New Human Solutions building design revealed

See the “Preferred Design Alternative” for their new building to front the new Gateway Discovery Park in outer East Portland …

Interested residents come to an open house in the Hazelwood neighborhood and the Gateway District to learn more about the “Gateway Park project” building being undertaken by Human Solutions.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The new Human Solutions building is planned to front the “Gateway Park project” on NE Halsey Street at 106th Avenue – which began with “Community Visioning and Concept Development” sessions in 2016, and made its way through the design development process earlier this year.

The result of that process was set out for display and comment at an open house held at the Ride Connection offices on Wednesday evening, April 4.

Human Solutions Director of Housing Sarah Schubert shows an illustration of how the “Gateway Park project” will appear, after it’s built this summer.

“We started design development in January, after getting community input; and now that we are in schematic design, we wanted to bring it out to the community, so folks could see and react what we’ve done so far,” remarked Human Solutions Director of Housing Sarah Schubert.

“This is the Preferred Design Alternative that the community selected,” Schubert explained. “In this building there are 75 total units of housing, with 40 of them being affordable housing, and 35 units being middle-income housing.”

Additionally, the building will feature 10,000 ft.² of ground-floor retail space, Schubert commented, and another 10,000 ft.² of office space that Human Solutions will occupy.

Holst Architecture Partner and Owner Dave Otte explains some of the features of the Gateway Park Project building at the open house.

“At this site, we’ll bring together and consolidate offices from the location at SE Powell Boulevard near 122nd Avenue; but some workers at our Rockwood district building will continue to work at that location,” Schubert said.

An attraction for residents will be the panoramic view of the new Gateway Discovery Park, scheduled to open in August this year, Schubert observed. “It’s going to be amazing for people who live there to step outside their building and have the park right in front of them; plus the residents will have a lot of light and sunshine with this design. We’re excited about it; we think it’s an exciting design, and it’s really, really nice.”

About 35 people attended the open house, browsed the displays, and asked questions of the organization’s staff, as well as from the architecture firm working on the project.

Hazelwood’s Arlene Kimura talks with planners about the new building.

Hazelwood Neighborhood Association Chair Arlene Kimura, speaking she said for herself and not on behalf of the association, commented, “I think the park-facing façade of this building is a little bit too intense; you’d have to crane your neck, and look up all the time. If there were a way to have more horizontal lines, I think it would soften the appearance and feel a little less like a big giant building rising up to the park.

“If they put a little lip along the sidewalk, and some plantings in containers at the outer entries of the space, it would work better also; as it is, it’s very intense,” told East Portland News.

The final design work for the approximately $30 million project is expected to conclude in May; construction documents and permitting should wrap up in November.

In December, construction is expected to begin – which should take 16 to 18 months to complete.

© 2018 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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