News

Portland, Oregon


Condos/Condominiums Low Yardage Great Progress on Downtown Condos Project
New Condos For Sale In Los Angeles California Flexible designs as fluid as modern life 

New Downtown housing

Downtown Lake Oswego
A shiny new Portland Condos saving old hotels in Livingston


High-rise Condos would break limits

Stinson plan for More new condos

Upcoming Events in


Portland, OR

Attic Gallery Locations for January 2007

Portland Mall on Construction
New Resort Condos Underway
Portland’s streetcar success just a hoax As luxury condos rise, demand hard to gauge

A ‘green’ light for condos, office towers
A ‘Plague’ of Condos
Flexible designs as fluid as modern life   California investor pays $39.7M for City Heights
Town homes available in Fisher’s Landing Condo-retail Wyatt rises in Pearl District
Clackamas land trust wins $75,000 grant View spectacular from final floor of Benson

Construction Begins on Portland Aerial Tram
Remodelors Council honored nationally
Grand opening for new Travertine condos
Downtown Transit Mall Prepares for Light Rail

Big Meadow offers new homes in Molalla

Brownstone-style luxury town homes

Harrison Will Open Condominium

Lofts being built in Multnomah Village


Architects push quality affordable housing
Southeast conversion all new inside
Belmont Townhome Condominiums
Sales Begin at Canyon Court Condominiums in Beaverton
Home sales in the Dallas/Fort


Harrison Condominium Project

Rush anticipated for Lake Oswego condos Living large in small spaces
On-site: St. Georges condominiums South Waterfront skyline

Portland Condos
Will stores, condos help tame ruckus on Southwest Macadam
Arbor opens its first condo neighborhood The Meriwether, first of the River Blocks condos
Watch Grey’s Anatomy Online

 


Condos/Condominiums Low Yardage
                                                                                                        


Experts expect stadium-area units to regain footing.


Cockominium prices might suffer short-term after an auction at (Condos) The Spur in which units sold at deep discounts — but they shouldn’t lag long, experts say.
Developers of (Condos) The Spur auctioned off 19 condominiums last month at 25 percent to 55 percent below the $375,000 to $500,000-plus asking prices. They stopped the auction with 10 one-bedroom condos left. Two one-bedrooms sold for $160,000 and $162,500 when the auction was halted. Columbia developer who is not involved in condo developments around Williams-Brice Stadium.

Boyce Haiglar, who is developing nearby Stadium Village Lofts and selling two-bedroom condos in the $400,000 price range, said investors who have bought at his complex are hanging on to their units and expect to see the value increase in the long term.

Potential buyers are bringing up the auction prices in negotiations, but developers aren’t budging.
Mark Foraker, director of sales for the newest stadium-side complex, The Gates at Williams-Brice, said the auction validated The Gates’ price points. The Gates, the lowest-priced complex around the stadium, sells two-bedroom units for $240,000 — about the same that many two-bedrooms sold at during The Spur’s discounted auction prices.

Great Progress on Downtown Condos Project                                                                                 


People couldn’t help but stare at the large orange crane removing concrete panels from the front wall of the former Bon Marche store in downtown Yakima.


The condominiums are being developed by JEM Development, the Morrier family firm. JEM also owns the property, which is on the northeast corner of the shuttered Yakima Mall. For observers, contractors and investors alike, Friday’s construction work was a sign of progress for the project on North Third Street.


The Yakima native also said he was excited to see the empty department store being transformed into luxury condos.
Sean Hawkins, deputy executive director for the Committee for Downtown Yakima, said The Lofts is the beginning of housing development for the downtown core.


Last week, Roger Wilson, owner of Wilson Irrigation, reached an agreement to purchase the YWCA building to develop space for condominiums and retail outlets.


The Yakima Bears’ owners have already agreed to purchase a 3,500-square-foot storefront for their offices and team shop.

New Condos For Sale In Los Angeles California
                                                                           
 
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Condo developments are usually organized in a community atmosphere. While everyone in the area may not necessarily know one another, they share the feeling of being in a small town separated from the rest of the world. A typical condo development will contain meeting and event halls, restaurants, and sometimes even golf courses and other such amenities. This type of environment is ideal for some people, and there are a variety of these small communities being built all around the world in various locations. No matter what your interests or needs, there are sure to be some condos for sale that will be exactly what you are looking for.

