoking than elsewhere?

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      • 9watts November 2, 2015 at 3:19 pm

        I didn’t assume that. My point was the incongruities we encounter right under our noses: hospital staff who are overweight and smoke outside so they become the ‘face’ of the institution. An insurance/healthcare corporation that likes to earn brownie points for sponsoring Sunday Parkways (a carfree event if there ever was one) while building structure parking in another part of town because they apparently can’t or don’t feel like persuading or incentivizing or requiring their employees to get to work by means other than a car. If you don’t find this incongruous that’s o.k. with me. I do.

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        • Kettle November 4, 2015 at 11:47 am

          I actually work for Kaiser at this downtown location and bike in from Tigard every day. Kaiser actually provides many incentives for those of us that bike into work. They provide showers and a locker room for us to change, they provide secure indoor bike parking for employees that requires you to swipe you badge in order to enter, and they provide reimbursement for bike commuters to help pay for things like bike maintenance and other bike specific commuting expenses.

          If you park your car at a Kaiser owned lot you have to pay a considerable amount of money for that parking space. It isn’t free. Kaiser also subsidizes a TriMet pass for those that are willing to take the bus or light rail in rather than drive a car.

          Additionally, Kaiser constantly pushes a variety of programs designed to reduce smoking, reduce poor food choices and to increase physical activity. In fact, if you wan to smoke it is not allowed on Kaiser property. Employees have to walk to a public place with no shelter if they want to smoke. The philosophy is to make it easier to make healthy decisions and more difficult to make choices that are not healthy.

          As a bike commuter I don’t know of anything else Kaiser could do to encourage biking or public transportation. I am constantly encouraging people on my team to commute via bike but in the end a person will make a choice for themselves about what they want to do.

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    • Ann November 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm

      really, because Kaiser’s facilities in town are all “non-smoking zones,” anywhere on the property, even the HQ.

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      • ethan November 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm

        “non-smoking zones” are about as effective as speed limits.

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      • Chris I November 2, 2015 at 4:31 pm

        That’s why they stand on the public sidewalk.

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  • Beeblebrox November 2, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I’m confused about the location. If property is 500 NE Multnomah, wouldn’t the garage entrances be on Grand and 6th, rather than 6th and 7th?

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) November 2, 2015 at 11:01 am

      For whatever reason, the lot east and southeast of the office tower (which is where the new structure would go) has the same address as the tower.

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  • David November 2, 2015 at 11:08 am

    The math at the end of the article appears to be off by a bit, they are paying $70/month, not annually. So it should be recouped in about 21 years? Still not a great ROI but it at least makes this kind of development plausible.

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    • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
      Michael Andersen (News Editor) November 2, 2015 at 11:12 am

      You’re quite right. Embarrassing! Fixed and corrected.

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      • kiel johnson
        kiel johnson November 2, 2015 at 1:09 pm

        But you also have to factor in maintaining the parking lot, energy for lights, taxes, cleaning….

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        • alankessler November 2, 2015 at 3:23 pm

          I agree. I don’t like the calculation at all because it ignores some major costs and taxes and makes building parking garages seem like a good investment. IIRC, Shoup finds that parking garages are usually financial losers.

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  • Allan November 2, 2015 at 11:13 am

    This project is disgraceful. There is so much extra parking in the Lloyd relative to other parts of the city, I’d hate to see another garage go up without substantially more development. There are tons of transportation infrastructure investments literally right there, why are we building more? If we want a lower-car future, building more garages is not the answer

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    • chris November 2, 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Because if they don’t build it, they’ll keep the surface lots that they own as surface lots, rather than freeing them up for mixed-use apartment and office buildings.

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      • sean November 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm

        While this is certainly not zero sum at the end, could Kaiser redevelop more than one site and keep parking below ground? How many parking spaces could fit in two or three below-ground garages? I hoped we can move past building above ground parking garages.

        In the central city Portland needs to decide whether or not to tax surface parking lots over a certain number as well as limit or design above ground lots to be retrofitted or banned altogether. These two steps would free up space for development as well as keep cars underground.

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        • chris November 2, 2015 at 2:06 pm

          I’d prefer an underground garage as well. But yeah, barring an extreme disincentive against building above-ground parking…

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        • J_R November 2, 2015 at 3:22 pm

          Kaiser has sites all over the metro area.

