On November 14, Patrick Kessi and the team from PHK Development visited with the Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood Association to bring neighbors up to speed on a seven-story, 162-unit condominium project they have started site work for at the southwest corner of Northeast 21st Avenue and Multnomah Street.
The completed building will include two underground lots with 172 parking spaces for cars and an additional 265 spaces for bikes. Andersen Construction will serve as general contractor for the project, scheduled for completion in summer of 2019. The building has been designed by Hacker architects. Both companies are headquartered in Portland.
“We’re bringing beautiful homes to the neighborhood and we’re very excited about it,” said Kessi. “There are three areas that we focus on with all of our projects. One is quality of design and quality of construction. It’s important to us to use long-lasting materials that support a timeless design. The second thing we do is pay homage to our environment. Like our Marvel 29 project in St. Johns, this project will be targeted as LEED platinum. The third thing we do is collaborate with the communities in which we build. It’s important to us that this project fit the community today and meets the community’s needs as it evolves. We hope this will be an example for future projects in the area.”
The as-yet unnamed project will be 100 percent residential condominiums for sale. Current zoning for the property does not allow for commercial or retail use, so there will be no mixed-use component on the ground floor.
“This site has a very unique position in the city,” said Matthew Sugarbaker, associate principal at Hacker. “It’s on the edge of an urban neighborhood where a natural phenomenon – the gulch – carves through the grid. This meeting of the gulch and the grid informed our design decisions. We wanted to carve away at the shape of our building – much in the way that the Missoula Floods carved out the shape of the gulch – to help break down its scale and keep a two-story scale along Multnomah and a one-story scale along 21st as the building slopes down the hill toward the bridge.”
One of the goals of the design team was to match the residential feel of the neighborhood.
“There are a lot of stucco buildings in this neighborhood and a lot of wood too,” said Sugarbaker. “So we’ve applied a much more residential material – stucco with some wood accents for a residential feel. Along both 21st and on Multnomah we’ll have walk-up units on the ground floor with elevated stoops, or porches, and wooden gates to activate the pedestrian space. The units are simple, with wood floors throughout, wood-grain laminate casework, granite countertops and exposed concrete structure in a lot of the spaces. The building will feature plenty of large windows to allow for natural ventilation and a lot of light.”
The building’s unit mix will be 11 percent studios, 56 percent one-bedrooms and 33 percent two-bedrooms. About half of the units will be priced below $516,000 and half will be priced above that. Amenities will include plenty of bike parking with secure access, a guest suite, an outdoor area with a fire pit and an indoor pet-grooming area.
Glenn Whitefield, Andersen Construction superintendent, has been working with the bureau of transportation and the city to ease the construction team’s impact on the neighborhood. Parking for the project has been secured under Marshall’s at the Lloyd Center to reduce the number of worker vehicles on the street.
“Our plan right now is that the area on Multnomah will basically remain as it is,” said Whitefield. “We’ll have a covered walkway there for the duration of the project. The bulk of our staging area will be on 21st toward the bridge. The bike lane there and the sidewalk are likely to close. The left turn lane onto Multnomah is also likely to close for the duration and 21st will be a two-way street. We want to contain our impact down on 21st as much as possible and keep it away from people’s homes. Once we have our system in place, we’ll want to work some of the bugs out, so I’d encourage anyone who has suggestions to let us know and we’ll all work together on this to make sure it’s safe and as easy as possible for everyone.”
PHK is committed to keeping neighbors informed as the project moves forward.
“For general updates, we’ll be posting to the neighborhood association’s website and let folks know what phase of construction we’re in and how we’re doing,” said Brett McCoy, PHK’s director of operations. “When we have a more impactful activity – which will be very rare – we’ll put a personal note in the mailboxes of neighbors who might be affected. For any inquiries, questions or suggestions, we’re going to set up a text hotline that will be addressed by the project team right away. We’ll also have a general email box and that contact info will be posted on the neighborhood’s website.”