This is an updated version of a post originally published on August 31st, 2016.
Construction is underway on a mixed use tower at NW 14th & Glisan. The 16 story, 174′ tall building by Ankrom Moisan Architects for developer Holland Partner Group will include 230 residential units and 6,359 sq ft of ground level retail. A property tax exemption approved by the City Council in 2016 will allow for 20% of the units in the building to be affordable to households earning no more than 80 percent of median family income. 4 levels of below-grade parking will provide room for 206 vehicles and 362 bicycles.
The half block site at 1430 NW Glisan St was most recently occupied by a strip mall built in 1983. Retailers at the site included Audio Geeks, City Laundry Northwest / Pearl District Cleaners, and Fast Signs. The developer gained additional Floor Area Ratio allowance by transferring FAR from a surface parking directly to the north. The parking lot was formerly in the same ownership as the Premier Press building, which was previously planned to be significantly expanded and remodeled as part of the 1440 Hoyt project. That development was cancelled when the Premier Press building was sold to Mill Creek Residential Trust, who intend to construct the Modera Glisan on the site. The surface parking is currently being used as a construction staging area, and will ultimately be developed as a pocket park.
The 16 story building is conceived a solid base that responds to the warehouses at the western edge of the Pearl, which gradually transitions into a glassier tower form as it rises. Since the first Design Advice Review hearing the massing has been broken down at its eastern edge, near the 13th Avenue Historic District, in order to respond to a purpose statement in the Zoning Code that encourages “step downs to historical districts”.
The primary material for the tower will be Equitone glass fiber reinforced concrete panels, with concealed fasteners at levels 1 to 5 and exposed fasteners at levels 6 to 15. Other materials include composite metal panel, fiberglass windows, aluminum window wall, aluminum storefronts, and glass railings.
The 16th floor will be used entirely for amenity functions. An indoor amenity area will have floor to ceiling glazing, with views to the south, west and north. A wrap around terrace will offer views in all directions.
The former parking lot across NW Glisan will be converted into a parklet, designed by Lango Hansen. The design includes wood benches, cube benches, bike racks, trees, and a screen fence at the western edge. Lango Hansen are also acting as the landscape architect for the Modera Glisan, which will be built on the rest of the block (by Mill Creek Residential Trust). While the parklet will remain in separate ownership from the adjacent buildings, common design elements will be used on both sites in order to create a cohesive development.
1430 NW Glisan was approved by the Design Commission on August 25th 2016, following previous Design Advice hearings held in January and March 2016. A majority of the Commission praised the building, noting that it had significantly improved since the earlier iterations of the design shown to them. The sole member of the Commission who objected to the building was Commissioner Savinar, who was concerned about how the unbroken massing at the western edge of the building could reinforce the barrier created by the freeway. In the Final Findings and Decision by the Design Commission the project was found to have a “strong grid vocabulary” with an “upward momentum”:
The proposed building features a strong grid vocabulary that plays off the historic and vintage warehouse typology in a contemporary way. The grid is composed of horizontal bands that become narrower as they ascend and vertical columns that vary in width and also become narrower as they reach toward the top of the building. The result has an upward momentum that gives the building a certain grace not found in the older sturdier brick and concrete warehouses.
During the hearing a number of Commissioners had concerns about the parklet as originally proposed, and added a condition requiring the parklet to go through a follow up Type II Design Review. The design for the parklet was approved by Bureau of Development Services staff in March 2017, who noted in their decision that the parklet will be activated by the adjacent buildings:
The proposed parklet design is significantly improved from the concept design approved as part of the prior land use review. The proposed design is now designed to be integrated with the adjacent development’s courtyard design and the parklet has the potential to be activated at its northern and eastern edges with openings in the adjacent commercial buildings. Notably, the west side of the parklet has a more significant and layered landscape buffer than the previous
version which will help to mitigate the aural and visual impacts of the I-405 freeway. The parklet will be accessible to the public during the daylight hours and will provide a sense of security due to the proposed nighttime lighting and visual connections from the adjacent developments.
Demolition of the existing structures on site began in March 2017.
This is a cheap knockoff of Hacker’s Pearl West building two blocks away. But where the Pearl West excels in simplicity of form, this building’s arbitrary and convoluted massing result in an incoherent design. I’m very skeptical about Holland Partner Group developing office space in the Pearl – considering the low quality housing they’ve developed in the suburbs.
The design commission required a “step down” to the NW 13th Avenue Historic District and that is what is driving the arbitrary massing on the East elevation. Also the program is a residential apartment tower with ground floor retail–no office. But I do agree this design lacks the simple elegance Hacker accomplished with Pearl West. This building is too tall for its context and the commission should have never approved the height bonus given the park-let site the FAR was transferred from will likely be unsuccessful and it’s public benefit weak at best. However they are providing some “affordable” housing so I think the commission gave them a pass. It remains to be seen what will become of this intersection when the Mill Creek project across the street is built out. 500 new apartments plus a significant amount of retail/restaurant space located at already challenged intersection will be something to see if our small block/right of way format can handle the density increase.
Too tall for what context? It’s in the city center within blocks of several similarly sized buildings. This is the one area of our entire city where density is appropriate — and essential. P.S. We have a housing shortage. Less density in the Pearl and Downtown only shifts the burden to clogged East Side neighborhoods (you know, the ones that haven’t been showered with millions in infrastructure improvements like Max and steeetcar).
Yes, a housing shortage, but a glut of expensive residential. You can build all the overpriced housing you want in this area and it will have zero impact on development in places like South East, since people moving there are moving for the neighborhood, not the lack of options in NW. Everywhere else, they’re moving because that’s where they can afford. We can build a million units in NW and if the prices stay high, that will do the housing shortage no good.
People do move to specific neighborhoods for their character and lifestyle, and that includes many who actually want to live in the city center. Unfortunately for many, it is becoming less and less financially feasible, and they end up living in neighborhoods where rents are lower. A building like this provides additional supply for the high end where rents are finally leveling off. We need a diversity of new housing options throughout the region–just building in the core is not going to solve the housing crises–but increasing supply in all areas, including the high end, is part of the solution.
From these drawings and renderings I think it looks great for a 150-200′ apartment-over-retail building. The step down and narrowing to the east add quite a bit of visual interest. It’s pretty conventional, but I like the design.
This building and the Modera Glisan will definitely have a transformative impact on the area. Looking forward to having 4 fewer surface parking lots at that intersection. Also was glad to see recently that Pearl District Cleaners landed in a new spot one block south, on Flanders, next to Khao San.
Really, one of the things that should be done here by PBOT/ODOT is to close off the access to NW 15th from Glisan on the north side (adjacent to the pocket park and Modera Glisan), and tighten up the on-ramp access from Glisan. Doing so would provide huge safety benefits for everyone, and those few wishing to go north into the Pearl District from south of Glisan could use 14th one block east. It could possibly allow that little segment of NW 15th to host food carts, or even just be a stubby on-street parking area. Either way, clarifying all the vehicle traffic heading north there onto the freeway would make everything more predictable and less confusing.
That section of 15th between Everett and Glisan should also be 1-way northbound to accommodate traffic “looping around” to Glisan from I-405 SB. Future construction on the Flanders bike bridge is going to close Flanders at 16th so traffic can’t cut across diagonally.
Also, they need to realign the intersection going Northbound on 14th across Glisan, because right now it is a total CF (the lanes are misaligned and everyone just does what they want).
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