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    • Kate November 3, 2015 at 10:49 am

      I disagree on this. If we can eliminate several large surface parking lots on highly developable land in downtown Lloyd by building one large structure with ground area retail, this is a win. Kaiser is not going to suddenly eliminate all of their parking for employees, they just aren’t. But consolidating in one structure and freeing up other areas for TOD development is going to bring the increased taxes, foot and bike traffic to keep important multimodal investments (like the bike/ped bridge across 84) feasible. Also, concentrating ins and outs of turning vehicles to one garage rather than a smattering across the Lloyd district is also safer for cyclists. Let’s not miss the forest for one unattractive tree.

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      • 9watts November 3, 2015 at 11:24 am

        “Kaiser is not going to suddenly eliminate all of their parking for employees, they just aren’t.”

        Of course, if no one pushes them on it, why would they? Look at the reception they are getting here from all the apologists. I think that is precisely the point.

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        • Kate November 3, 2015 at 2:25 pm

          Well we could push them to eliminate all their employee parking and then push them right out of the center city. So now all the employees must drive to their new suburban location because those were taking transit/ biking before now have fewer options. Having jobs downtown is an important way to ensuring that people have options other than driving. However you must also recognize that change is incremental, that some people will always drive for many reasons and thinking that a large company will suddenly force their employees to give up access to parking is unrealistic. They care about employee retention. I ride every day, I’ve been involved in bicycle policy, design and planning for a long time so I’m hardly an apologist – but if that’s how we as a community want to paint anyone without a knee-jerk reaction, well then I just can’t imagine why we aren’t more successful as a city or community.

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          • 9watts November 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

            “Well we could push them to eliminate all their employee parking and then push them right out of the center city. So now all the employees must drive to their new suburban location because those were taking transit/ biking before now have fewer options. Having jobs downtown is an important way to ensuring that people have options other than driving.”

            Sure, though I don’t see why discouraging auto parking would *necessarily* precipitate all that you are imagining. Options are great, but those options aren’t helped by building massive $13M parking garages on site. This is all connected. All I’m saying is why can’t we/the City/the employees push KP to spend the money on cutting edge non-car-options, as part of a phase out the car effort?

            However you must also recognize that change is incremental, that some people will always drive for many reasons and thinking that a large company will suddenly force their employees to give up access to parking is unrealistic.

            Yeah. Very incremental.
            Let’s take another four decades to sort this out…. What is the design life of a parking garage?

            Sure I get that too. But it is our job (or our elected officials’ job) to hold KP’s feet to the fire; encourage this to not be too incremental. Picking up the pace a little wouldn’t hurt anyone. I also don’t think this ‘force’ language is all that apropos. The point is to strongly disincentivize driving, while encouraging and/or subsidizing the alternatives. Perhaps KP is already doing this, but the fact of this parking garage suggests to me that they need someone to yank their chain a bit.

            “They care about employee retention.”
            A moment ago you were saying they might just up and leave.

            “I ride every day, I’ve been involved in bicycle policy, design and planning for a long time so I’m hardly an apologist – but if that’s how we as a community want to paint anyone without a knee-jerk reaction, well then I just can’t imagine why we aren’t more successful as a city or community.”

            Did something I say suggest a knee-jerk reaction to you? To me a parking garage is the knee-jerk solution.

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  • Ted Buehler November 2, 2015 at 11:24 am

    What the Lloyd District really needs is something like Pioneer Courthouse Square, not another parking garage.

    Ted Buehler

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    • 9watts November 2, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      What is $13M divided by the number of employees who work at this location? And how much is a full transit or bike subsidy for each of those employees for the next twenty years? Or next ten… I suspect we won’t see so many discretionary car trips by the time we get to 2025. Minus interest…

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    • Brad November 2, 2015 at 3:57 pm

      The Lloyd will get this in a couple years when Oregon Square is finished by AAT. The square they’re planning is even bigger than Pioneer Courthouse Square.

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      • Ted Buehler November 3, 2015 at 8:31 am

        Brad wrote:
        “The Lloyd will get this in a couple years when…”

        But, part of Pioneer Courthouse Square’s cachet is that it used to be a 2 level parking garage, and community leaders fought long and hard to get it turned into a public plaza instead of a monster parking garage.

        Kaiser has the same backstory here, all we need are some community activists, civic leaders, and a little vision at Kaiser, Inc.

