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Inside the “Bike Lounge” at new Modera Belmont apartments

Posted by on May 9th, 2018 at 10:32 am

Come on in says Community Manager Daunte Francis.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

It was the River City Bicycles vending machine that first caught my eye.

Not the run-of-the-mill inner tube vending machines many of you have already seen (there’s one at Green Zebra Grocery in north Portland) — I’m talking about a real vending machine with lots of selection and cool products: like hats, bottle cages, stylish water bottles, high-quality chain lube, bells, and more.

After seeing the machine in my social media feeds, I had to swing by the new Modera Belmont apartments on Southeast 6th and Belmont to get a closer look.

Assistant Community Manager Daunte Francis welcomed me at the door and humored my strange request to see the machine and snap a few photos.

I had no idea it lived inside a “Bike Lounge.”

Over the years as our central city has gone bonkers with new apartments and condominiums, we’ve seen many attempts to woo bike-loving tenants. It’s actually rare for one of these new buildings to not make some sort of overt aesthetic or amenity-oriented effort to show how bike-oriented they are. There’s the “Milano” apartments in the Rose Quarter named after the legendary Bianchi bike model; the cycling-inspired Peloton apartments on North Williams; the Central Eastside Lofts on NE Couch and 6th that we said “raised the bar” for bike-friendly amenities when it opened in 2013; and many others.

And of course no discussion of bike amenities at new residential buildings is complete without mentioning the 600-space Lloyd Cycle Station.

But even with all that stiff competition, the Modera Belmont is worth noting.

As Daunte led me through the lobby we followed signs to the Bike Lounge, walking past a wall designed to look like a chalkboard that had drawings of people riding tall bikes. After he waved a key-card at the secure entry, the door to the Bike Lounge swung open to reveal row-upon-row of bike racks. But of course it takes much more than indoor bike parking to excite a jaded bicycle journalist. That’s when Daunte showed me the lounge area.

Follow the signs.

The view of SE 7th Avenue.

The 200-unit building has 302 bike parking spaces.

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A floor pump would have worked, but this is a very nice upgrade.

“I’ll meet you in the Bike Lounge.”

Loaner tools and work stands.

On the brightly-lit eastern side of the building (SE 7th, a major bicycle corridor) there are two separate seating areas with comfy leather chairs and a coach in front of a big screen TV. Two of the chairs face a huge wall with a bike map of the central city behind a dry-erase board. There are pens and an eraser nearby, which I assume are there to help people share recommended destinations and how to arrive at them by bike safely. I’ve seen big bikes maps on walls before, but the ability to draw on it is a very nice touch.

This map is a great idea.

With pens to mark hot spots.

There are also two Bike Fixation work stands and a full complement of loaner tools and a heavy-duty air compressor (no arduous pumping needed!) mounted to a nearby wall. A room in the middle of the lounge is the bike wash. I didn’t get a great photo of it, but just imagine a shower for a very large human. There’s a shower-head at the end of a hose, a bike stand, and a sink.

And then there’s the vending machine. As per usual, River City Bicycles went the extra mile on this project. Not content to merely slap their sticker on a stock vending machine, they wrapped this one in cool graphics and totally customized it. The machine is first-rate with brightly-lit shelves that spin around so you can see the full selection at the push of a button. “Can’t find whatcha need?” proclaims a sticker on the front. “We’re just a few blocks away.” (Indeed, Modera residents can easily walk to River City’s outlet store on 6th and Belmont or their flagship store on SE Alder and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.)

Nice work RCB!

Another feature I was very pleased to see was a separate entry door directly from SE 7th Avenue that had a nice wide ramp for rolling bikes directly into the lounge (so you don’t have to go through the nicely decorated lobby).

A bike ramp and entrance into the Bike Lounge directly from SE 7th Ave.

And to top it all off, there were two TransitScreen monitors in the lobby displaying real-time information about nearby buses, light rail, and bike share.

All this can be yours for about $1,500 a month for a one-bedroom or $2,500 (and up) for a two-bedroom.

Overall, it’s a very impressive effort to encourage no-car/low-car living in a fast-growing inner eastside district. Now we need to make the streets outside this building just as welcoming.

Learn more about the Modera Belmont building via our friends at NextPortland.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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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

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Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Where are all the bikes?

Andrew Kreps
Guest
Andrew Kreps

It looks like those trays won’t support longer bicycles or the plus size tires that are so common today. Can you comment on parking something other than the pictured cruiser bikes there? Also, loading a bicycle onto the top trays looks extremely difficult, especially in the middle of the rack.

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

Impressed. There are so many things they did right compared to the set up at my current office (cumbersome lockers, work stand placed directly against wall, elevator access only, etc.).

That pump is amazing, I didn’t even no such things existed.

Bill Tedford
Guest
Bill Tedford

When I toured the Modera I really liked it. Very modern and the bike lounge was top notch. However, I was turned off (amongst other things) with having to pay $10 a month per bike to store them in the bike lounge.

Dween
Guest
Dween

I’ll be interested to see what the space is used for a few years from now. You think people believe in the right to free car parking? You should meet some cyclists, they really hate paying for parking.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

When I first moved here in 1987 I rented a 3 bedroom craftsman single family house in Irvington for $525/mo.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

The Lloyd Cycle Station has a TV with some lounge chairs in front of it, set up in front of the window into the room. I’ve never seen the TV turned on — not sure what it’s for. It’s not like people sit around watching the Tour or something.

Champs
Guest
Champs

I’ve been caught unprepared recently enough to know that the vending machine at Green Zebra on Lombard is broken and looted.

Park in a common room and it’ll happen to your bike, too.

Rain Waters
Guest
Rain Waters

Wow, what cool thing !

Champs
Guest
Champs

New bike, didn’t really have the supplies we needed or a smart system to swap between bikes. Different wheel sizes, standards, etc. as much as I try to minimize.

Al
Guest
Al

On the one hand, it’s nice to see such facilities developing in the US. On the other, I’m jealous that apartments like this were not available when I was in my twenties.

Buzz
Guest
Buzz

There’s really nothing that special about it, just a reason to charge more rent; and, security will end up being a problem, as some posters have pointed out.

Modera Belmont Manager
Guest

WOW, what a terrific article highlighting our lovely Bike Lounge, thank you Jonathan! A huge shout out to River City Bicycles who have helped us along our journey with bike knowledge and filling our vending machine up with lots of bike related goodies!

Our studio pricing starts at $1,299, one bedrooms at $1,440 and two bedrooms at $1,999!! We are currently offering 6 weeks free rent and free bike lounge parking to anyone who does not have a vehicle they need parked in the garage. Additionally, we are offering $500 towards a bike of their choice to anyone who moves in without a car or is willing to sell their car to adapt to the Portland Bicycle lifestyle and an effort to reduce traffic and pollution.

Our building is secured at all entry points with a fob key system to get in to the building and to get in to the amenity spaces. While the bikes are definitely in a secure location, we encourage bike locks for added security. We absolutely allow anyone to store their bike in their apartment home if that is their preference as well.

If you or a friend is looking for a new home, please reach out to one of us at Modera Belmont! 503.272.8080 or check out our website, http://www.moderabelmont.com!

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

That is an impressive bike facility. Thoughtfully designed. It shows that the building values bike riders and is going the extra mile and doing their part to make bike riding convenient and pleasant.

I’m not clear how the upper racks work. A chain would take care of any locking geometry issues. Looks like there is enough open space for cargo bikes.

Video cameras would be a really nice addition.

Sure, you might bring your expensive bike up to your apartment, but a bike that you’re willing to leave locked up around the city should be okay to leave locked up in that facility.