ROSE breaks ground on ‘Guthrie Place’ building

Learn all about the newest major construction project starting up in Lents Town Center …

Representatives of area governments and bureaus, and business and neighbor supporters, gather in outer East Portland on the site where ROSE Community Development Corporation is constructing a new apartment building.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Although it stared out as a chilly morning, as the program began, the sun broke though as the groundbreaking ceremony began at SE 91st Avenue and SE Reedway Street at 9:15 a.m. on September 13.

“This signals the start of construction of ‘Woody Guthrie Place’ apartments; it’s new, affordable housing that we are building here in Lents Town Center,” announced ROSE Community Development Corporation (ROSE) Executive Director Nick Sauvie.

ROSE Director Nick Sauvie welcomes dignitaries and guests to the groundbreaking ceremony.

“We at ROSE are really happy to be part of the redevelopment of this part of Lents; it’s something that we’ve been working on for the last 25 years,” Sauvie told East Portland News.

Woody Guthrie Place, Sauvie explained, will offer 64 units, and be one of the first mixed-income housing projects to be built in the rapidly growing urban renewal district. Participating residents’ households can have qualifying incomes ranging from 30% to 100% of Area Median Income; and 15 units have Project-Based Section 8 vouchers.

This rendering, commissioned by ROSE by Carleton Hart Architecture, illustrates how Woody Guthrie Place will look when built.

“Public funding partners include Home Forward, Prosper Portland, and the Portland Housing Bureau,” Sauvie said. “Portland General Electric’s renewable energy fund is supporting a solar photo voltaic system and electric vehicle charging stations, and the project will be ‘LEED gold’ or higher.
“We are really emphasizing building housing for families with young children, as a way to promote child health,” Sauvie added. “Our focus is also providing housing for people who now live in the neighborhood, so they are not displaced by rising rents.”

Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Schneider Branam addresses the gathering.

“This is the fourth groundbreaking of four major projects here in Lents Town Center,” remarked Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Schneider Branam. “Among the four projects that provide residential housing, we are also working to make affordable commercial space so people of all incomes can start and operate a small business to serve the residents here.”

Metro District 6 Counselor Bob Stacey looks over the plans with Lents Neighborhood Association President Emeritus Judy Low.

“This is a change the community needed in terms of affordable housing, so there are opportunities for all households in all price ranges will be provided,” commented Metro Counselor District 6 Bob Stacey, who was next in the lineup of speakers.

Standing in for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Portland Housing Bureau Director Kurt Krieger told the group, in part, “Housing isn’t just a commodity; it’s a way to maintain social justice, inclusion, and family stability.”

Also addressing the gathering is Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

Concluding the parade of speakers before the group of about 80 people, Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury pointed out that projects like this one wouldn’t work without federal and local support. “Housing and healthcare are human rights. . . [In Multnomah County], we’re working to find funding to tie together the needs of housing and healthcare, so I’m happy to see this project underway – it’s coupled with the ROSE Baby Booster program recently funded by the County.”

This ceremonial shoveling of dirt symbolizes the start of construction of “Woody Guthrie Place”.

Completion of “Woody Guthrie Place” is projected for November 2018. Find out more about ROSE CDC at their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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