        From wikipedia —

        “In 1951, the hotel was torn down and a two-story parking lot was built…”

        “An 800-car parking garage was proposed to the Portland Planning Commission in January 1969…”

        “and eventually convinced the store to sell the land to the city after its parking concerns were alleviated…”

        “But it took the formation of “Friends of Pioneer Square”, a citizens’ group… and $750,000 raised by the sale of 50,000 inscribed bricks, to rescue the project.”

        “The square opened on April 6, 1984, with an inaugural celebration that attracted more than 10,000 people.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Courthouse_Square

        Ted Buehler

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        • maccoinnich November 3, 2015 at 9:18 am

          Surely the outcome matters more than the story of how it was achieved?

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  • Adam Herstein
    Adam Herstein November 2, 2015 at 11:25 am

    The question is why are we building a parking structure next to a frequent-service rail line? Terribly wasteful use of land.

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    • chris November 2, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      Normally, I’d agree with you, but I think they will hold onto their surface lots if they don’t get to build this garage. Consolidating the area’s parking onto a single block would allow less land to be wasted.

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      • 9watts November 2, 2015 at 12:54 pm

        more Stockholm Syndrome.

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        • chris November 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm

          Make an actual argument or stop talking.

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          • 9watts November 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm

            I attempted to just a few messages up. But your concession to the need for auto parking distracted me.

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            • chris November 2, 2015 at 2:03 pm

              I’m discussing what Kaiser is likely willing to do with their properties. It’s not my opinion that they need auto parking, but I strongly suspect that it is their opinion, given their plan to build a garage in order to consolidate all parking into one block. It doesn’t sound to me like they are willing to completely forgo parking if they are making this investment in order to free up their other blocks. Given that Kaiser owns the property and you and I don’t, our opinion as to whether parking is necessary or not is kind of irrelevant, except as an intellectual thought experiment.

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              • 9watts November 2, 2015 at 3:22 pm

                “It’s not my opinion that they need auto parking, but I strongly suspect that it is their opinion”

                I get that. And for much of the 20th Century that sort of thinking passed for common sense. But now we’re one seventh of the way through the 21st Century and this kind of thinking is dangerously myopic and should be called out in my opinion.

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              • BeavertonRider November 2, 2015 at 3:42 pm

                Called out for what? Reducing the number of properties owned to consolidate parking and office space seems reasonable.

                Why do you find it so unreasonable?

                Seems to me that Kaiser could have scattered, low-density properties hogging up space or releasing some space that gets the higher density development while consolidating their parking needs.

                What is so unreasonable about this approach?

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              • 9watts November 3, 2015 at 7:21 am

                “What is so unreasonable about this approach?”

                I find two things unreasonable about this.
                (1) It is 2016. We shouldn’t be building car parking accommodations anywhere, even if it represents consolidation. Efficiency-as-a-rationale (which I suspect underlies the consolidation argument) is a concept that speaks to a set of conditions that no longer obtain. Efficiency lets you get more for your investment (=more parking spaces per acre). But in a full world, a constrained world, a world that is choking on the cars we already have, that can no longer afford to dig up another barrel of oil to refine and burn in those cars that might be parked in this structure, the time to spend millions on accommodating cars is long past.
                This logic leads to what are called Stranded Assets, capital that will soon be obsolete, a waste of resources, something those who loaned money to build it will soon regret because the borrowers can’t make the payments because no one is parking in them. It is not so different from the decision of the Seaside authorities to build the new hospital in the Inundation Zone, except that the timetable of climate change is subject to less uncertainty than the timing of the next big Cascadia Earthquake.

                (2) People here on a bike blog exonerating Kaiser’s decisions.

                I am well aware that it is more comfortable to assume that tomorrow will be much like yesterday, that cars aren’t going away, that we as a species are plenty smart enough to figure out how to switch to another kind of automobile in time to avert climate catastrophe, etc. But what if our hopefulness turns out to be mere wishfulness? What if we end up collectively, willfully missing all the cues until it is too late to do much of anything? Who is served by pretending all this doesn’t concern us?

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    • Doug Klotz November 3, 2015 at 10:29 pm

      In downtown it’s actually not allowed to put a parking garage next to a light rail line. But this is still not really “downtown”. It’s the “Central City”.

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  • redtech116 November 2, 2015 at 11:54 am

    well they didn’t build enough parking on the Max Orange line and people are parking on neighborhood streets..
    The Max Green Line is almost always full of cars from Holgate on in…after though..Fuller and clackamas town center or almost empty though…

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    • canuck November 2, 2015 at 1:11 pm

      Standard problem. Build the light rail, reduce the bus lines that ran into downtown, but don’t provide local feeder bus lines to the stations so the neighborhoods become the parking lot for light rail.

