Modera Buckman goes before Design Commission (images)

An initial Design Review hearing has been held for the Modera Buckman, a proposed 7-story development in the Central Eastside. The building, by Leeb Architects for developer Mill Creek Residential Trust, will include 189 residential units and 9,680sf of ground floor retail space. Parking for 88 vehicles is proposed in a below grade parking garage. Long term parking for 271 bicycles is proposed, with 106 spaces in a secure bike room and the remaining spaces provided in the units.

Modera Buckman

The 26,000 sq ft project site at 909 SE 12th is immediately to the east of the under construction Goat Blocks development. The site is currently occupied by low rise garage buildings, shown on city records as having been built in 1957 and 1985.

The bar shaped building would reach a height of 7 stories, with 5 levels of wood framed construction over 2 levels of concrete frame. Until recently wood frame buildings in Oregon have been restricted to 6 stories by the state building code. Under changes made to the 2015 edition of the International Building Code (IBC), upon which the state building code is based, 7 story wood buildings are now allowed. While this code update is not yet adopted by Oregon, the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services has recently started allowing this method of construction when approved through an appeal of the 2014 Oregon code currently in effect. The 2015 IBC is expected to form the basis of the 2018 Oregon code.

Modera Buckman

Exterior building materials proposed for the Modera Buckman include terracotta, five types of metal panel, concrete, concrete masonry units, aluminum storefronts, vinyl windows, steel and aluminum railings, and steel canopies.

Modera Buckman

Modera Buckman

Modera Buckman

Staff Report and Recommendation to the Design Commission, published before the November 17th Design Review hearing, did not yet recommend approval for the project. Concerns raised in the report, and shared by the Commission, included: the length of the building, which exceeds the 200′ length typically found in the Central City; the height as it relates to the lower density neighborhoods east of SE 12th Ave; the impact of the building on the adjacent Rachel Louise Hawthorne House, which is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places; and the facade composition.

The Modera Buckman is currently scheduled to return in front of the Design Commission for a second hearing on January 5th.


5 thoughts on “Modera Buckman goes before Design Commission (images)

  1. What an unfortunate building. I am not worried about the dimensions. However the facade and windows and obvious wall heat exchangers are depressing. We can do better, right?

    • I like floors 1-4, but starting at the 5th floor, everything goes sort of wrong. Nonetheless, I prefer even ugly mixed-use to a one story building with a surface parking lot.

  2. I actually kind of like it. I live very near here and go by this intersection all the time. This would be a great improvement what’s there. I don’t know why anyone’s complaining about the height. If it’s legal, let it be! How can they be worried about the “lower density” of the neighborhood directly to the east? They are aware that in the immediate vicinity there are several big apartment buildings four stories high, right, including to the east? They are high, and this building will be on a sloped block. Behind it is the goat block development, and across 12th avenue is an empty lot. Kitty-corner is the Ritzdorf apartments. This area is hardly low-density by any stretch of the imagination. This building would fit in fine. Yes, it’s bigger than much of what’s around at present, but it’s also new, the next phase of development for the area. Naturally, it will be (and should be) bigger than the old stuff. That’s how it goes when you redevelop an inner urban area generally speaking. I wish the planning people would quit talking about density and then chickening out when developers actually propose it in dense areas. It really is getting old. Maximize the use of the space you have if you don’t want additional sprawl. Also, the more people that live in the neighborhood, the more likely we’ll be to finally get some good grocery stores. I’m sick of going all the way to Hawthorne for everything (don’t mention Zupan’s, as they are rather pricey unlike Safeway or Freddy’s).

    • FYI Market of Choice will be moving into the Belmont side of Goat Blocks as an anchor tenant. So the grocery store will be coming regardless of what happens nearby at sites like this.

      • I can’t wait until the Goat Blocks development is complete. With their supermarket, hardware store, cider house, Russian restaurant, multiple micro-retail spaces, and pedestrian plazas, I’m probably going to be there everyday. It will be my closest supermarket once it opens, and I suspect a coffee shop will open up there too. This development will dramatically alter the dynamic of the entire area, and there are already two other developments under construction within a few blocks that will both contribute to and capitalize off of the increased foot traffic.

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