New condos for sale are popping up all over the world, most recently in places such as Bangkok and Singapore. If you are considering a cross-cultural vacation home, or simply need a way to increase your traveling capabilities, perhaps you should consider one of these condos. Owning an overseas condo could mean different regulations, financial and legal matters; so check into all of these issues and be sure you know your rights as well as your responsibilities when purchasing overseas real estate.

There are new condos for sale coming onto the market regularly, and one of them is sure to be a perfect match for you and your family. By doing some research to find the condo community and location that is right for you and by enlisting the help of a certified real estate agent, your dream of owning a new condo can be realized.

New Downtown housing
                                                                                                                       
 
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Some developers see slowing market…

Developers are whittling and revising Downtown’s paper population of high-rise condos in response to a slowing real estate market. Over the past five years, developers have proposed about 1,200 condo units and more than 200,000 square feet of retail in and around Downtown. But a real estate market that produced the spectacle of people camping out overnight to snap up 120 Foothills condos in three hours in March 2005 has cooled considerably.

For some projects, that change means a longer wait. For others, it means smaller buildings, more affordable prices or apartments rather than condos.
● For The Post, which expects to close on its deal with the city next month and break ground in April, it means half the number of condos once planned for the high-profile 100 block of East Congress Street.

● For 44 Broadway, it means scaling back the amenities being offered at the former federal court annex, a nondescript building, built in 1979 with the appeal of 20-foot ceilings and a location on busy East Broadway.
● For Depot Plaza on Downtown’s east edge, it means apartments first, condos later.
The reconsideration of condo projects is happening everywhere.

44 Broadway                                          
                                                                                                   
 
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Ron Schwabe, general partner in 44 Broadway and a partner in the Depot Plaza project, said he’s convinced the market for high-end condos exists, but he wants to lower his prices.
The loft-condos themselves will still be upscale, he said, but he is reconsidering plans for a rooftop garden and major changes in the building’s facade to make it possible to price some units below $200,000.
Developers of 44 Broadway have also negotiated with the city on parking requirements to increase the project’s ground-floor retail space from 900 to about 7,000 square feet, he said.

Depot Plaza                                                                                                                                               

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Schwabe is the local partner with Williams & Dame of Portland, Ore., in Depot Plaza and a related project which will ultimately combine to cover the blocks on either side of 200 East Congress Street with apartments, condos and city-built housing for the elderly and disabled. First up is conversion of the vacated Martin Luther King Jr. housing project into 85 market- rate apartments and 11 subsidized apartments, which the city will help underwrite.

The lure of apartments is that you don’t have to make back your costs right away, said Schwabe and Matt Brown, project manager for Williams & Dame.

Nobody has to prove the demand for Downtown apartments to him, said Schwabe, president of Peach Properties, which manages a number of rentals in the area. Downtown space rents at a premium and vacancies usually fill by word of mouth, he said.

When Williams & Dame took on the Depot Plaza project, the Martin Luther King Jr. building was slated for demolition and replacement with a condo tower. Now, Depot Plaza Partners will rehabilitate the building’s one-bedroom and studio apartments.

Downtown Lake Oswego, Mix business with pleasure

The 24 condominiums at Stafford Commons in downtown Lake Oswego allow for homeowners to live and work in a space they own.

Within the past few years, downtown Lake Oswego has become a sort of town square where a combination of different lifestyles come together at the open-air farmers market, local boutiques, post office, library and restaurants – all within walking distance. Taking part in this active lifestyle is convenient if you live nearby the new social and economic activities.

Streetlights, benches and storefronts mimic those from an old-time Main Street.

Inspired by Portland arts and crafts architect Wade Hampton Pipes, Bob Simpson with Robert Simpson Architect PC designed the 24 Tudor condominiums on the corner of Second Street and B Avenue to resemble European living by utilizing mixed-use facilities.

Intended for both commercial and residential purposes, the European-esque town homes developed by Stafford Commons LLC, with principals Prell and Morton Development, provide a space for business, home life or both – without dusting off your passport.
                                                                                                                  
 
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Eight units line Second Street and feature street-frontage space to conduct business while living above. All other units surround common courtyards and are strictly residential.

