The first Design Review hearing had been held for the Holst Architecture designed redevelopment of the Lloyd Cinemas parking lot. The project at 1400 NE Multnomah would include 677 apartments, 12 live-work units, and approximately 37,780 sq ft of ground level retail. 536 parking spaces will be located on the site, with 438 spaces dedicated for residents and 98 spaces provided to service the retail uses. 1304 long term and 50 short term bicycle parking spaces will be provided. The project is being developed by a consortium of developers, that includes California based Bob Bisno and Dan Palmer.
The project will be located on the existing parking lot of the Regal Cinemas Lloyd Center 10 & IMAX. The cinema will remain open in the immediate future, with cinema patrons able to use the existing parking in the Lloyd Center. A future second phase of the redevelopment, conceptually presented at the second and third Design Advice Requests, could be constructed on the site currently occupied by the cinema itself.
The primary exterior finish materials for the development will be Öko skin concrete panels, in a gradient color scheme. Other materials proposed include brick, metal composite panels, wood, weathering steel, aluminum storefront glazing and vinyl windows.
Since the first Design Advice Request hearing, held almost a year ago, the project has been arranged with a diagonal pedestrian pathway dividing the site, which would link the MAX stop to the Sullivan’s Gulch neighborhood. Two large sinuous buildings, oriented to the southeast and northwest corners of the site, would be located on either side of the pathway. The architects, working with landscape architecture firm 2.ink Studio, envision a series of distinct moments throughout the development. These include the Park Terrace, the Plaza, a Maker Hub, and the Multnomah Gateway, all of which would be linked by the granite paved pedestrian walkway.
The Park Terrace, fronting onto NE 13th Ave, would be the first space encountered when approaching the development from the MAX. The terrace would be activated by retail spaces, micro restaurants and a secondary entry into the southeast building.
Located at the intersection of the pedestrian way and a private drive aligned with NE Hassalo St, the Plaza would include picnic table style seating for the micro restaurants, a “digital art wall” and a walkable water feature. The main lobby and entry to the southeast building will be located at the plaza.
The Maker Hub would be located adjacent to a series of live/work units, which will have large roll up style garage doors facing the pedestrian walk.
The pedestrian pathway ends at the Multnomah Gateway, near the intersection of NE Multnomah and NE 15th Ave. Retail spaces will flank the termination of the pathway, with movable seating provided between the sidewalk and the commercial spaces. The Gateway will also include a linear water feature.
Both NE Multnomah and NE 13th will have nearly continuous retail along the block faces. The main entry to the northwest building will face NE Multnomah St. A green wall is proposed at the ground level facing the MAX tracks.
At the time of publication of the Staff Report and Recommendation to the Design Commission [PDF] five letters of support had been received for the project, including one from American Assets Trusts, developers of the nearby Hassalo on Eighth and Oregon Square developments. The report, published before the June 30th Design Review hearing, did not yet recommend approval. The largest concern expressed by staff in the report was about the sameness of the architecture and form, across such a large site. During the question period of the hearing Commission Chair Wark expressed similar thoughts:
You’ve got a south elevation facing a MAX line and the freeway. On the other side of that you’ve got it facing the largest open space you’ve got, the main plaza. And then you’ve got a series of the same kind of walls facing west, and north, and east. And then a series of different courtyards, and series of different orientations throughout the project. But every one is the same? Is there an opportunity to add balconies, or different kinds of openings, that would embrace the immediate surroundings, and would allow for more interaction between the units and open space?
Commissioner Savinar raised concerns about whether it would be possible to achieve the gradient pattern on the facades, and about whether the budget for public art would be sufficient. Despite these issues, there was a general consensus from the Commission that the project had evolved significantly since it was last presented. The project is expected to return in front of the Design Commission on August 4th.