An initial Design Review hearing has been held for the Press Blocks, the redevelopment of the former Oregonian publishing buildings in Goose Hollow. The development will include three buildings, spread over one and a half city blocks. The project is developed in partnership by Urban Renaissance Group and Security Properties. The architects are Portland based GBD Architects and Seattle based Mithun.
The existing buildings on the site were built for the Oregonian as its main printing facility. In 2015 it was announced that Advance Central Publications, the company which now prints and distributes the Oregonian, would outsource printing of the newspaper. With the buildings no longer needed, they were put up for sale. The $20 million sale closed in February 2017.
The full block site at 1621 SW Taylor Street is being designed by Mithun, and will include a 250’ tall residential tower and a 55′-2″’ tall office building. The 23 story tower will include 337 residential units, while the lower plaza building will include 41,500 sq ft of office space. The ground floor programming of the two buildings includes commercial lease space facing the exterior streets, and live/work units facing the alley. Parking for ±469 cars will be provided in four levels of underground parking.
The two buildings are oriented in a north/south configuration, with a 30′ wide alley in between them, leading to an 5,500 sq ft plaza at SW 17th and Taylor.
Materials proposed for the tower include precast concrete, in various colors; an aluminum window wall system, with vision and spandrel glass; concrete balconies with structural glass guardrails; steel and glass canopies; and stone cladding at the base of the tower.
Material for the plaza building will include red brick, fiberglass windows, steel and glass canopies, and an exposed painted structural steel frame.
The half block site at 817 SW 17th Avenue will be an 8 story, 136’-6” tall office building, designed by GBD Architects. At the ground level the building will include 8,870 sq ft of retail space, fronting onto the westbound Providence Park MAX station. One level of underground parking will provide 40 vehicular parking stalls. An existing tunnel, built for the Oregonian, will provide a pedestrian connection from the larger underground parking garage at the full block site. At the ground level a bike storage and locker room will provide space for 124 bicycles. The 152,349 sq ft speculative office building is being designed to accommodate either a single occupant tenant, or multiple tenants.
At the 7th floor a carved out deck is proposed that would provide views to the north and west.
The half block office building will be clad in thin precast concrete panels, with honeycomb-backed metal panels and fiberglass windows.
A Staff Report and Recommendation to the Design Commission, published before the March 23rd hearing, recommended approval for the Press Blocks. The Design Commission was however not yet ready to approve the project. While the plaza building on the full block received unanimous praise, the Commission raised issues about the private feeling of the alley connecting SW Yamhill to SW Taylor; the expression of the north and south end walls on the tower building; the lack of fine grained detail on the half block office building; and the need for a larger gesture, beyond the deck already proposed, on west elevation of the half block building.
The Press Blocks development is currently scheduled to return in front of the Commission for a second hearing on May 4th.