Design Commission approves SW 4th & Grant apartments (images)

The Design Commission has approved an apartment development at SW 4th & Grant by Snohomish, WA based developer Kōz Development. The 6 story building would include 108 studio apartments units. 20% of the units, or 22 units total, will be affordable to those earning less than 60% of area Median Family Income, subject to the Portland Housing Bureau approving the developer’s application for a tax exemption.

2211 SW 4th Ave

The project site is a triangular lot at 2211 SW 4th Ave. The site is currently used as surface parking. 23 car parking spaces at the ground level of the building will be maintained for the use of a nearby branch of Chase Bank.

2211 SW 4th Ave

The building is arranged an “L” shape, with the open face of the “L” facing I-405. At the corner of SW 4th and Grant the project will include a 1,105 sq ft retail space. In change from the design first presented at Design Review, a 700 sq ft retail space will be located at the triangular corner of SW 4th Ave and I-405. Since the first hearing triangular metal balconies were also added at the building’s acute angle corners.

2211 SW 4th Ave

2211 SW 4th Ave

Primary materials for the building include board formed concrete, brick, corrugated metal and VPI vinyl window systems.

2211 SW 4th Ave

2211 SW 4th Ave

2211 SW 4th Ave

2211 SW 4th Ave


The project went before the Design Commission four times in total: once for Design Advice in June 2015; for an initial Design Review hearing in June 2016; for a second hearing in July 2016; and for its final hearing on August 4th 2016, at which it was approved by 3-0 vote, with one abstention. No members of the public provided written or oral comments at any of the project’s Design Review hearings. In the conclusion to the Final Findings And Decision By The Design Commission [PDF] the project was found to have met the Design Guidelines:

The design review process exists to promote the conservation, enhancement, and continued vitality of areas of the City with special scenic, architectural, or cultural value.

Over the course of redesign since the June 16, 2016, July 21, 2016 and August 4, 2016 Design Commission hearings, several issues related to massing, building skin contextual response and coherency, ground floor activation, and permanence and quality of materials have been adequately addressed.

As described in the findings above, the design guidelines are met and the project warrants approval with the Conditions of Approval as noted below.

Building permits will need to be obtained before work can begin on the apartments at 2211 SW 4th Ave.


10 thoughts on “Design Commission approves SW 4th & Grant apartments (images)

  1. inwe & toddles,

    What do you make of the apartments next to I-405 being built in the Pearl? And of the Madison tower built in the late 1960s or early ’70s just three blocks east of this new building and very much near the freeway?

    • These overlook the freeway…no blocks between them and the hillside that leads down into the road… and I hate the ones in the Pearl too. I am avidly against residential complexes being built near massive roadways.

  2. I walk next to this construction every day and still cannot fathom who thought building apartments here — they are practically on the freeway meaning: noise pollution, air pollution, and more…It is loud there even when the traffic is light. Great views…of the freeway, the homeless camps, did I mention the freeway?

  3. S, I live three blocks from this construction in one of the American Plaza Towers condominiums. I do agree with you that the freeway can be noisy and that there are some homeless tents in the area. But that is not all. It appears that of the 23 units average on each floor, nine (40%) do face in the direction of the freeway, yet 14 (60%) face 4th Avenue or Lincoln Street. This means that far fewer of these living units actually face the freeway than the Madison Tower, which rises 22 stories and was built in 1973. The question your comments suggest is a reasonable one: why would anyone in their right mind live there?

    I think there are at least four reasons. First, with careful construction and proper glazing, most highway noise can be kept out. Second, there is far more to see looking southwest than the freeway, which is below grade; there are the West Hills with all their trees and houses. Third, there is location: proximity to the Yellow Max Line, to numerous bus stops, to the Portland State, to the many eateries and businesses around PSU that cater to the student budgets, to Downtown, and to the beautiful Park Blocks. And fourth, there will probably be affordability. The majority of these units are studios and are likely to be priced to appeal to PSU students. Living here will mean not needing a car to get to college, and not needing to negotiate public transportation to and from school.

    Evidently, you area able to live somewhere with better views than these units will afford, as am I, but I have lived in rentals on major thoroughfares because they were priced right and I couldn’t afford better. I was thankful such opportunities existed and would not begrudge those developers who offer similar opportunities for others. No one is forced to live in such places. I think it will be interesting to visit apartments in this building once its done to actually experience what its like.

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