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    • sean November 2, 2015 at 1:22 pm

      This is a city-wide parking issue. No parking should be free. It is public space. The city is changing how neighborhoods can decide what to do with their space. This is a step in the right direction.

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      • Middle of the Road guy November 2, 2015 at 7:33 pm

        I would assume that parking bikes on public spaces also applies, or is it just easier to say “other people should pay”?

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        • 9watts November 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm

          pro rate it by area required. So what would that be… 1/15th the rate we charge for cars?

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        • Dan November 4, 2015 at 12:30 pm

          I pay $15 a month for my locker, and am happy to do so. And it is on private property, not in the public right of way.

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    • davemess November 2, 2015 at 4:58 pm

      Please tell me you’re not talking about the parking “issues” in East Moreland.

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    • oliver November 3, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      But you’re talking about the end of the line where people get on to come to their jobs or school downtown.

      The equivalent would be to say that people are driving downtown and parking on the street to take the Orange line to Milwaukie.

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  • rick November 2, 2015 at 11:56 am

    Why not build many caps over I-84?

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  • chris November 2, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    “Sullivan said the garage would take three or four years to build”

    Jeez, what is with these insane construction times? The Hassalo on Eighth took long enough to build, roughly two years. The problem with construction is that we can’t just pump buildings out of factories like we do with bicycles and smartphones. It just takes too long for demand to adjust to supply. I know there are some modular techniques being pioneered, but they aren’t yet widely adopted.

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    • chris November 2, 2015 at 12:16 pm

      Also, what worries me is that they might not release the other lots for mixed-use construction until they get this garage built. Despite the completion of Hassalo and possible future completion of Oregon Square and the theater blocks, the Lloyd could be a parking crater for some time to come.

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    • BeavertonRider November 2, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      Building regulations… ’nuff said

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    • Daniel Costantino November 2, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      Have you ever had any involvement in a construction project? You don’t want to be in a building that took less than 3 or 4 years to plan, design and build. Proper time for design and proper regulatory process to approve design and construction are important: they prevent bad things, like dying.

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      • chris November 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm

        It didn’t really specify what the 3-4 years time period included. Most of the newer apartments in town have taken less than a year to build, although considerably longer to design, plan, make it through various stages of the approval process, etc. 3-4 Years would be a significantly longer than average construction time

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    • J_R November 2, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Time is money. If you have a better way of constructing things quickly as you imply I suggest you get into the business and make your fortune. Permitting and coordination are huge, time consuming activities. Keeping all services (traffic, water, sewer, fiber, cable, electricity, phones, etc.) in operation 24/7 around and adjacent to a construction site, avoiding impacts on neighbors (light, noise, parking for construction workers), getting materials to the site), managing subcontractors, maintaining safety, coordinating inspections, etc. I hope your construction company does well bringing new fast-track construction to the world.

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  • Andrew N November 2, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    I’d suggest a citywide moratorium on new parking garages — if we had a mayor, or city council in general, with any spine and/or vision for actualizing the multimodal future we pay so many consultants to tell us that we want in one dust-gathering plan after another. Don’t forget that this is actually the second multistory auto storage structure proposed for this area: one (5 stories?) is also planned as part of the CC hotel project.

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    • chris November 2, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      I hate to say it, but their willingness to release the many other lots in the Lloyd for denser development is probably entirely contingent upon their ability to build this garage. I think it’s a necessary evil in this case. I’m okay with building a garage in exchange for the elimination of surface lots.

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      • kiel johnson
        kiel johnson November 2, 2015 at 1:10 pm

        they should say that then, love to see their long term plan but right now it doesn’t look like they have one

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      • sean November 2, 2015 at 1:25 pm

        How do we know this? Do they have a timeline on the “release” of property? Have they had a practice of doing this? Have they asked for public input?Accepting a parking garage because of an unknown is not a decision based on evidence.

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        • chris November 2, 2015 at 1:58 pm

          Because that’s what they said:

          “Kaiser Real Estate Director John Sullivan said in an interview Monday that the project aims in part to free up space on Kaiser’s other parking lots, which could then be developed or sold in order to continue the surge of big developments along the Lloyd District’s new streetcar line and protected bike lanes.”

