The Design Commission has approved a mixed use building in at NW 17th & Pettygrove, by GBD Architects for Holland Partner Group. The building will include 196 residential units, with a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Under the terms of a property tax exemption approved by the City Council, 40 of the units will be made available for at least 10 years to those earning 80% of area Median Family Income or less. At the ground level the building will include retail spaces facing both NW 18th Ave and NW Pettygrove St. 119 vehicular parking space will be provided, in a partially below grade garage. 222 long term bicycle parking spaces will be provided, split between in-unit spaces and 156 spaces in the basement.
The project site at 1331 NW 17th Ave is three quarters of a block, bound by NW 17th Ave, Overton St, 18th Ave and Pettygrove St. Three existing buildings, dating from 1957, 1958 and 1972, will be demolished.
The L shaped building will rise to 7 stories, making it among the first “5 over 2” buildings in Portland. Other buildings that will utilize the newly allowed construction type include 1638 W Burnside, Modera Buckman, Grand Belmont and NW 13th & Johnson Apartments. The fact that the lower two floors will have a concrete frame makes it possible to create the projecting elements at level 2, which then shift at level 3 where the building transitions to wood frame construction.
The primary materials for the building will be granite norman brick and manganese ironspot norman brick, alternating between horizontal and vertical coursing. At the window jambs a raked coursing is proposed. Other materials proposed include black vinyl windows, black brake formed metal surrounds at the bay windows, aluminum storefront, board formed concrete, black metal panel and wood soffits.
The project went before the Design Commission three times in total. Although the form of the building remained the same as what was presented to the Commission at the first hearing on February 2nd 2017, substantial changes were made to the material palette, in order to better respond to the guideline for “partial block building massing” in the Northwest Plan District.
The project was approved on March 16th, 2017, with Commissioners Clark, Rodriguez and Molinar voting in favor of the project. Commissioner Vallaster voted against, while Chair Wark chose to abstain. In the conclusion to the Final Findings and Decision by the Design Commission was praised for the choice of materials and the fact that it will add affordable housing to the neighborhood:
Staff recognizes the challenges of addressing the smaller-scale historic context while efficiently utilizing a large 3/4 block site. Staff and Commission appreciate the addition of housing, and the applicant’s participation in the Portland Housing Bureau’s MULTE program to add much needed affordable housing to a central, transit-accessed site. The proposal provides desired residential density and underground parking, while utilizing the materials, architectural elements and proportions of historic buildings in the neighborhood, and meeting all of the required guidelines.
A building permit is currently under review for the project.