And they all have single garages – situated in an alley to preserve the historical charm of the neighborhood – upgraded appliances, flexible floor plans and gas fireplaces.

Simpson’s previous development on Fifth Street – housing Chuck’s Cookies and Coffee and Bernard C Chocolates – was similar, with a variety of businesses within walking distance. Stafford Commons is an extension of this project but with housing. All commercial parking for the businesses, however, is hidden within the nucleus of the building.

Stafford Commons is named after the famous Oregon poet, William Stafford, who used to live in the neighborhood.

Kramer said that since the project opened in August, she’s noticed a variety of people interested – those downsizing, those with second houses, people making transitions and young professional couples. Artists, consultants, spas, yoga instructors and design services have said the commercial studio space is the right size for their business, Kramer said.

The condos range from 1,332 to 1,721 square feet and between $395,000 and $497,000; all but six units have sold.

The live/work units feature two bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms, with an additional bedroom if you transform the downstairs studio space.
                                                                                                                       
 
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The courtyard condominiums feature two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms with lofts and bonus room.

Units feature state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances such as thetall and skinny Liebherr German refrigerator to allow for more counter space. Cambria quartz countertops accent the rich Indonesian Merbau wood flooring in the shared kitchen and family room.

Vaulted ceilings in bedrooms provide an alcove for additional storage space above the closet.

Stafford Commons is located at Second and B Avenue in downtown Lake Oswego. Real estate agents Candace Kramer can be reached at 503-804-9628; Becky Hamilton can be reached at 503-497-2948. Models are open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
 

A shiny new Portland
                                         
                                                                                 
 
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Downtown isn’t what she used to be. The small, poorly lit, slightly dirty Safeway has long since been demolished and replaced by a shinier version topped by higher-end apartments. The ever-boring Buffalo Exchange has replaced Ozone Records, the grungy little record store that used to be across from Powell’s that added so much flavor to the downtown experience.

This is what Portlanders have been witnessing all over downtown. Wherever you turn, something old and cool is being replaced with a sterile, bigger, corporate-sponsored version. The trend was started by Starbucks in the early ’90s, but has spread to all levels of our society.

But is a little grit so bad? It seems ridiculous to think that Portland’s downtown has to be sterilized. This new situation Portland’s downtown is beginning to face recalls strong memories of the famous Orson Welles quote from the classic film The Third Man: "Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love-they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Not to say that Portland should be or ever was a violent city, far from it. But that quote speaks to the idea that a little unrest can serve as the figurative primordial ooze that gives birth to so many great accomplishments. If the developers get their way, the fear is that Portland will have a downtown made up of fancy condos and high-end retailers with a population of the positively elite. And in order to be as artsy as they’d like to imagine the more wealthy downtown will be, they’ll have to start bussing the starving artists over from the eastside in the evenings.

Local developer Tom Moyer has a vision of downtown where the upper class can glide on the light rail or from upper-end shops to the front doors of fancy restaurants. At the end of the evening, they can ride back to their palatial ultra-modern condos in the sky.

Let’s make sure we work hard to retain our mix of new and old as Portland develops. It would be a shame to see developers throw away our city’s personality by striving for the almighty dollar.


Stinson plan for More new condos

                                 
                                                                   
 
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A Connecticut-based development company outlined plans Wednesday night to revive the Wakeag Landing project on the Belfast waterfront.

Westport Capital Partners LLC of Westport, Conn., would tear down all the former Stinson Seafood buildings but the southernmost warehouse and construct four three-story buildings that would contain 40 condominium units. Two of the buildings would be on the east side of the former Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad tracks, which would be converted to a public walkway. Two others would be on the west side, where two steel-sided warehouse buildings are now located. The southernmost blue building would be retained as a boat repair facility, perhaps involving Wayfarer Marine of Camden.

Matthew Landau, a principal in Westport Capital, said the estimated cost of the project is $20 million. He also said the condos, which would average 1,650 square feet, would run from $700,000 to $800,000, though the market would have an impact on prices.Architect Ben Walter of CWS Architects of Portland and Landau said the group seeks quick approval of the amendments it would make to the Wakeag Landing plan of developer Tom Roberts, with construction to start this summer if possible.

