Design Commission reviews The Dianne (images)

The Design Commission has reviewed drawings for The Dianne, a proposed 15 story building in the Pearl District. The 153′ tall building will include 14 floors of habitable space, plus a mechanical penthouse at the top floor. The project will provide 102 apartments and approximately 1,500 sq ft of ground floor retail space, fronting onto NW 11th Ave. Parking for 52 vehicles will be provided, most of it in a mechanized parking system. 155 bike parking spaces will be located in the basement. The architects for the project are Ankrom Moisan. The developer is John Carroll of Carroll Investments, whose previous projects in the neighborhood include The Gregory Condos, The Edge Lofts, The Chown Pella Lofts, The Elizabeth Lofts and the McKenzie Lofts.

The Diane

The project will be located on a quarter block site at NW 11th & Hoyt, which is currently occupied by Jim Stevens Auto Body. The project will utilize a Central City Masterplan to transfer some of the allowed Floor Area Ratio (FAR) from the Speedometer building at 530 NW Hoyt, which is occupied by the French Quarter Linens store. The transfer will allow the Dianne to go taller, while greatly reducing the chances that the Speedometer building will be redeveloped in the future.

The Diane

The Diane

The Diane

The Diane

The Diane

The proposed building is arranged with a two story base that the rest of the tower sits on. At the south side the tower is pulled away from the property line, to allow for a facade with no Building Code imposed limits on the number of windows. A one story retail sidecar fills the gap at ground level between the proposed tower, and the adjacent building occupied by Blick Art Materials. At the west facade the number of windows allowed is restricted due to the proximity to the property line.

The primary materials for the building will include brick, pre-cast concrete and metal paneling. Aluminum storefront windows will be used at the commercial spaces, and vinyl windows at the residential units.

The Diane

The Diane

The Diane

The Diane

The Diane

The Diane

The Diane

A Staff Report and Recommendation to the Design Commission [PDF], published before the September 10th hearing, did not yet recommend approval for the project. Concerns were raised by Bureau of Development Services staff about whether the facades were sufficiently activated; whether the rooftops were well integrated into the design; about the quality of the ground level experience along NW Hoyt; and whether there was enough public benefit for the Floor Area Ratio transfer. These concerns were broadly shared by the Design Commission. Although noting that the building was “handsome”, one Commissioner noted that more work needed to be done on the west elevation.

Three members of the public spoke during the hearing, two in broad support of the building and one in opposition. The Chair of the Pearl District Neighborhood Association was amongst those speaking in favor, stating the neighborhood strongly supports the use of FAR transfers as a way of protecting the neighborhood’s low rise character buildings.

The applicants are currently scheduled to return in front of the Design Commission on October 22nd.

Plans, Elevations and Sections

5 thoughts on “Design Commission reviews The Dianne (images)

  1. As someone who used to visit the “Pearl District” in the 80’s, I find it real rich to hear the Neighborhood Association talk about preserving the low rise character buildings. If you want to preserve the character of the neighborhood, then the neighborhood association needs to leave and make room for more factories.

  2. I can’t believe that the Pearl has NIMBYs. You’d think it would be a neighborhood of arch-urbanists. I guess some are of the Jane Jacobs variety. I recall reading some anti-tower article from a Pearl resident, who invoked her name a half dozen times.

  3. To Justrmor and chris: The Pearl is not one homogeneous place. The North Pearl is all new and very much hi-rise. The original south Pearl has a rich mixture of building ages, types and sizes. Many of us who live and work here want to keep that rich mixture in the south. The north part is likely to suffer from what I call the “sterile hue of sameness” where all the buildings are from the same time with similar materials and similar massing. The beauty of the existing low rise structures in the South Pearl is their elegant simplicity and adaptability. Most of these buildings were auto show rooms or repair shops. Now they are everything from brewpubs to retail to creative office space. The mix of old and new and low and hi is good thing and worth keeping.

    • Agreed, North Pearl is becoming a truly awful place with all bland featureless mirrored curtain wall towers with no streetlife like an even worse version of South Waterfront, it is the complete antithesis of the success of south Pearl (south of Lovejoy).

      That said, I do think this tower is a good scale and design which is something I cant say about most buildings proposed and going up in the entire Pearl.

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