Developer Vic Remmers and his architectural team led by Bob Thompson met with Rose City Park Neighborhood Association’s land use and transportation committee in mid-September to talk about Northeast Portland’s latest major building project, a proposed six-story, brick-and-metal panel building. The structure’s ground floor is planned to contain retail accommodations, the building lobby and 19 parking spaces. There will be 89 apartment units on the five floors above.
Expected to be opened by mid-2018, the development will occupy three lots. Two on the vacant Taco Time property at 5036 N.E. Sandy Blvd. and the other, a single-family home at 2305 N.E. 51st Ave. Remmers and his consultants are in the design stage, and hope to apply for permits in December. Thompson said permitting could take up to four months and construction is expected to last 12 to 14 months. When construction actually begins will depend on equipment and crew scheduling in early 2017.
The retail space will front Northeast Sandy Boulevard, where the structure will be built up to the sidewalk. A lobby and parking entrance will open onto Northeast 51st Avenue, where a building setback will increase with elevation, allowing for open balconies along that street. Plans also call for 15-foot, four-inch caliper columnar trees to be planted along Northeast Thompson Street.
Apartments will range in size from 400-square-foot studios to 500-square-foot one-bedroom and 800-square-foot two-bedroom units.
Retail space is shown as one large area on the plans but could be separated as needed for several stores or restaurants. All garbage and recycling will be handled inside the building with pick-ups and deliveries to be staged on Northeast 51st Avenue. The ground-level parking spaces will be exclusively for tenant use with an additional two spaces reserved for Zipcars.
Almost a dozen neighbors, including some owning single-family homes facing the proposed taller building on Northeast 51st Avenue, attended the meeting and raised concerns about parking and traffic patterns. Thompson assured them the number of spaces being provided was in compliance with city regulations. Thompson said prospective tenants were expected to be young and reliant on public transportation and bicycles.
“But what if they do own cars?” one neighbor asked Thompson. “Where do you think they’ll park them?” Before Thompson could answer, the questioner supplied an answer: “In front of our houses.”
Another concern was raised about cars leaving the property and attempting to turn left on Northeast Sandy from Northeast 51st. Remmers took notes and said he’d look into that with the city. Also discussed was the possibility of moving the TriMet Line 12 eastbound bus stop from mid-block between Northeast 50th and 51st avenues to the corner of Northeast 51st Avenue and Sandy Boulevard.
After the meeting, both Remmers and Thompson said they felt reception by neighbors was positive and that they appreciated the comments. They said they would be back at Rose City Park’s general membership meeting on Tuesday, October 25th to update neighbors, answer questions and collect additional comments.