Design Advice has been offered for the first phase of in the Pepsi Blocks, part of a nearly five acre masterplan which was approved in 2018. Phase IA will include an eight-story, 85’ tall building with approximately 200 residential units (including 80 bedrooms of affordable housing); 16,000 sq ft of retail space; two levels of below-grade parking for over 200 vehicles and 260 bicycles; the restoration of the existing mid-century bow truss Pepsi pavilion building; a publicly accessible plaza; and portions of a woonerf along NE Pacific St. The project is being designed by Mithun for Security Properties.
The masterplan boundaries include 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 first phase will be located at the corner of NE Sandy and 27th.
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 L-shaped residential building will wrap around the retained 1962 pavilion , with new pedestrian “mews” connections created between the pavilion and the new construction. A pass-through at level 1 would create a pedestrian connection from NE Sandy Blvd to NE Pacific St. Ground floor retail units will face both NE Oregon St and NE 27th Ave, with the balance of the ground floor occupied by work/live units, townhouse units, and residential lobby and amenity space.
The main body of the pavilion will be converted to retail uses, with the potential for the structure to be leased to one large tenant or multiple smaller tenants.
The pavilion’s sidecar element will be removed to create a new publicly accessible plaza. The intersection of NE Oregon St and NE Sandy will be realigned so that the two meet at a 90 degree angle, shortening crossing distances for pedestrians.
The existing facades on the pavilion building will be removed and replaced with a pattern of transparent and opaque glazing panels, based on the original design concepts for the structure. New entries to the pavilion from the plaza will be created.
Exterior materials for the residential building are not yet indicated, but could include stucco or metal.
The Pepsi Blocks Phase IA went in front of the Design Commission for an optional Design Advice meeting on May 23rd, 2019. As noted in a summary memo, Commission feedback was largely positive:
The Commission supported the proposed design direction. The simple massing with punched openings serves as an excellent backdrop for the existing Pavilion. The design direction for the plaza and woonerf are consistent with the Planned Development approval and the Community Design Guidelines.
The project has now been submitted for a Type III Design Review and will need to go in front of the Design Commission at a public hearing to gain approval.
Full disclosure: the author of Next Portland submitted testimony in advance of the Design Advice meeting, on behalf of Docomomo Oregon.