Walter said the project is both similar to and different from Roberts’ project, which weathered a yearlong contract rezoning process only to fall on financial difficulties last spring. It will be a mixed-use, waterfront-dependent project, he said, which is required by the city’s zoning ordinance. A restaurant is planned for a portion of the so-called blue building, which is adjacent to the project’s main parking lot. The space now occupied by a wooden structure just south of the former Stinson factory will be replaced by a deck and one-story a "view corridor" to the harbor. The deck will be owned by the condominium association, Walter said, though he hoped it might be made available to the public as well.

Walter said there will be no retail stores in the project because they were not economically feasible. Fran Riley of United Realty, who worked with Roberts to find tenants for the stores included in his project, said after Wednesday’s session at the Hutchinson Center she received numerous expressions of interest from store and restaurant owners.

Condos saving old hotels in Livingston
               
        
                                                                     
 
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A native of Portland, Ore., he remembers sprawl bulldozing its way through the small communities surrounding that city. Profits from the sale of the first units — the cost of the condos range from $69,000 to $260,000 for the spacious Sam Peckinpah Suite — were pumped back into the project, allowing them to install new plumbing, new windows and a new boiler. The revenue also covered the cost of bringing some of the building’s historic features, like its 1904 Otis elevator and original white birch floors, into the 21st century. Best of all, condo fees will assure paced renovations into perpetuity.

Except for the few commercial condos at the Murray — Mabie’s office, the downstairs Second Street Bistro and Murray Bar, to name a few — the privately-owned units are not permanently occupied. Most owners drop by for a few weeks in the winter and a few weeks in the summer. They don’t pay a daily charge, but they must make a reservation, Kathleen said.

Going condo proved such a boon for the Murray Hotel, though, that the Kauls launched a second, entirely different condo venture. On the northeast side of town, they are currently converting 15-year-old multiplexes into two and three-bedroom residential condos. Priced at about $135,000, the completely renovated units offer housing at a reasonable price, Kaul said. Across town, behind the Albertson’s store, two new buildings with 20 condo units are nearly ready. Lynn Haerr, broker at Livingston Realty, said the plan for the Eagle Landing project eventually calls for a total of 180 units in 10 buildings on 10 acres. The six different floor plans run between 1,100 and 1,300 square feet and sell for $168,000 to $185,000.

Greg Krueger, who has been instrumental in Billings’ downtown development, now works with Livingston in a similar capacity. Until recently, he pointed out, building a nice home on a small ranchette was the only option for upscale living in the community of 8,000. Now, Livingston has unique condos that offer similar quality in a totally different lifestyle.
 



High-rise condos would break limits
                                  
                                                                   
 
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LDS Church wants SLC to waive height barrier for the City Creek project


One of the condo skyscrapers the LDS Church wants to erect as part of City Creek Center will be nearly as tall as Salt Lake City’s most soaring building.
The church proposes a 415-foot tower with 223 condos on 100 South between West Temple and Main Street, just east of the Marriott Hotel.According to the city, downtown’s tallest building is 435 feet – the LDS Church Office Building.
The president of PRI, the church’s real-estate development arm, noted that the high-rise won’t be built with the rest of City Creek, which is slated to open in 2011. It will be constructed once City Creek’s other planned condos fill up.
Once built, the structure – designed by Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, in Portland, Ore. – could include a restaurant that serves liquor because it would be far enough away from Temple Square to meet city regulations protecting churches.
But before it can build the skyscraper, the church must gain permission from the city’s Planning Commission to exceed height limitations. Three other residential towers, slated for South Temple, will require special approval, too.

   

They are:
    * 185 feet with 35 condos between the Zions Bank Tower and Eagle
Gate Tower on the ZCMI Center block.
    * 125 feet with 33 condos east of Utah Woolen Mills on the
Crossroads block.
    * 125 feet with 28 condos west of Gateway Tower West on
Crossroads.

    Since all four will stand in the middle of the blocks, they should only be 100 feet tall, per city rules, to preserve downtown’s historical development pattern, which places the largest buildings on the corners of the blocks. The regulations are also meant to protect views of the mountains, foothills and valley.