          They have stated that one of their reasons for building a parking garage is to consolidate all parking into one block, such that its surface lots can be freed up for other purposes. If they don’t build it, I think it’s unlikely that they will be okay with eliminating all parking on their existing surface lots. I don’t think this conclusion is a huge stretch.

          “Have they asked for public input? Accepting a parking garage because of an unknown is not a decision based on evidence.”

          It will be accepted because it complies with zoning laws and building codes. We fortunately don’t live in a city where one has to get the approval of every neighbor to build something, like in San Francisco. Public approval doesn’t have much to do with evidence anyway, only populism.

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      • Brad November 2, 2015 at 4:00 pm

        It’s a real shame they can’t work with developers like Conway has, where they would offer up their land for development with parking for Kaiser employees to be taken care of in the underground garages of the new development.

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        • maccoinnich November 2, 2015 at 7:33 pm

          The Conway comparison is a good one. Both have office presences surrounded by very expensive and very under utilized land. Both feel the need to maintain the existing amount of parking they have (for better or worse). Like Kaiser, Conway isn’t a real estate developer.

          But Conway is taking a very different approach. They’re slowly selling off their surface parking lots to private developers, who are building underground garages to accommodate the existing parking needs. In a couple years from now all surface parking lots on the west side of NW 21st Avenue will be redeveloped with shops, restaurants, offices and apartments. A few years after that the same thing will take place on the east side of NW 21st, barring any slow downs in the economy. When the Conway masterplan is built out few people will realize that they’re walking on top of a series of giant parking garages. It’s a shame something similar doesn’t appear to be happening with the Kaiser properties.

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          • sean November 3, 2015 at 2:41 pm

            Kaiser can decide to integrate the same amount of parking into several underground facilities. It takes more work and time, but if above ground parking were heavily taxed in the central city, I think they’d find a way.

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    • Middle of the Road guy November 2, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      same goes for housing!

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  • soren November 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm

    “basically, we were saying, “Go ahead and sue us.”

    This is exactly what we need in Portland. The city and PBOT are spineless when it comes to pushing back against ODOT.

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    • maccoinnich November 2, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      What?

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      • Psyfalcon November 3, 2015 at 8:48 am

        From the monday roundup

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  • Spiffy November 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    Multnomah Street was also restriped from a four-lane speedway into a calmer three-lane format

    it was re-striped into a FIVE lane format…

    Bike Lanes Matter…

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    • Gary B November 2, 2015 at 3:04 pm

      Please don’t do that.

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    • El Biciclero November 3, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Bike Lanes Count?

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  • gutterbunnybikes November 2, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    First off, I’m likely one of the few here that understand the implications of the tension cables being snapped. And it’s not pretty, think of those cables as horizontal bridge cables. It’s what basically keeps the whole building together. Snapped is no good, and though I’m sure it’s been checked out, one decent earthquake (not even the big one) and that whole structure is likely just a pile of rubble, kind of like the Twin towers where one collapsing floor takes out the one underneath it. Knowing this I wouldn’t park my car in it, or even near it – honestly I’m not sure I’d even want to walk, drive or ride by it.

    Some of the problem I see with some of the posts above, is that everyone seems to think that the Hassalo project is the end of all the development for the area – and I can assure you, it is only the beginning. And Kaiser will definitely be building or selling to builders if they free up real estate by consolidating the parking. It would be stupid not to.

    700 spaces isn’t going to really be that many with all the future building slated for the Lloyd Center area . The mall is getting redone currently under at least 3 different construction projects, I’m currently working in an existing space within the mall and it is already rented out and is going to be a work space for 350 dailly employees (and there really isn’t that much parking available for this many employees at this space). The cinema across the street from the mall is slated for demo and will become another highrise. And I just heard last week a new state of the art cinema is in the works for somewhere South or West of the mall too – and who knows what else that might bring with it- is it just the first couple floors of yet another highrise? Very likely.

    Lloyd Center is going development crazy right now, I haven’t seen anything like it since the Pearl in the late 90’s and early 00’s. The Lloyd neighborhood isn’t going to look anything like it does now within 5 five years. Lets just hope no one is too attached to the mall when they decide to demo and replace it with a highrise in 10 years (which in all honestly they should be doing now instead of trying to remodel it).

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    • rick November 3, 2015 at 7:46 am

      Mixed-use development is needed instead of sprawled shopping malls.

