Design Advice has been offered for the redevelopment of the 4.97 acre Pepsi Bottling plant site on NE Sandy Blvd. The Pepsi Blocks masterplan is being designed by Mithun for Security Properties, both based in Seattle. Five new buildings of up to 120′ are proposed, providing residential units, retail space, offices, live-work space and below grade parking. The project will required to comply with the city’s Inclusionary Housing policies, which require either 8% of units to be affordable to people earning 60% of area median income or 15% affordable to people earning 80% of area median income.
The site at 2505 NE Pacific Street includes the superblock bound by NE Holladay Street, NE 27th Ave, NE Oregon St and NE 25th Ave, as well as a half block parcel at NE Pacific St and 27th Ave. The site is known for the 1962 pavilion structure, designed by Scott & Payne architects. The building was surveyed as part of City of Portland’s 1984 Historic Resources Inventory, and assigned Rank II, indicating that it may be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
The superblock will be broken down by the extension of NE Pacific through the site as a woonerf. Buildings A and B, between NE Oregon St and NE Pacific St, would be built as part of the first phase of the development. The two buildings would include 335 residential units and 28,500 sq ft of retail, and rise to a maximum height of 87′. The Phase I buildings would provide the entire affordable housing obligation for the site. The main vaulted portion of the mid-century building would be retained, with the sidecar element removed to create a new plaza space facing NE Sandy Blvd.
Buildings C, D and E, between NE Pacific Stand NE Holladay St, would be developed as part of a later phase of the Pepsi Blocks. These buildings could rise to a maximum height of 120′. The second phase would also include a privately owned but accessible park fronting onto NE Pacific St.
The 1962 pavilion is currently surrounded by concrete warehouse structures, built at later dates. Under the proposal the building would be daylit on all sides, with new pedestrian connections created along its west and north facades. A pass-through at level 1 of Building A would create a pedestrian connection from NE Sandy Blvd to NE Pacific St.
Went in front of the Design Commission for its first Design Advice hearing on July 12th, 2018, where it was generally well received by the Commission. Most of the discussion centered on the public spaces, with Commissioners split about whether a plaza facing Sandy Blvd could be successful. The project is currently set to return in front of the Commission for a second advisory hearing on September 12th, where the conversation is expected to focus more on the design of the individual buildings.
In order to earn the proposed building heights the site will be required to go in front of the Design Commission for a Type III Planned Development Review. The individual buildings in the masterplan will also be subject to Design Review.
Full disclosure: the author of Next Portland submitted testimony in advance of the Design Advice Hearing, on behalf of Docomomo Oregon.