Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Where are we adding residential capacity in Portland? The Northwest District

Posted by on April 12th, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Q21 at NW 21st and Quimby, replacing a warehouse with 163 apartments

This guest post by contributor Ted Timmons is part of NW Portland Week.

Since it’s “Northwest Portland week” here on BikePortland I thought I’d give a quick tour of my neighborhood, which is what I think of as “NW Portland”: north of Lovejoy, west of 405. There are several names for it- Nob Hill, 23rd, Slabtown- but “NW” seems to be the easiest. Sometimes I say “west of Pearl” or “west of Downtown”, but that’s awkward because people think of Beaverton.

So, I went on a little ride through the area to show some of the current construction. If you haven’t been to this neighborhood in the past year or two, you might not be aware of it.

19th and Overton, replacing this low-slung building. The new building has a tall first floor- perhaps 20-25ft to the ceiling. I assume that’s for the mechanical parking system.

1950 Overton (guessing on that address), replacing this industrial building. This is the Tess O’Brien Apartments, which goes through to Pettygrove. Note there are 126 micro-apartments and no parking.

1950 Pettygrove (guessing), replacing this empty parking lot. This is the “far side” of the Tess O’Brien Apartments.

20th and Pettygrove, replacing this low-slung office building. I can’t find any design documents on this.

21st and Pettygrove to 21st and Quimby, replacing this tilt-up warehouse. Note the wall sections that are being preserved. This development is called Q21; here are the renderings on NextPortland.

This construction is complete. It’s a very large New Seasons.

These two light industrial buildings near 2350 Quimby are getting some creative adaptation. I don’t know what will be going in there- perhaps an office? Retail? I can’t find any design documents on this.

This is at 25th and Raleigh, replacing a single-family home with a new single-family home. The city’s justification is given on page 6 of this document. Note the NIMBY/incumbent sign on their neighbor’s walkway. Awkward.

Advertisement

This panorama shows the lots surrounding the old Besaws location at 23rd and Savier. The Besaws building remains standing (with the blue tarp) but three old houses were removed on Savier and one old (light commercial) house on 23rd. The property management company that owns the Besaws building owns that lot, and has ambitions to put up a development there. They fought to keep the name ‘Besaws’ to refer to the property, and the restaurant gets to use the name ‘Besaws’ to refer to the restaurant, which is a few blocks away now. Confusing.

There’s more construction in the area, but these are the ones that have been active recently. For instance, there was an industrial knockdown at 28th/Thurman, the building is absentee-owned and had some serious structural issues. The lot is for sale now. There’s also the Slabtown location, all the land that used to be owned by Con-Way Trucking, the 2240 Pettygrove building, the huge hostel building, the list goes on.

As Portlanders we should all be happy about this development. Northwest Portland has been targeted for this construction for a long time now- the planning began in 2000 and was adopted in 2003, and I remember the Con-Way land planning in 2008.

Previously the NW District contained light industrial buildings and apartments. The surrounding area has been Portland’s multi-family housing hub for well over a century! It’s a great place to build 4-8 story apartments and condos because, for the most part, the area doesn’t have historic or otherwise notable buildings. Additionally, the new building sizes aren’t out of character, making these dissimilar to other recent developments along Hawthorne Blvd and other neighborhoods that cause some controversy. It’s reasonable to have car-light development, since there are several great transit lines and amenities (restaurants, groceries, retail) within walking/biking distance that South Waterfront is still lacking.

– Ted Timmons, @tedder42

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

42
Leave a Reply

avatar
13 Comment threads
29 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
22 Comment authors
Hello, KittysorenmaccoinnichHello, Kittywas carless Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Social Engineer
Guest
Social Engineer
maccoinnich
Subscriber

20th and Pettygrove followed the Community Design Standards, which means they bypassed Design Review and followed a prescriptive set of standards. That’s why you wouldn’t have found published designs for it.

2360 NW Quimby, believe it or not, is going to be a single family residence.

Chris Smith
Guest
Chris Smith

Believe it or not, 2350 Quimby will be a single family home.

lance P
Guest
lance P

This was interesting. Even though I have worked in the Pearl and downtown for years, I haven’t gone up to NW in a while. Now I feel I need to take a day to walk around and explore again!

Social Engineer
Guest
Social Engineer

“It’s reasonable to have car-light development, since there are several great transit lines”

There may be great transit service in the future, if the North Central Service Enhancement Plan gets implemented. It definitely isn’t great now, especially north of Lovejoy.

http://future.trimet.org/northcentral

Allan
Guest
Allan

“Previously the NW District contained light industrial buildings and apartments. The surrounding area has been Portland’s multi-family housing hub for well over a century!”
— this is partly true because other hubs have been demolished over time

IanC
Guest
IanC

>Sigh< I can still remember playing Irish tunes in the old Bridgeport Brewery (pre-remodel). The smell of beer and handmade pizza…and dog food coming from the Purina plant next door (where the Safeway is now). Sketchy people everywhere. the "Pearl" wasn't a thing. Farewell to the old and welcome the new!

PS: I rode by bike back then, too!

eddie
Guest
eddie

What does it cost to live in these places? It’s going to be intense once all the apartment buildings are finished and filled with yuppies I mean residents.

Is Portland going to be one of those cities with huge crowds of complete strangers filling the sidewalks day in and day out?

Does anyone reading this remember when that whole district was just warehouses?

What a trip.

John Liu
Subscriber

I like riding through that area and looking at the construction going on.

Most of the multifamily buildings being built are at least tolerable Ti the eye, some are nice.

It will be interesting to see how the cycling in those streets changes as the area becomes more populous. The city should probably have some greenway routes picked out. Right now they aren’t needed, but give it a decade.

Adam
Guest
Adam

I know this is a little closer to the river, but I can’t wait for them to tear down the post office and get some good mixed use going in there! It’s such a huge impediment to connectivity in that area currently!

And I’m so stoked to see the Conway lots slowly being eroded for something actually useful!

Josh Gold
Guest
Josh Gold

1. What percentage of the units is designated affordable housing?
2. Are any of the buildings mixed use?

David
Guest
David

The amount of construction going on is truly mind blowing. I moved into the Pearl in August and there are at least a half dozen buildings under construction I pass every day.

AlonK
Guest

“As Portlanders we should all be happy about this development”- I can not be happy about the added noise, pollution, destruction of old houses and their replacement by monstrosities like the one constructed next to The Stepping Stone cafe (a gigantic glass ziggurat) and above all by the lack of concern for the homeless and for those without much cash. As a NW Portland resident for many years I have seen the increase in the number of people sleeping under Freeway passes and in Forest Park. Before we add yet one more condo complex let us make sure that EVERYONE has a home. I am not happy about all these new buildings when what one of the Street Roots vendors told me- “I had to wait 3 years for subsidized housing. I lived 6 years on the streets. One more year would have killed me”- is a reality for many.