Modera Belmont, a 6 story mixed use building in the Central Eastside by SERA Architects, is currently working its way through the Design Review process. The full block development would contain 202 dwelling units above ground floor retail and live/work units. 105 car parking spaces would be located in a below grade garage, with bike storage located in a common room accessed directly from the SE 7th Ave. The development is by Mill Creek Residential Trust, who recently broke ground on their similarly named Modera Pearl apartments.
The project is proposed for the full block bound by SE 6th / Morrison / 7th and Belmont, currently home to the Oregon Ballet Theatre. In October the Portland Business Journal reported that the OBT planned to sell the site to Mill Creek Residential Trust to help relieve long term debt. The existing building was built in 1940 as the East Portland branch of the First National Bank of Oregon, to a design by Barrett and Logan. In the 1984 Historic Resource Inventory, the property was evaluated as “eligible/contributing”.
The exterior expression of the building has changed significantly since the project received Design Advice early in the year. At that time the Design Commission expressed concerns about some of the materials, including CMU block at the ground level, and suggested that fewer and higher quality materials should be investigated. In response the architects redesigned the facade so that it would be read as a contemporary masonry building, with carved out recesses of white metal panel.
A Staff Report and Recommendation to the Design Commission [PDF] published before the May 7th hearing did not yet recommend approval. Concerns expressed in the report, and shared by the Commission, included whether the live/work units would on SE Belmont St. The other major concern was the adequacy of the courtyard, much of which is taken up by stormwater planters.
Modera Belmont is currently scheduled to return for a second Design Review hearing on Thursday June 4th at 1:30 PM.