815 W Burnside St Approved by Design Commission (images)

The Design Commisson has approved a mixed use building at 815 W Burnside St. The 7 story building is being designed by Ankrom Moisan Architecture for LMC Development, and will include 138 residential units, ground-floor commercial space, 50 below-grade parking spaces, and a rooftop outdoor deck. 214 bicycle parking stalls will be provided, split between 84 racks in ground floor bicycle rooms and 130 in-unit racks.

815 W Burnside St

The project will be located on the southern half of the Pearl District block bound by W Burnside St, NW Park Ave, NW Couch St and NW 9th Ave. The site was most recently occupied by a Firestone Tires shop. The northeast corner of the block is occupied by the Arthouse student housing, which was completed in 2013 on the site formerly occupied by Powell’s Technical Books.

815 W Burnside St

815 W Burnside St

815 W Burnside St is the first Central City development to be approved that is subject to the city’s Inclusionary Housing requirements, which were introduced in February 2017. The project will use the reconfiguration option in the zoning code, where the provision of affordable housing units is counted by bedroom, as a way to incentivize family units. The building will project 17 affordable bedrooms, in five 3-bedroom units and one 2-bedroom unit.

The primary material for the building will be high density fiber cement panels. Smaller öko skin planks will be used on the upper floors of the south façade facing W Burnside St. Larger equitone panels on the east, west and north façades, as well as at the ground floor facing W Burnside St. Other materials proposed include vinyl windows with a bronze finish at the upper floors, aluminum storefront at the ground level, and painted metal canopies.

815 W Burnside St

815 W Burnside St

815 W Burnside St

Before its Type III Design Review, 815 W Burnside had previously gone in front of the Design Commission three times, for Design Advice meetings in April, May and June 2018. The project was approved at its first full hearing, held on August 23rd, 2018. Commissioners Molinar, Rodriguez, Vallaster, Livingston, Clarke and Santner voted in favor of the project, while Commissioner Savinar voted against.

In the conclusion to the Final Findings and Decision by the Design Commission the project was found to serve as a “serve as a gateway building” to the Pearl District:

The proposed project will serve as a gateway building to the River District and the North Park Blocks. While it’s massing, ground floor rhythm and pedestrian-friendly, human scale design elements make it very much in keeping with surrounding buildings, the proposal succeeds in being a distinctive composition that will mark its unique place in the street grid and along two important corridors. The double height expression created by ganging the first and second floors creates a grand scale at the ground level is warranted along the major thoroughfare that is W Burnside and provides the formality appropriate to the Park Blocks.

The elevated volume provides a unified tapestry expression along W Burnside that terminates in large, expressive oriel projections facing east and west. The unique shift in block structure at W Burnside and the Park Blocks called for a SE corner that would be highlighted. The glassy projecting oriel on the east side achieves this, adding drama at the gateway to the North Park Blocks. At the ground level the building provides large windows for retail spaces and its apartment lobby on Park Ave, with good visual connections between the building and the street.

The building is pulled back from the street lot line at entry doors to allow exterior door swing, and to provide seating opportunities between the building and sidewalk creating a transitional area for building entries. Stepping back creates an area along the frontage zone that could be treated as semi-public space and utilized for outdoor dining or seating associated with the active ground floor uses. Per the River District Guidelines, “sidewalks on blocks facing the adjacent Park Blocks are envisioned as patios surrounding the park, a place for sidewalk cafes and other activities which enhance the pedestrian atmosphere.” Setting back along the east frontage to create semi-private outdoor space facing the Park Blocks helps the building engage in the patio motif.

The parking and loading area is in the best location possible for this site, away from W Burnside and the Park Blocks. The size of the vehicle access area has been minimized as much as feasible, and the west façade is not overwhelmed with space dedicated to these uses. The single loading bay coiling door and service hallway door are modest in scale, and oriented to the mid-block on the western side of the site. On the north wall, wrapping the equitone frame and incorporating metal panels to match keeps the end wall composition from being too busy, but also allows it to maintain continuity with the adjacent elevations

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


4 thoughts on “815 W Burnside St Approved by Design Commission (images)

  1. I can’t say that the image with the people out front at the café tables is convincing. It’s a very cold, hard exterior. If this image was supposed to be a sails pitch, it didn’t convince me. Of course, I know this area, and it is a bit dingy, it’s quite loud because of the traffic on Burnside, and those measly trees don’t help much. I don’t know why so many new buildings are given such cold exteriors, especially in a climate like ours. At least we’re getting more housing, I guess. I still wish aesthetic standards were higher.

    • Yes, 9th Ave maybe, but I don’t see sidewalk cafe seating being a thing along that part of Burnside. Especially as the other side of the street is a cold sheer granite wall with very narrow sidewalk.

    • I certainly agree that the ground floor of the building could look more friendly, though, to be fair, renderings do not always do justice to the aesthetics of the surface material. And that stretch of Burnside is certainly busy with traffic. In fact, for much of West Burnside, the sidewalks are narrow and lack the buffer of parked cars between traffic and pedestrians. It was for this reason that I thought that the street could never attract many walkers. But I was wrong. Developments north of this project have successfully activated the street, attracting foot traffic. I think there is hope for the corner depicted in the rendering, especially since the seating shown faces the park. But I agree that trees with a more generous canopy would go a long ways in making people more comfortable outside.

  2. I agree that Burnside is not an optimal place for outside seating. However, it’s just a rendering; obviously no one knows what type of business will lease the space. In terms of Burnside being noisy. Umm … It’s a building in downtown, that’s one of the aspects of living downtown, anywhere. After living in NY and SF, the noise on E Burnside pails in comparison to those two cities. Example: I lived on Avenue A and East 4th St in the East Village during the 1980s; now that was f–king noisy.

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