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  • Scott B November 2, 2015 at 9:32 pm

    Ted Buehler
    What the Lloyd District really needs is something like Pioneer Courthouse Square, not another parking garage.Ted BuehlerRecommended 14

    The 2nd phase of Hassalo on 8th which will be built end of next year across from the current one will have a public courtyard 2.5 times larger than Pioneer Courthouse Square if memory serves.

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  • Al Dimond November 3, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Underground or above-ground parking, of course, is no panacea, especially office parking. When a residential parking space is occupied by a car, in a part of town with good transit and bike access, that car may be used only sporadically. Because offices mostly have similar operating hours, an actively used parking space at an office building usually translates to a car on the road in the morning rush-hour and a car on the road in the afternoon rush-hour. Unless the garage has a direct ramp off the freeway those cars will interfere with every other mode of travel.

    A building without parking is free to use its whole ground floor. A building with parking still has to build ramps from the street, which have a significant footprint on the ground floor. For buildings on small urban blocks the ramps can take almost half the footprint and a significant amount of the street frontage.

    If there’s a silver lining with this building, it’s that it’s supposed to consolidate parking for a few other buildings, allowing them to remain un-damaged by car storage above or below. If they just end up torn up for more buildings with garages in them… well, go to downtown Seattle during rush hour to see how that’s working out.

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  • Ted Buehler November 3, 2015 at 8:33 am

    You folks touting the proposed “Hassalo” Courtyard and “Oregon Square” need to remember that part of Pioneer Courthouse Square’s cachet is that it used to be a 2 level parking garage. And the plaza only happened because community leaders fought long and hard to get it turned into a plaza instead of a monster parking garage.

    Kaiser has the same backstory here, all we need are some community activists, civic leaders, and a little vision at Kaiser, Inc.

    From wikipedia —

    “In 1951, the hotel was torn down and a two-story parking lot was built…”

    “An 800-car parking garage was proposed to the Portland Planning Commission in January 1969…”

    “and eventually convinced the store to sell the land to the city after its parking concerns were alleviated…”

    “But it took the formation of “Friends of Pioneer Square”, a citizens’ group… and $750,000 raised by the sale of 50,000 inscribed bricks, to rescue the project.”

    “The square opened on April 6, 1984, with an inaugural celebration that attracted more than 10,000 people.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneer_Courthouse_Square

    Ted Buehler

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  • Beeblebrox November 3, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I’m fine with this as long as the parking structure is built in such a way that it can be converted into a useful office or residential building. In the short term Kaiser needs confidence they have enough parking so they can redevelop their other properties.

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    • Alan 1.0 November 5, 2015 at 9:00 am

      What’s the most recent parking structure you’ve seen with level floors, ceiling height adequate for residential or commercial, egress sufficient for res or comm occupancy, or provision for utilities? So yeah, I kind of agree with you.

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson November 3, 2015 at 11:48 am

    This is disappointing, but not as much as PPS’s proposal to build a parking structure at a new Lincoln HS! I will vote NO on that bond issue!
    Kaiser did transit passes about 10 years ago for employees up on Interstate while they built a parking garage. But then when construction was complete, the passes went away!
    Apparently the corporate office does not read the active transportation material from its healthcare department. A sad failure to walk the talk.
    But Lloyd is awash in surface parking and if one structure gets us several blocks of useful construction for people…especially affordable, I can live with it.

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    • 9watts November 3, 2015 at 11:50 am

      “But then when construction was complete, the passes went away!”

      Classic!
      No one really believed a transit pass would work so they did it to appease some constituency, for a while. Then instead of figuring out how to tweak it, make it better, double down, they let it sunset. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

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  • Lenny Anderson
    Lenny Anderson November 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    PBOT should deny parking garage access from 7th Avenue to protect the existing bike facilities and Streetcar operation, especially if the “7th Avenue Bridge” (maybe we should name it The Blumenauer Bridge) is in the TSP. And if its not in the TSP, the TSP needs to be amended NOW!

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  • mh November 3, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    9watts
    What is $13M divided by the number of employees who work at this location? And how much is a full transit or bike subsidy for each of those employees for the next twenty years? Or next ten… I suspect we won’t see so many discretionary car trips by the time we get to 2025. Minus interest…Recommended 5

    At least when I worked there more than a few years ago, KPB participated in what used to be called the PassPort program, and gave a free annual TriMet pass to any full time employee who wanted one. Don’t know if they’re still doing that, but at the time, they found it a better deal than building enough parking for all their employees (many of whom, of course, would prefer to park for free on the public ROW).

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