On June 27, Deacon Development hosted a groundbreaking at 4242 N.E. Halsey Street in the Hollywood neighborhood to kick off construction of their Laurel 42 multifamily project, a six-story apartment building that will offer 100 residential units, 2,000 square feet of street-level retail and 60 parking spaces with an automated, three-stack, mechanical parking system. The building, on the long-vacant lot adjacent to 24 Hour Fitness and just east of the Hollywood MAX station, is targeted for completion in October of 2018.
“It’s been a good team effort,” said Steve Deacon, CEO of Deacon Construction and Deacon Development – both of which are headquartered in the Kerns neighborhood. “I’ve really enjoyed the process of pulling together all the thoughts and ideas from so many different folks. Our company has built thousands of apartment units, but we’ve never developed one. It’s a whole different ballgame for us. Usually we just go build what someone else has conceived.”
Deacon is part of a local ownership group that purchased the property in the spring of 2009. Originally slated for an office building, the development team began considering an apartment project for the site about two years ago. Deacon Development is developing the project, LRS Architects designed the building and Deacon Construction will be the general contractor.
“One of the goals of the project from the very beginning has been to provide a product that will fit into the neighborhood and into the community,” said Deacon. “We want to be good neighbors. We know that parking throughout the city is challenged and so we have put in about twice as much parking as what the code calls for.”
“Apartments are really the right thing for this district,” said Paul Boundy, LRS managing principal. “The Hollywood district is one of the great neighborhoods in our city and apartments are going to enhance that and help support the businesses here. This is a timeless project and we want to be a landmark for the district. The street-front will all be retail along Halsey, with big windows, a brick facade, canopies and some benches to support the pedestrian activity goals of the city and the pedestrian activity that we currently have here. The apartment lobby will have a lot of light and be a very positive space.”
The structure will have a concrete podium with five floors of wood-framed apartments.
“We tried to design and model our building to be competitive with what’s currently on the market,” said Ryan Schera, Deacon development manager. “This site was originally part of the Laurelhurst neighborhood, before I-84 went in, and was platted around 1910. Our address is on the 4200 block – and that’s how we came up with ‘Laurel 42.’ It’s an elegant name and it provides a location identifier.”
“I think it’s going to a great place to live and I hope it turns out the way we’ve envisioned,” said Deacon. “We’re right next to the transit center. We have a fitness center in our backyard. There will be a community room on the top level, facing downtown. We have a lot of bike parking and we’ll be pet friendly.”
“The club room on the sixth floor will be a really nice space,” said Boundy. “It’s going to have an outdoor patio and an indoor space, wonderful views of downtown. It will be a really nice amenity for the tenants. This building will have 51 parking spaces, which is above the code requirement. In a tight site like this, that becomes a deep challenge. So, we engaged a Carmatrix stacking system from Harding Steel.”
“This project is very special,” said Ryan Meyers, vice president of Harding Steel, the country’s oldest – and largest – automated, mechanical parking systems manufacturer and installer. “This is the furthest east of the river that we’ve been able to work. We’ve been operating in Portland for ten years. Our first project was in the Hawthorne district and we have expanded into 20 installed projects in the city, with over 15 more under contract through 2018.”
This is Harding’s third project with LRS, after two smaller projects on North Williams Avenue.
“We’ve done projects as small as five cars in Portland and as big as 134, so this is right in our sweet spot,” said Meyers. “What we’re doing here is we’ll take the space for six traditional parking stalls and, by using our Carmatrix system, we’ll turn that into 51 stalls. We’ll be using a three-stack system. The machine shuffles cars left to right and up and down, to give tenants complete access, independent of valets or additional services. It’s safe and secure. We use a simple, swipe-card identification and have automated features to close gates. Retrieval times are between a minute and a half to three minutes. The other benefit for the community is that you won’t have people circling the block, looking for street parking.”
For more information, visit www.deacon.com.