New Gateway building design revealed

See which design is preferred – the one that will become the new Human Solutions headquarters and apartments, fronting the new Gateway Discovery Park …

Neighbors and businesspeople take a look at the preferred alternative building design to be constructed at the edge of a new outer East Portland park in the Hazelwood neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On May 7, politicians, dignitaries, and neighbors gathered along NE Halsey Street at 106th Avenue to break ground for the long-awaited Gateway Discovery Park. [CLICK HERE to read about it.]

Done, along with planning the park, was creating a plan for a mixed-use structure that would front NE Halsey Street.

After vetting three alternatives with a variety of audiences, the preferred alternative was chosen, and divulged during an open house at IRCO on November 16.

Showing the preferred design alternative for the project is Human Solutions Director of Housing Andrea Sanchez.

“What we’ve heard is that most participants prefer ‘Option C’ over the other two,” revealed Human Solutions Director of Housing Andrea Sanchez.

“They were looking for a quality project with high-quality materials designed for low maintenance – and one that included a very active retail space that brings the community in to it,” Sanchez told East Portland News.

The plans, “as drawn” as Sanchez said, include 40 units of “affordable” housing and 38 units of “market rate” housing. “The number of units will go up and down as we refine the project, and will include studio apartments, and one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.”

The building will also house the consolidated Human Solutions headquarters offices, as well as retail space.

At an open house, attendees are encouraged to leave feedback about the new development’s design.

Some of the concerns expressed about the overall project along the way have included:

  • Questions about “affordable housing” policy objectives in the City of Portland’s processes;
  • How this development will actively combat market pressures of gentrification and displacement;
  • How property taxes will be assessed on the various elements of the project.
  • Details of long-term property management, including enforcement of parking restrictions at the development’s parking lot.

 

Here looking at the options is neighbor Len Stanley, who tells Human Solutions Project Manager Mary-Rain O’Meara, “I was at first kind of resistant, but I do like the plan now.

“I think they’ve done a good job of listening to the concerns of the community, and integrating those in the design,” said Parkrose Heights Neighborhood Association Chair Tom Badrick at the open house.

About the preferred alternative, Badrick said, “I think it’s a more interesting- looking building than the other options.

“It’s true, the building will block some of the view of the park from Halsey Street,” Badrick added. “But we’re not getting some one-story building with glass walls that lets people see all the way through to the park behind it. The decision to have a building in this space was decided long ago.”

Neighborhood leader Tom Badrick talks with Riverview Community Bank Vice President Dean Sterner.

About the building being able to solve tight rental housing in Gateway, Badrick commented, “There are needs for both low income housing, as well as market-rate housing. We do want to help people with low incomes; yet, at the same time, with its being located on a retail corridor, we also need residents who will be able to spend money at the shops.”

This drawing, on display at the open house, illustrates the new development – and its relationship to the park behind it.

Human Solutions Executive Director Andy Miller arrived at the open house, and said the organization was still gathering feedback as they approach the conclusion of the planning stage of the development.

“Right now, we are anticipating ground-breaking in late spring or summer,” Miller said. “Our next stage, after we submit the plans to the City of Portland and Portland Development Commission, is to finalize the financing and funding plan for the project.”

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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