The first new housing development constructed in the Lower Burnside area in nearly two decades.
The rehabilitation of a shuttered hotel in Portland's Old Town/Chinatown into a college for oriental medicine that is helping revitalize the neighborhood.
A mixed-use student housing development that adds more than 980 beds to the Portland State University campus to meet the needs of a rapidly growing student community.
Three projects in three corners of the Portland region – Northeast, Northwest and Southwest – opened in October with investment from Metro's Transit-Oriented Development Program.
Metro's TOD program provides incentives, primarily in the form of modest funding grants, to private developers to build mixed-use, higher density housing and retail projects near transit.
Central Eastside Lofts
Reclaimed wood from the apartment buildings that previously occupied the site is used for shelving and other interior design features.
Central Eastside Lofts, located on the corner of Northeast Couch Street and Sixth Avenue in the Lower Burnside area, was still an active construction site at the end of the first week of October, despite seven signed leases and an Oct. 20 target date for the first tenant move-in.
The four- and five-story market rate housing development offers 70 units of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments and lofts, plus 10 ground floor retail/offices spaces.
"The development is a flagship for the area," said Josh Ring, construction supervisor for the project with Bremik Construction. "Everyone – architects and developers – is watching to see how it rents out."
The project started four years ago but was sidelined for two by the impact of the recession. "I started to turn a partially torn down apartment building into a new development and woke up one day to find it had become much more expensive than I anticipated," said Brad Fowler, project developer with Fowler/Andrews LLC. "(Metro) stepped in and helped bridge the gap."
The development, located just a half block from the new Eastside Portland Streetcar line on Grand Avenue, is anticipated to increase transit ridership and generate more than $500,000 in fare revenues over the next 30 years.
Metro's TOD program invested $300,000 in the project that is estimated to create more than 100 jobs and spur approximately $17 million in total spending in the three-county Portland region during and after construction. Today, Central Eastside Lofts has 12 of the 70 residential units rented and two of the 10 commercial spaces leased to a hair salon and an art gallery.
The Oregon College of Oriental Medicine occupies the 100-year-old Globe Hotel building, refurbished to LEED Gold building standards.
Oregon College of Oriental Medicine
To ensure the building's ability to attract positive Qi – energy – into the space, a specialist in the Chinese art of feng shui reviewed the renovation designs for the 100-year-old building.
So it naturally follows that the grand opening of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine should start with dancing dragons and a Great Compassion Qigong Ceremony.
Formerly the Globe Hotel and the Import Plaza at different points in its history, the proximity of the new home of the OCOM at 88 NW Davis St. in Old Town/Chinatown to the Mercy Corp education center and University of Oregon's White Stag Block creates a teaming education hub within a two-block radius.
The grand opening marked the conclusion of a year-long process of renovating the structure – including reusing 75 percent of existing walls, floors and wood – to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification standard. Building features that encourage walking and bike commutes by students and clinic practitioners include covered bike storage, changing rooms and showers.
The new school location will accommodate the college's 60 full-time and 95 part-time program staff and faculty, and 265 full-time graduate students. Within steps of both bus and light rail lines, the project is expected to generate 164 additional trips per day and nearly 60,000 additional trips per year, resulting in $2.3 million in additional fare revenues over the next 30 years.
In addition to housing master- and doctoral-level graduate programs in oriental medicine, the college treats patients at clinics on campus and in the community, bringing an affordable health care option to the neighborhood's underserved and aging population.
Metro invested $170,000 in the project.
The student beds-per-acre ratio at University Pointe is 85 percent greater than other recent student housing construction.
University Pointe at College Station
Adding 900-plus beds to Portland State University's inventory of student housing boosts PSU's capacity to meet the needs of a growing campus and makes University Pointe at College Station the highest density project in Metro's TOD program portfolio.
By providing $500,000 in funding to offset demolition costs of existing structures on the site, Metro helped clear the way for a private firm, American Campus Communities, to develop the property.
University Pointe leveraged more than $120 million in spending in the region during and after construction. The project supported more than 700 jobs including those created from construction activity, by workers spending locally earned wages, and as a result of new resident spending after construction.
"University Pointe brings together a remarkable set of assets," said Metro Councilor Barbara Roberts after the opening. "Fabulous students, a beautiful new building, the environmental commitment the building demonstrates, light rail and bus stops, and over 1,300 parking spaces for bicycles. It demonstrates what it means to have vision and a commitment to long range planning."
The project, located between Southwest Fifth and Sixth avenues and Jackson and College streets, helps support the university's goal to transition from a largely commuter campus to a more balanced and traditional campus. However, residents don't have to attend school to live in the development.
The 16-story high rise includes approximately 283 apartments, 15,000 square feet of ground floor commercial space, two new Yellow and Green Line MAX stations, 1,337 parking spaces for bikes, but no off-street parking for cars.