This is an updated version of an article originally published on April 22nd 2016.
Construction is underway on the Broadway Tower, a new mixed use building by GBD Architects for developer BPM Real Estate Group. The 254′-3″ tower will include 180 hotel rooms, located on floors 3 to 8, which will be operated under the Radisson RED brand. 175,000 sq ft of office space will be located on floors 9 to 19. The ground floor will include the hotel and office lobbies, as well as the hotel restaurant and a single retail space. Hotel amenities, including a lounge, conference rooms and fitness room, will be located on the second floor. Four levels of below grade parking will provide space for 210 vehicles and 132 bicycles. At the 17th, 18th and 19th floors exterior decks will be provided for the use of office tenants. The largest of these, at the 18th floor, will include landscaping and will face onto the South Park Blocks.
The project will be located on a three quarters of a block site currently owned by Goodman family controlled Downtown Development Group, and bound by SW Broadway, Clay, Park and Columbia. A residential building at the corner of SW Clay and Park is not part of the site. The site was mostly used for surface parking, with the exception of the one eighth block Oregonians Credit Union building at the corner of SW Broadway and Clay. The Oregonian Credit Union building was demolished in June 2016 The quarter block facing the Park Blocks has residential zoning, and therefore cannot be used for the hotel / office development.
The building has a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 15.43:1, which 3.43:1 above the 12:1 limit allowed by right on the site. In order to gain the additional 68,000 sq ft of floor area the applicants are using the Central City Masterplan provision of the Zoning Code, which allows FAR to be transferred between sites. The additional FAR will come from the Custom House Building on the South Park Blocks, which is a designated historic landmarks with excess FAR.
In order to show a public benefit for allowing the FAR transfer, the developers have agreed to a number of commitments beyond what is required by the zoning code. On the quarter block parcel with the residential zoning the developer will build a new residential building of at least 60 units, with 33% of the units being reserved for people earning up to 80% of Portland’s Median Family Income, for at least 40 years. Permits for the project need to be obtained before the Certificate of Occupancy is obtained for the Broadway Tower, and the residential building needs to be substantially completed by June 30th 2020. The developer will also donate $375,000 to the Parks Foundation by June 1st 2017, to be used exclusively for the development of a South Park Blocks master plan. This will identify improvements to the existing Parks Blocks, including vegetation management, ADA improvements, and lighting. Finally, the developer will construct improvements identified in the plan on Park Block 11 (directly adjacent to the site), simultaneously or immediately following construction of the residential development.
The primary material for the tower will be a glass curtainwall system, with a shifted moving pattern of vision glass and two colors of spandrel glass. Terracotta rainscreen cladding will be used at the base of the tower. Metal panel, integrated into the curtainwall system, will be used on the north and south elevations.
The project has gone before the Design Commission three times: once for a Design Advice hearing in November 2015, where the project found broad support; once for a Design Review hearing on March 24th 2016, at which time there were minor issues that still needed to be resolved; and for for a final hearing on April 21st 2016. At final hearing the Design Commission unanimously voted to adopt the Staff Report and Recommendation to the Design Commission [PDF] and approve the project. As she cast her vote to approve the project Commissioner Livingston praised both the Broadway Tower and the design team:
I think the building is very attractive, and you guys have been great to work with through this process. I know this was pretty difficult, so thank you very much for coming back a couple of times and being very agreeable to what we’ve asked for. I think the massing of the building is really elegant. I like the slab tower. Fabulous. The continuity of the design from where it meets the sky, all the way down to the ground is just really nice. I think It will be a super addition to Downtown Portland, and the changes you were willing to make between the last hearing and this one are very well received. So thank you very much.
An Excavation and Shoring permit was issued for the Broadway Tower on June 30th. Construction began shortly afterwards.