South Waterfront Blocks 42 and 45 Receive Design Advice (images)

Design Advice has been offered to GBD Architects for South Waterfront Blocks 42 and 45. The multi-block development will include 510 residential units, in two 7 story buildings. The project is being developed by Cairn Pacific.

South Waterfront Blocks 42 and 45

Blocks 42 and 45 will be located on vacant land owned by the Prometheus Real Estate Group of San Mateo, CA. A Land Division is currently being processed for the site, which will divide the land into four developable parcels and two greenway tracts adjacent to the river. SW River Parkway will be extended through the site in the north-south direction. East-west streets SW Abernethy and SW Lowell will be extend from their current terminus at SW Bond to future SW River Parkway.

East of SW River Parkway the street grid will be extended through Blocks 41 and 42 as privately owned accessways, similar to SW Pennoyer St. Public access easements will be required in order to guarantee public access to the river. A separate design review application is currently pending for Blocks 41 and 44, which are also being developed by Cairn Pacific.

Block 42

Block 42 will be located at the northwest corner of the Prometheus property, on the parcel bound by SW Lane, River Parkway, Abernethy and Bond. The building will include 200 residential units 150 vehicular parking spaces. A mix of housing and retail is proposed at the ground level.

South Waterfront Block 42

The massing of Block 42 is intended to be more granular than is typical for South Waterfront, where every building built to-date has been a full block development. The massing draws conceptual inspiration from stacks of lumber that were once located along the Willamette, such as at the Inman-Poulson Lumber Co. Though not yet shown on the drawings, a tan colored brick is envisioned as the primary exterior material.

South Waterfront Block 42

South Waterfront Block 42

South Waterfront Block 42

South Waterfront Block 42

South Waterfront Block 42

Block 45

Block 45 will be located at the southwest corner of the Prometheus property, on the parcel bound by SW Abernethy, River Parkway, Lowell and Bond. The building will include 310 residential units 200 vehicular parking spaces. A mix of housing and retail is proposed at the ground level.

South Waterfront Block 45

Block 45 is arranged as three east-west bars, with the massing inspired by historic images of the Kaiser Shipyards that were once located along the Willamette. At the ground level a plaza is proposed between the north bar and the middle bar, allowing for spill out space from the proposed retail units. An elevated courtyard between the middle bar and the south bar is proposed at level 2. Though not yet shown on the drawings, red / brown brick is envisioned as the primary exterior material.

South Waterfront Block 45

South Waterfront Block 45

South Waterfront Block 45

South Waterfront Block 45

South Waterfront Blocks 42 and 45 were presented to the Design Commission on May 18th, 2017. Both buildings were well received by the Commission. Most of the discussion at the advisory hearing centered on the ground floor program of the buildings, including where to locate retail and how to activate the plaza at Block 45.

In order to gain approval South Waterfront Blocks 42 and 45 will be required to go through a Type III Design Review, with public hearings in front of the Design Commission.

Drawings

9 thoughts on “South Waterfront Blocks 42 and 45 Receive Design Advice (images)

  1. What happened to the South Waterfront? Everything they put out is “5+1” type buildings. No variety whatsoever with height. What happened to their welcomed original vision? Not only is this area secluded and blocked off by a major freeway, it’s a boring ripped off version of the Pearl District

    • I don’t know. I think the South Waterfront is a rather attractive place. The new park they built along the river is wonderful! I often take walk down there even though I could never afford to live there. Maybe more towers would be warranted, but they are still building fairly densely all the same. I just lament that no more concrete construction is being done. It’s way quieter than woodframe, and sound and noise vibrations are the big things people usually hate the most about apartment living. What really makes this neighborhood beautiful is its part and the abundance of trees everywhere. Most of the area is quiet, picturesque, and yet very urban. Increase streetcar frequency some more, as well as service on the 35, add a grocery store that is not a Whole Foods or Zupan’s, and it’d be nearly perfect. All that’s left is to somehow get sweep I-5 under the proverbial rug. Oh well, each to his own.

    • Unfortunately the HOAs got worried some tenants might loose their view and changed the zoning code to only allow 5+1 buildings. As such, developers cant build high-rises and so they build cheap(er) low-rise wood construction… Its too bad, i would have loved to see more more beautiful glass+aluminum towers in my neighborhood, in lieu if the wood/brick/stucco.

  2. No more towers down there? Really too bad. South Waterfront (and Portland in general) seems to be turning into a six story plateau of boxy apartments with no variety in height or street appeal…

    • Tell me about it. I think the last time anything over 18 stories built or even proposed for that matter has been YEARS in the South Waterfront. Portland HATES height even in a population and economic boom

  3. Paris has miles of 6-7 story buildings, in all directions. In Portland, because of the pervasive influence of “neighborhoods” (really single-family homeowners), very little multifamily zoning exists within 5 miles of the center except for the Central City itself, and in narrow 100′ deep bands along the Transit corridors. So the only way to get a density equivalent to Paris is higher towers in all of those few places where anything other than a single-family house is allowed. Even then, it’s not really going to work as a city until the single-family stranglehold is broken.

  4. I am sympathetic to the idea this district started as high rise and should largely be so. Good urban design principles would suggest we should have lo rise areas and hi rise areas. But let’s not confuse height with density. There will be 510 units in this two block development. If a hi rise scheme were proposed I guarantee it would not offer more units (remember you have to get skinny as you go up). They would likely be higher quality and thus more expensive due to construction costs and view premiums. Like it or not lo-rise helps affordability. Aesthetically I agree more towers would make SOWA more consistent and distinctive but let’s not mask the argument with claims of density. There are many ways to achieve density–and one of the more of the most cost effective is limiting the use of the single operated automobile because cars take up a lot space and are very expensive to store. But that’s a tough sell even in “green” Portland.

Leave a Reply