This week Next Portland had its fifth birthday. Since November 2014 we have published over a thousand posts, many of which are about projects that are now complete or under construction. Today, we wanted to look back at some of the unbuilt projects we’ve written about over the years.
Zidell Blocks 4 and 6
Lever Architecture presented Zidell Blocks 4 and 6 to the Design Commission at the Design Advice meeting in September 2015. The two office buildings were never submitted for Design Review, and the sites sit vacant today.
Oregon Casket Building
One of the first posts published on Next Portland was about SERA Architects’ proposal for a renovation and addition to the Whidden & Lewis-designed Oregon Casket Building. The building is still vacant today.
In October 2015 the Design Commission approved Holst Architecture’s proposal for a four story addition to the Premier Press Building on NW Hoyt. The building was later acquired by Mill Creek Residential Trust, whose Modera Glisan project in now under construction on the site.
MAC Block 7
In 2014 Multnomah Athletic Club proposed to build a parking garage and apartment building on the Block 7 site in Goose Hollow. The project would have required a rezoning by the City Council in order to allow the commercial parking use. The application was subsequently withdrawn and the full block site remains undeveloped.
Grand Belmont Tower
In 2015 Vallaster Corl architects proposed a 23-story tower at SE Grand and Belmont. Developer Urban Asset Advisors ultimately moved forward with a 7-story building, which is now complete.
In 2015 YBA Architects and Guardian Real Estate Services proposed a mixed use development on Front Ave with retail, an office building, apartments and townhouses. The Field Office by Hacker and Project^ is now complete on the site.
The YBA Architects proposal for Con-way Block 290, as presented to the Design Commission in 2015, would have seen a fully enclosed square built at NW 21st and Pettygrove. A revised scheme by LRS Architects was approved in 2017, but has been caught up in legal battles with the neighborhood.
Block 75 Phase II
A second phase to the Burnside Bridgehead Block 75 development would have include a 19-story tower designed by Works Progress Architecture. The project was never submitted for Design Review, and the site is still vacant. A Pre-Application Conference was recently held to discuss a proposal to build a 7-story hotel on the site.
In 2015 Solterra received Design Advice for their Strata proposal on N Williams. A revised proposal was submitted for Design Review and subsequently withdrawn. A building permit for the Zeal Lofts by Vibrant Cities and Jackson Main Architecture is currently “Approved to Issue”.
In 2015 the Design Commission approved the Woods by Solterra. The project was submitted for building permit review, but never built. A building permit for the VC Fargo by Vibrant Cities and Jackson Main Architecture is currently under review.
An 11-story proposal by YBA Architects, for a site at NW 18th and Northrup, was presented to the Design Commission in 2016. A revised proposal by GBD Architects was approved in 2017, but has not yet been submitted for building permit review. The existing buildings remain on the site.
Kaiser Block 80 Parking Garage
In 2016 ZGF Architects and Kaiser Permanente presented plans for an underground parking garage in the Lloyd District. Kaiser later moved forward with a renovation of the existing structure.
1500 SW Taylor
An 11-story building by SERA Architects at 1500 SW Taylor was approved by the Design Commission in 2017, but was never submitted for building permit review. A building permit is currently under review for a subsequent proposal by Leeb Architects.
South Waterfront Blocks 41, 42, 44 and 45
In 2017 the Design Commission approved proposals for South Waterfront Blocks 42 and 45 and Blocks 41 and 44, designed by GBD Architects and Jones Architecture. Neither proposal was submitted for building permit review. There is now a pending design review by Alamo Manhattan and HLR Architecture for the site.
The initial proposal for Oregon Square gained Design Commission approval in 2015. GBD Architects returned with a revised proposal for a phased project in 2016. The project was never submitted for building permit review. Site owner American Assets Trust is now refurbishing the existing low rise buildings on the site.
The initial proposal by Bora Architects and Killian Pacific. for the redevelopment of Lovejoy Square included the full block. It was subsequently scaled back to the southern half of the block only. The project was never submitted for building permit review. Current plans are to renovate the portion of the existing buildings that was occupied by Office Max.
Holst Architecture’s proposal for the redevelopment of the Lloyd cinemas parking lot would have added 677 apartment units to the Lloyd District. The project was approved and submitted for building permit review in 2016. The building permit application was withdrawn in 2019.
Grant Park Village Phase III
In 2016 a proposal for a third phase of Grant Park Village was presented to the Design Commission by Lenity Architecture. The project was never submitted for Design Review, and the site is still vacant.
In 2016 a proposal for the redevelopment of the Washington Center at SW 4th and Washington was submitted for Design Review by ZGF Architects and Greystar Real Estate Partners. The application was withdrawn before a hearing was held.
Living in the Hassalo on Eighth complex from 2015-2019, I had such high hopes for the Oregon Square project and especially the proposed Kaiser parking garage.
It is a total shame that Kaiser wasn’t forced to do something with the parking lot rather than refurbish it.
Why did so many of these fall away, especially the Lloyd District projects and the South Waterfront ones? I’ve always wondered.
Man oh man the byline would be such a place-making development. And the Woods by Solterra would’ve been such an iconic piece of architecture. We need more bold ideas like those and fewer glass boxes
Completely Agreed about Byline and The Woods!
The Woods I feel reminds me a little of Falling Water, and more building that incorporate a beautiful naturespace within are most welcome and fitting for the are.
Byline had some nice proportions and massing–it was a great/unique visual interest.
Let’s not forget Platform in terms of unbuilt projects (https://www.nextportland.com/2018/08/02/platform-dar-1/). I am really hoping they revitalize this one…Allied Works is probably my favorite firm in the city!
That Oregon Square one hurts. It would have greatly enhanced the Lloyd Districts skyline. Coming East from the Marquam Bridge it’s already pretty noticeable and that project would have really made it pop. Weird thing is it’s not like those rental units would have been empty Im sure 90% of it would have been full with this growing city. Wonder why they chicken’d out of it..
Just my opinion: I am actually kinda glad they didn’t go through with it. I think it was really unremarkable in many ways (and outside of Block 91, not very good looking). And I feel when you have a developer redeveloping a huge swaths of land, you want to have some sort of defining feature to make the entire composition interesting–and that was lacking in this project. The plaza was an attempt at this…but I feel like it was lacking, and in general, I don’t know if I have seen a Privately Owned Public Space (POPS) done well.
At least with Byline they made interesting pedestrian spaces more intimate and interesting.
I guess I tend to find strong connections between pedestrian spaces and plazas and streetfront stores makes for better spaces. I.e. there is a reason Director Park downtown is far nicer O’Bryant Square and I think the plaza facing businesses are a huge reason for that.
Back to the Lloyd: I obviously do hope they revitalize this whole area and built on the sad decrepit mall and parking lots… but we have dodged a bullet with Oregon Square.
I should note: looks like the Oregon Square plan would have had the public plaza surrounded by storefronts. But I think the fact remains that a POPS is not a great idea–there’s no sense of public ownership and this one would not have been super inviting (it’s essentially hidden).
That’s really interesting you think that Shimran I would love to talk to you about some development news in town. I always love your opinions. Text me at 503-379-6366
This is a great list, but I’m wondering whatever became of two other unbuilt projects in the Pearl: Carbon 12 and Fremont Place.
I think you mean Framework, not Carbon 12 (which is built). That got canceled in 2018 and would have been good to include here. Story here: https://www.opb.org/news/article/wooden-high-rise-downtown-portland/
Fremont Place now has a shoring, excavation and foundation permit under review: https://www.portlandmaps.com/detail/permit/2019-246252-FND-01-CO/4478251_did/?p=R699147