But church officials said the extra height is justified because it would bring more housing downtown. Keeping the buildings at 100 feet would net just 96 condos, versus the 319 the church has planned for those four towers. (In addition, the church will build another 122 condos where the Inn at Temple Square once stood and 100 or so apartments above retail shops. Another 100 units will be built on top of a new Harmon’s east of State Street.)

Planning commissioners, who discussed the plans Wednesday night, bought the church’s argument, though they wrangled about process. They will formally vote Feb. 14.

Already, 500 people have signed waiting lists to live at City Creek. Gibbons said the church will open a residential information center within two months to provide more details. While selling prices aren’t known, sizes will range from 800 square feet to 4,505 square feet.

Buses Move Off Portland Mall on Construction

   

                                                                                
 
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Changes In Store For Commuters

On Sunday, all 29 bus lines that operate on the downtown Portland Mall relocated to make way for construction of the Portland Mall light rail project.

Most of the buses that now operate on the Mall along Fifth and Sixth avenues between Union Station and Portland State University will be relocated for two years to Third and Fourth avenues. Six other lines will move to Columbia and Jefferson streets. One line will relocate to Southwest Second Avenue. According to TriMet, there are 60,000 trips taken on buses along the Portland Mall on an average weekday.

Scheduled to open in Sept. 2009, TriMet’s fifth MAX extension will add light rail to Fifth and Sixth avenues between Union Station and Portland State University, and between Gateway Transit Center and Clackamas Town Center.


The Lodges, Collins Lake Resort.          
                                                                                        
 
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New Resort Condos Underway (Slopes of Mt. Hood, Oregon)

January 11, 2007 — Located within an hour of Portland in the heart of Mt. Hood’s year-round recreational paradise, Collins Lake Resort introduces luxury condo living to Mt. Hood. The Lodges — comprised of the three separate buildings, overlooking Collins Lake, will feature 75 premier luxury condominiums, ranging from spacious one-bedroom flats to soaring two-level penthouses. By Summer/Fall of 2007, the first 48-unit phase is scheduled for completion. This development gives people who have dreamed of owning a condo on Mt. Hood an excellent opportunity for a choice location -with skiing only a few blocks away at Mt. Hood Skibowl.

The Lodges at Collins Lake offers full or shared ownership options. For example, a 1/8 deeded share entitles the owner to six weeks of use throughout the year with additional bonus time on a space available basis. Additional levels are also available, including full ownership of a unit. This is the first luxury condominium project on Mt. Hood and the first resort to offer shared ownership.

Future plans for Collins Lake Resort include The Village at Collins Lake Resort, a vibrant new center for Government Camp. The Village will include upscale retail, restaurants and services and premier amenities such as a business center and ice skating rink. A proposed aerial tramway will link The Village at Collins Lake Resort with both Mt. Hood Skibowl http://www.Skibowl.com and Timberline ski area.



Overlooking the serene, sparkling beauty of Collins Lake and Mt. Hood, three separate Lodge buildings will be home to 75 premier condominiums, with floor plans that range from spacious one-bedroom flats to soaring two-level penthouses.

For more information visit http://www.CollinsLakeResort.com

Portland’s streetcar success just a hoax
                                                                                           
 
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“modern streetcar” has become the latest urban planning fad, with cities from Albuquerque to Madison considering new streetcar construction. Leaders from these cities often make pilgrimages to my hometown of Portland, Ore., which opened the nation’s first modern streetcar line in 2001.

There they learn that the streetcar has gotten people out of their automobiles and promoted economic development. After drinking the Portland Kool-Aid, the officials return home all fired up to build streetcar lines in their cities.

Portland’s streetcar line extends from the Pearl District, north of downtown, to the South Waterfront District, south of downtown. Both districts have seen huge booms in the construction of condos, apartments, offices, and shops, which Portland officials credit to the streetcar.

In short, the streetcar had nothing to do with the new construction. Without the subsidies but with the streetcar, virtually no new construction would have taken place. With the subsidies but no streetcar, virtually all of the new developments would have been built anyway.

