NW 13th & Johnson Apartments Approved (images)

The Design Commission has approved a mixed use building at NW 13th Ave & Johnson St, designed by TVA Architects. The 7 story building for developer Paul Properties is proposed to include 58 apartments units over approximately 3,000 sq ft of retail space. Long term parking for 89 bicycles is proposed. No vehicular parking is proposed.

NW 13th & Johnson

The site at 1319 NW Johnson is currently occupied by a single story warehouse, built in 1942 and currently used by Nossa Familia Coffee. The roughly 1/8 of block site is directly adjacent to the recently renovated Stagecraft Building, and across the street from the under construction Block 136 office, residential and retail development. The site is just outside the boundaries of the NW 13th Ave Historic District, which terminates at NW Johnson St.

The primary material for the building will be a dark grey brick. Other materials proposed include ribbed metal panel, smooth metal panel, perforated metal panel at the projecting balconies, sliding wood storefronts and aluminum clad wood windows.

NW 13th & Johnson

NW 13th & Johnson

NW 13th & Johnson

In keeping with the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s River District Right of Way Standards, the building will have a raised dock along NW 13th Ave instead of a traditional sidewalk. The rebuilt dock will connect to the existing dock in front of the Stagecraft Building, occupied by Design Within Reach.

NW 13th & Johnson

NW 13th & Johnson

NW 13th & Johnson

NW 13th & Johnson

The NW 13th & Johnson apartment were approved at their first Design Review hearing, held on July 20th 2017, following earlier Design Advice Requests held in November and December 2016. In the Final Findings and Decision by the Design Commission the project was found to meet the guideline requiring that new construction complement the context of existing buidings:

Complement Context. The Pearl District is mixed in use and styles. The proposed building takes its cues from different eras of construction observed in the Pearl.

• The building complements the 13th Avenue Historic District in massing, opening proportions and material.

• Interpreted with modern details, the building also repeats design elements that are common to the Historic District’s design vocabulary, such as a loading dock with canopy and human-scaled light steel elements like railings and canopies.

• The base of the building takes cues from successful adaptive reuse and new construction in the area, such as pervasive glazing and raised loading docks.

Building permits will need to be obtained before construction can begin.

Full disclosure: the author of Next Portland is employed by TVA Architects.


10 thoughts on “NW 13th & Johnson Apartments Approved (images)

  1. I really hope this doesn’t set the trend for urban housing in Portland. Tiny units at premium rents/sf are no doubt a legit niche product, one hopes that they don’t set the tone for investors looking get the highest roi. Some of these are fine, but I don’t believe it’s good in the long term for the housing stock to skew too far in this direction.

  2. Considering that 1/3 of Portland households are a single person, and another 1/3 are 2 persons, there should be plenty of demand for smaller units.

    • building nothing but these places does a huge disservice to the city. What happens a few years down the road? People get married and start families. Hopefully they won’t have to leave Portland when they do. And hopefully Portland won’t box itself in with only micro studios.

      • Well, the vast majority of housing in the region is still single-family homes. While I agree that we shouldn’t build ONLY these types of units, at the moment, they’re definitely filling a hole in the market that has been woefully underserved, and furiously playing catch-up to that demand. Of course we should be building units for families, too, but that should be IN ADDITION TO, not INSTEAD OF. This city needs housing of all types so that people who want to live in smaller units like this can do so instead of being forced to pile into the larger, family-style housing stock.

      • These buildings that are predominantly studios should be designed to easily be converted to 1- and 2-bedroom apartments in the future. Layouts of kitchens and bathrooms need to be carefully considered so that the conversions can be done with the least difficulty.

        • I really like that idea, DMH. I could see some of these buildings being constructed as primarily studio/1br, and eventually being converted to condos with 1-2brs. What a way to have flexibility on Portland’s future housing needs!

  3. I appreciate that the retail and lobby main entrances appear to be on Johnson, since I imagine relying on the adjacent property owner to provide ADA access to the building via a ramp up the dock would have been problematic.

    I do look forward to seeing how this plays off against the poorly named “Heartline” across the street.

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