The Lloyd Cinemas redevelopment has returned in front of the Design Commission for a second Design Advice Request hearing. The project by Holst Architecture and 2.ink Studio is now proposed to be developed in two phases. The first phase on the western portion of the site would include 680 residential units and 650 parking spaces. A future second phase would include a high rise tower, and a total of 570 residential units and 440 parking spaces. Both phases would include active uses at the ground level, including restaurants, retail, maker space, micro restaurant and residential amenity spaces.
The project at 1510 NE Multnomah St will replace the Regal Cinemas Lloyd Center 10 & IMAX, as well the associated parking lot. The cinema was built in 1987 on a previously vacant site. The parking lot has never been developed with buildings. News broke in May 2015 that the owners of the Lloyd Center had agreed to sell the property to a consortium of developers, who include California based Bob Bisno and Dan Palmer.
As with the first iteration of the design presented, the major move of the project is a diagonal pedestrian path across the site, intended to link the Sullivan’s Gulch neighborhood to the Lloyd Center / NE 11th Ave MAX stop. This move was well received by the Design Commission at the first Design Advice hearing, though the Commission had made comments about how the path could wind up feeling relentless given its 500′ length. In response the open space has been reconfigured into a series of more meandering nodes, with small plazas at center and each end of the diagonal.
Though no pubic streets will extend through the site, private drives will be created on the axes of NE Hassalo St and NE 15th. With a reconfiguration of the building forms, the number of locations where the buildings will span over the private streets has been reduced from four to three.
A memo [PDF] to the Design Commission, published before the October 22nd hearing, outlined potential areas of discussion, including: massing and form; quality of public and private outdoor spaces; façade design & materials; and the NE 13th Avenue frontage. The revised designs drew a mixed response from the Design Commission, who continued to support the diagonal organization, but had strong concerns about the bridges over the private drives and the length of the facades on NE 13th Ave an NE Multnomah St. Commissioner Livingston was strongest in her support for the project, though had some reservations:
I think the diagonal is great, and I think that the revisions you have made to the diagonal and the way you have shifted the walls of the buildings since the last DAR… I think it’s very very successful. The connection of the two plazas at either end of that diagonal works really well. I want to get to a point where I really understand and support the overhead along Hassalo, but I’m kind of with David [Wark] right now, and for me I think it’s really just that turn from 13th onto Hassalo. I agree, it kind of feels like the entrance to a hotel valet service.
Less complementary was Commissioner Savinar, who described the project as “lifestyle architect”, and who pushed for public art as a way for the project to find its “soul”. In summing up his feelings about the architecture, Commissioner Wark said:
It seems like a little bit here, a little bit there, a little bit more over here, alternating back and forth. It doesn’t have that connective concept yet, that grounding concept… at least, it doesn’t read. There’s a lot of things going on… Where are the restful moments in this thing? Because if everything’s equal, nothing stands out.
Having now had two Design Advice Requests, the design team now intends to submit the project for a full Type III Design Review.