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