If the streetcar is not promoting economic development, does it at least help get people out of their automobiles? In a word, no. An annual census of downtown businesses revealed that in 2001, when the streetcar opened, 1 percent of downtown employees took the streetcar to work. By 2005, it was still only 1 percent.

The clear lesson is that if you pay huge amounts of money for what amounts to a Disneyland ride, you end up hurting the average transit rider. And not just transit riders: Portland schools, fire, police, public health, and other essential services have all seen budget squeezes.

The full scope of these subsidies was uncovered in 2004 as a result of a sex scandal involving former Oregon Gov. Neil Goldschmidt, considered the father of Portland’s rail transit system. Most cities that fall for the streetcar hoax will not be lucky enough to have a Goldschmidt-style sex scandal, so taxpayers will never know where all their money went.

The best solution for those cities is not to waste money on a streetcar line in the first place.

 
As luxury condos rise, demand hard to gauge
                                                                                      
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Buyers for metropolitan Phoenix’s most expensive condominiums have gotten pickier and more cautious at a time when developers are racing to build dozens of elite condo projects across the city.

Phoenix-area housing has been dominated for decades by single-family homes. That has changed in the past five years as more developers jumped on the luxury-condo bandwagon.

Now, more than 30 of these urban projects are either finished or under construction in multistory buildings close to restaurants and stores. More than 20 of the projects, mainly in Phoenix and Scottsdale, feature units costing $1 million or more, according to the Sullivan Group, a real estate analysis and consulting firm. advertisement

Some projects have only a handful of the most expensive units.

Still, there is disagreement over whether too many developers have piled into what is essentially a niche market.

"There are just too many of these luxury condos," said Bob Kammrath, a Phoenix commercial real estate analyst. "For the life of me I can’t fathom why they would be appealing here. People with that kind of money can buy a nice house and hire someone to take care of the yard."

Condo advocates sell the lifestyle: Condos are low maintenance, and the elite buildings offer concierge services, elaborate gyms, rooftop pools and plush clubrooms. Urbanites park their cars and stroll to the movies, a coffee shop, a deli or bar.

“I don’t think we have scratched the surface,” said Keith Mishkin, founder of Cambridge Properties, a Phoenix company specializing in urban condos. “With more urban product, you create a critical mass and create a community where people can live, work and play in places that are walking distance for them.”

The condo landscape
                                                                               
                                               
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The new-home and resale housing markets have been soft this year after an investor-driven boom that pushed prices and sales to records. Condos are feeling the pain, too.

“A lot of this condo stuff was an extension of this hyper housing market,” said Jay Butler, head of the Arizona Real Estate Center at Arizona State University Polytechnic.

A new Business Week analysis of the national housing market says prices are likely to fall in many cities next year. It says that rising prices won’t exceed the rate of inflation in others. And it puts Phoenix with cities like Miami and Las Vegas that have a “huge overhang” of houses and condos.

The National Association of Home Builders sounded the alarm on condos in April. It said that developers and apartment owners jumped on the bandwagon during the boom in condo production and conversions in the last three years when they should have seen it as a warning that the market could become oversaturated. The group also said the condo market could suffer even before any glut as lenders back away from highly leveraged condo deals.

There already are signs of trouble in the Valley’s overall condo market:

Foreclosure notices were filed against Elevation Chandler, a condo-hotel project near Chandler Fashion Center, and Chateaux on Central, a luxury brownstone project on Central Avenue in Phoenix. Elevation got a bridge loan that staved off a foreclosure auction. Chateaux’s developer says he is refinancing the project.

Some developers are reversing course on condo-conversion projects and turning them back into apartments

Houston real estate company Hines decided to build an office tower near 24th Street and Camelback Road in Phoenix rather than the condo tower it considered initially.


 

Beyond the box: Flexible designs as fluid as modern life
                                                                     
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Enough with the neo-Craftsman’s, say a handful of Portland-area builders. Let’s build ON the past, not rebuild it.

In the Northwest, consumers and builders alike seem to prefer older home styles updated with modern conveniences over clean-lined contemporary styles built with materials other than wood. But why not consider homes specifically designed and constructed to reflect the way people live now, say the people behind four homes built or remodeled in 2006.

