By Lee Perlman
Creston pursuing third Hollywood project – with parking!
Creston Homes, which is in the process of building two 47-unit buildings in Hollywood, has plans for a third – and this one would have (gasp!) on-site parking!
Spokesperson Dave Mullens told the Star that the company is negotiating to purchase a parcel of land, currently used as a parking lot, north of the Bank of America building between Northeast 39th and 40th avenues, although he cautions that the purchase has not been finalized as yet. If development occurs, he says, the project will have larger units than Creston has typically provided in the past. Also, in a major departure for this company, it will have underground parking.
The lot in question is a “funny place,” Mullens says, with relatively little depth. In addition, he says, “We’ve built a lot of smaller units in this area, so these will be bigger and a little more upscale.” They will “not necessarily be rented to younger people who are into bike commuting.” Therefore, here, on-site parking will be provided.
Creston’s five-story building on Northeast Sandy Boulevard next to the Hollywood Theatre should be completed in mid-March, Mullens says. “We must finish the public plaza (on the west end of the building) before we occupy it,” he says. Creston is also constructing a 47-unit building on Northeast 41st Avenue at Tillamook Street, across the street from the Hollywood Library. They built the Irvington on Northeast 15th Avenue at Hancock Street, and are constructing projects on Southeast 20th Avenue at Alder Street and East Burnside Street at 30th Avenue, among others. The proposed project would be their first multi-family building with parking.
Grant Park Village seeks traffic signal
Having gained design approval in January, Capstone Partners is going through the last piece of city process necessary for the Grant Park Village: Permission from the Portland Bureau of Transportation to install a traffic signal at the Northeast Broadway and 32nd Avenue intersection. As of mid-February, the city had deemed Capstone’s application “incomplete,” requiring more information, according to spokesperson Lauren Golden Jones. The intersection will be the main auto entrance to the project, which will contain 211 housing units, a New Seasons Market and about 15,000 square feet of other retail, and 175 parking spaces. Jones says Capstone hopes to break ground on the project in “late spring or early summer.”
Giant Lloyd project moves forward
After four delays at their own request, Langley Development unveiled their Lloyd Blocks Master Plan, a four-square-block high-density project in the heart of the Lloyd District, before the Portland Design Commission in a voluntary and informal Design Advisory session in advance of a formal application for design approval.
The project area is bounded by Northeast Seventh and Ninth avenues and Multnomah and Holladay streets. It currently contains the Lloyd 700, a 16-floor office building, and a massive surface parking lot. To this Langeley would add a 17-story building on the southeast corner (known to planners as Block 101), a six-story building on the southwest corner (Block 92), and a five-story building on the northeast corner (Block 100). All three buildings would be occupied primarily by apartments, but all would have ground floor retail (a total of 47,000 square feet), and Langley’s plans call for a grocery on Block 100. Blocks 100 and 101 would have underground parking (with a total of 1,200 stalls on the property), and second floor courtyards for tenants. Block 92 would have extensive bike parking, and community and exercise rooms. There would be renovation work on the Lloyd 700, and installation of an open courtyard and an above-ground pavilion in the rear on the south side.
Currently, Northeast Eighth Avenue and Hassalo Street are vacated through the property. The development plans call for restoring the 200-foot grid, with a public pedestrian way along the Eighth right of way, and a private drive through the vacated Hassalo section. Plans call for extensive storm water treatment within the buildings and the exterior, with gardens in each new building and along the streets. Langley’s plans call for “more than 600” total residential units, and preliminary information suggested the count could be as high as 780. The total new development would include more than one million square feet.
The Design Commission’s principal reaction was that they would have liked to see more density; they were particularly distressed at seeing five and six story buildings in areas where the zoning could allow structures more than 300 feet high. City planners are counting on a significant increase in housing units in the Central City, including the Lloyd District, and this project is expected to carry a major part of this.
Beaumont project starts demolition
As the Star went to press, developer Wally Remmers had begun demolition of a group of storefronts in the 4400 block of Northeast Fremont Street; they should be gone by the time you read this. Remmers plans to replace them with a four-story building containing about 50 rental units, about 2,000 square feet of ground floor retail, and no off-street parking.
A group of residents, organized as Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth, is opposing the project and has retained an attorney. However, as representative Tom Melville told the Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association last month, they have not followed similar groups in the Kerns and Richmond neighborhood by filing challenges with the state Land Use Board of Appeals. “Some of the features of those cases don’t apply to our neighborhood,” Melville explained. “If (the Kerns and Richmond opponents) lose, the odds are very good that we’d lose too. If they win, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’d win. Legally speaking, we’re standing on the sidelines.”
Madeleine Parish appeals ruling
Madeleine Parish is appealing to the state Land Use Board of Appeals the January ruling of the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission that they must remove some of the exterior lights on the west side of their building at 3123 N.E. 24th Ave. They had originally been granted permission to install 15 such lights. The Irvington Community Association objected that the church had not gone though design review, as required of projects in the Irvington National Historic District. Planner Staci Monroe ruled that the lights could stay if the church installed hoods to reduce glare at nearby homes. The ICA appealed this to the Landmarks Commission. That body voted unanimously to allow five lights on newer additions to the 1927 building to remain, but for the rest to be removed.
In a related matter, Father Mike of Madeleine confirms that the parish is hoping to do a $2.5 million makeover of the structure later this year, but he says they have not developed specific plans and have not yet raised the money. The purpose would be to “restore” the building and make it more suitable for use, Father Mike told the Star.
New New Seasons looks to fall opening
The newest New Seasons market, dubbed the North Williams store and now under construction at North Williams Avenue and Fremont Street, should be open for business in “late summer or early fall,” representative Chenoa Philabawn told the Eliot Neighborhood Association. In addition to being a full-service grocery store in an area that has none, it will serve the community in other ways. It will have a staff of 150 to 175 people; many of these will be “veterans” drawn from other stores, and Philabawn said many employees from inner north and northeast Portland have expressed a desire to work closer to their homes. For new hires, she said, the company will seek recruitment avenues likely to get applicants from nearby neighborhoods. In addition, she says, New Seasons regularly contributes 10 percent of its profits to local causes, and last year donated money and food to 1,038 different organizations citywide.
Westerman to build on food court
Food Court entrepreneur Joe Westerman told the Kerns Neighborhood Association last month that he is abandoning his Green Castle Food Court and building apartments there instead. Plans call for a five story building on the site on Northeast 20th Avenue and Everett Street containing 45 to 48 units, and an adjacent 40-space surface parking lot.
Westerman waged a long fight for city permission to operate the court on the site, which is zoned for residential development. He received crucial support from the Kerns Association along the way.
“We gave it a try and you know what? We haven’t gotten the volumes to make it profitable,” Westerman told Kerns last month.
Westerman also operates the Rose City Food Court on Northeast Sandy Boulevard east of 52nd Avenue, where he has a less cordial relationship with neighbors stemming from excavation of the hillside to the west. Some have speculated that the work is really a prelude to multi-family development there. However, Westerman told the Star that he has no such plans for this site.