By Lee Perlman
For the Hollywood Star News, June, 2010
At a special meeting last month, members of the Irvington Community Association and interested neighbors met with architect Don Hanson and representatives of Creston LLC on their plans for a new, 49-unit structure at 1510 N.E. Hancock St., immediately to the north of the historic Lion and the Rose bed and breakfast. According to Hanson, the building will be three stories high with a masonry base below horizontal imitation wood siding. It will be “very traditional in appearance, with a pitched roof, bay windows and lots of dormers.” The units will be studios and one-bedrooms of 600 to 800 square feet each, renting for $600 to $750.
Three years ago, developer Leon Simms proposed to build a six-story condominium structure on this site. The ICA opposed the project, claiming that it was out of scale with the historic neighborhood, and the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission agreed with them. Regarding the current proposal, ICA land use chair Dean Gisvold told his board, “In my opinion, this design fits the neighborhood.”
The neighborhood’s main concern is that Creston proposes to include no off-street parking. Hanson notes that the code does not require off-street parking for new housing near transit and says that the developer will be “trying to orient this toward people who wouldn’t own a car.” There will be generous space for bike parking, and tenants will receive transit passes, he says.
Not all neighbors were reassured. At the ICA meeting the following night, local landlord Carolyn Dale said, “They’ll rent to whoever will rent from them,” and said that 85 percent of her tenants owned cars. Gisvold said that during the day on working days, all parking spaces between 8th and 17th avenues, Broadway and Hancock streets, are usually filled.
Although Creston has not yet filed a land-use application, they intend to adhere to the city’s Community Design Standards, which means the project will not be subject to design review. Nor are they required to respond to concerns that surfaced at their meeting. However, Hanson says, “The concerns were as much about management of the building as about its design. We received very good feedback, we made a list of everything we heard, and there were several helpful suggestions that we will use.” He also noted that construction will probably not begin until late summer, after the prime tourist season, so there should be less impact on the Lion and the Rose.