The Design Commission has approved the Holst Architecture designed redevelopment of the Lloyd Cinemas parking lot. The project at 1400 NE Multnomah would include 677 apartments, 12 live-work units, and approximately 37,780 sq ft of ground level retail. 536 parking spaces will be located on the site, with 438 spaces dedicated for residents and 98 spaces provided to service the retail uses. 1304 long term and 50 short term bicycle parking spaces will be provided. The project is being developed by a consortium of developers, including California based Bob Bisno and Dan Palmer.
The project will be located on the existing parking lot of the Regal Cinemas Lloyd Center 10 & IMAX. The cinema will remain open in the immediate future, with cinema patrons able to use the existing parking in the Lloyd Center. A future second phase of the redevelopment, which would be constructed on site of the cinema and the parking lot to the north of NE Multnomah, is in the early stages of design and currently has a pending Pre-Application Conference [PDF].
The primary exterior finish materials for the development will be Öko skin concrete panels, in a gradient color scheme. Other materials proposed include brick, metal composite panels, wood, weathering steel, aluminum storefront glazing and vinyl windows.
Since the first Design Advice Request hearing, held in July 2015, the project has been arranged with a diagonal pedestrian pathway dividing the site, which would link the MAX stop to the Sullivan’s Gulch neighborhood. Two large sinuous buildings, oriented to the southeast and northwest corners of the site, would be located on either side of the pathway. The architects, working with landscape architecture firm 2.ink Studio, envision a series of distinct moments throughout the development. These include the Park Terrace, the Plaza, a Maker Hub, and the Multnomah Gateway, all of which would be linked by the granite paved pedestrian walkway.
The Park Terrace, fronting onto NE 13th Ave, would be the first space encountered when approaching the development from the MAX. The terrace would be activated by retail spaces, micro restaurants and a secondary entry into the southeast building.
Located at the intersection of the pedestrian way and a private drive aligned with NE Hassalo St, the Plaza would include picnic table style seating for the micro restaurants, a “digital art wall” and a walkable water feature. The main lobby and entry to the southeast building will be located at the plaza.
Podium and Roof Gardens
Where the building forms create courtyards on top of the level 1 podium, roof gardens will be provided for the use of the residents. Roof terraces are also provided on portions of the roof above the 6th floor, on both buildings.
The Maker Hub would be located adjacent to a series of live/work units, which will have large roll up style garage doors facing the pedestrian walk.
The pedestrian pathway ends at the Multnomah Gateway, near the intersection of NE Multnomah and NE 15th Ave. Retail spaces will flank the termination of the pathway, with movable seating provided between the sidewalk and the commercial spaces. The Gateway will also include a linear water feature.
Both NE Multnomah and NE 13th will have nearly continuous retail along the block faces. The main entry to the northwest building will face NE Multnomah St. A green wall is proposed at the ground level facing the MAX tracks.
The project went before the Design Commission a total of 6 times: for Design Advice Requests held in July, October and December 2015; and for Design Review hearings held in June, August and September 2016. Changes made since the first Design Review include: the introduction Juliette balconies at the residential units; the introduction pre-weathered steel to mark the residential entries; the introduction of awnings at many of the retail storefronts; changes in materials at the splayed ends to demarcate the site portals; and revisions to the storefront bay at the northwest corner of the site, so that it returns from NE 13th onto NE Multnomah.
The project was approved by a 4-0 vote of the Design Commission on September 8th, 2016. Before casting her vote, Commissioner Livingston—who had been a consistent supporter of the design approach—summed up her feelings about the project:
The project complies with the Design Guidelines very well. I think the modifications that have been made over time are great. It’s a really creative response to a superblock site. I appreciate the fact that it’s not four independent structures, gridded at the four corners of the superblock. The fact that Oregon Square’s public space has been downsized, I think lends this project with its proximity to Holladay Park and the pedestrian path through this site really great opportunities to be one of the more successful urban spaces on the east side of Portland.
The Final Findings And Decision By The Design Commission [PDF] concluded with a similar thought, noting that the project will “transform nearly 5 acres devoted to vehicles into a pedestrian-focused development” and “provide architectural diversity to the eastern edge of the Lloyd District.”
Building permits are currently under review for the project.