After 4 Design Advice hearings, the proposed 15-story mixed-use development at 4th & Harrison has gone before the Design Commission for its first Design Review hearing. The 175’ tall building will provide 424 residential units, with a mix of studio, one, two and three bedroom apartments. At the ground level a 33,000 sq ft supermarket is planned, as well as an additional 5,000 sq ft retail space. 151 vehicular parking spaces are proposed, split between 80 spaces for the residents, and 71 for the supermarket / retail uses. An optional 3rd parking level would provide an additional 81 spaces.
The project is being developed by Chicago based developer Core Spaces. The design architects for the building are Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture of Chicago, with Portland based Myhre Group Architects acting as consulting architects. Portland based Lango Hansen are acting as the landscape architects.
The project will be located on a full block site in the South Auditorium plan district of Downtown. The site is currently used for surface car parking, and is owned by the Downtown Development Group, a company controlled by the Goodman family. The block is immediately adjacent to the Halprin Open Space Sequence, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The proposed building is arranged as a 15 story L-shaped tower, with the massing oriented to the two major streets of SW 4th and Harrison. A lower townhome volume faces onto the two pedestrian streets to the north and east.
According to the developer, the building will “have wide appeal including recent graduates and young professionals, families [and] empty-nesters.” Amenities shown on the drawings include an outdoor courtyard with a hot tub at level 2; a roof terrace with bocce ball court, a fire pit and a barbeque at level 4; and a roof deck with a hot tub and a swimming pool at level 15.
Proposed materials for the building include a structurally glazed window wall system with aluminum slab edge covers at the upper portion of south and west elevations. The rest of the building is proposed to be primarily clad with metal panels and inset windows.
A Staff Report And Recommendation To The Design Commission [PDF], published before the December 3rd hearing, did not yet recommend approval for the project. Issues identified by the staff report included: the overall massing of the project, which was noted as still pushing the limits of the site at the project’s 4th DAR; the quality of the ground level; the façade composition, including the number of materials and quality of the mechanical system screening; and miscellaneous information & details still required. At the time of publication of the report 8 letters of concern or opposition had been received, citing such as the overall scale of the project, the impacts to traffic on Harrison and the impacts to the historic Halprin designed landscaping. 5 members of the public testified in opposition to the project at the public hearing, while 2 people spoke in general support but with specific concerns.
By the end of the 3 hour long hearing, the largest issues of concern to the Design Commission related to the lower three levels of the building, and in particular the interaction of the building with the pedestrian trail system. The Commissioners presented supported the residential townhome units facing the Halprin sequence, but felt that the articulation of the units was not there yet. The quality of the entrance into the supermarket from the pedestrian trail was also of concern, with a worry that the entry one floor below the main floor of the grocer would be dead space.
4th & Harrison is currently scheduled to return for a second Design Review hearing on February 4th.