Few homeowners employ live-in servants anymore, and what use is a formal dining room when most families cook meals themselves and eat in the kitchen? And why waste space on a formal living room when most families gather in whatever room holds the video electronics? Old-fashioned rooms are not where the future lies, these builders say, and they are offering alternatives.

Consider the curved, concrete lines of a home on the Washington side of the Glenn Jackson Bridge that reflects its era and location — and hides its cleaning, heating and entertainment systems — with low-maintenance concrete and metal surfaces. Or what about a Japanese-style loft in Northeast Portland that combines an open floor plan with built-in storage, providing numerous options for dividing up personal space?

A ‘green’ light for condos, office towers
                                                                                                 
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Commissioner Dan Saltzman is back coloring the city green again.

The former engineer is out with an idea to require all major private construction projects — read condos and office towers — to be Earth-friendly.

Developers would have to get certified for green features, such as solar power or recycled rainwater in the johns, through the U.S. Green Building Council to the silver level. Already, all city-funded projects must meet gold standards, and ones funded through the Portland Development Commission must get silver. The new rule would affect privately funded projects. If the council agrees to it, the new codes would go into effect in 2010 or so.

The change is part of a $1.5 million sustainable industries project Saltzman is pushing for the next budget year. As part of the work, Saltzman plans a blue-ribbon, er, a green-ribbon task force. The environment, along with children, is one of Saltzman’s core issues. This project comes as the council pushes sustainable businesses and biofuels to the top of economic-development targets.

A ‘Plague’ of Condos
                                                                                                                               
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London, England’s Alain de Botton has been in Vancouver for one day, and he’s sitting in a Granville Island café, unsullied by incessant hype about ‘Vancouverism’ and its positive influence on North American urban redevelopment. What does the author of The Architecture of Happiness think of our
new downtown?

Lucky for him he’s headed for the airport, after a late fall whirlwind North American tour with stops in New York, Washington, San Francisco and Toronto. De Botton blames the generic nature of the new development on architects from away who don’t understand the city. On that count, at least, he needs a primer; Vancouver is good at using its own architects..

California Investor pays $39.7M for City Heights apartments
                                                                   
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Prometheus Real Estate Group has paid $39.7 million for the City Heights Apartments in downtown Portland, according to a press release posted on the San Mateo, Calif.-based company’s Web site.

The price is an apparent record for apartment property in the Portland area.

The transaction closed earlier this month. The seller was Archstone-Smith Trust (NYSE: ASN), a publicly traded real estate investment trust based in Englewood, Colo. The property previously sold July 28, 2005, for $20.78 million, according to Multnomah County records.

City Heights, 1330 S.W. Third Ave., was formerly the Essex Apartments. Built in 1992, the 13-story building includes 156 apartment units, underground parking and ground-level retail, including a gift and sundries shop and a Starbucks.

“City Heights is a one-of-a-kind property in close proximity to downtown Portland’s superb employment base, shopping and a thriving nightlife,” said John Millham, senior vice president for acquisitions for Prometheus.

The new owner intends to invest $3 million to update the apartments with new granite finishes, hardwood floors, washers and dryers, stainless appliances, and other upgrades.

Company officials were not available Thursday to discuss their plans or if they intend to convert the property into condominiums.

Prometheus owns numerous apartment properties in California as well as Utah, Washington and Oregon. City Heights is its fourth Portland-area property. Others include Larkspur Place and Silver Oak in Vancouver, and Emerald Place in Beaverton.

 

Mississippi Overlook Condominiums 
                                                                                                     
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Address: 4040 N. Montana Ave.

Number of condominiums: 6 (two have sold; two sales pending)
Size of condominiums: 916 square feet
Prices: $219,900 to $249,900
Features: Two-bedroom, one-bath condos with hardwood floors, granite counters, satin nickel hardware, stainless steel appliances, decorative beams, solar-heated hot water, 9-foot ceilings, walk-in closets, 6-by-12-foot decks, views
Builder: Colas Construction
Open: Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m., and by appointment
Sales information: Stacy Cooper, broker, Portland Condos, 503-329-7765
Clean lines and decorative beams give a Northwest contemporary look to units at Mississippi Overlook Condominiums, a collection of six new flats in North Portland.

The project, built by Colas Construction and designed by Zachery Strachan, features 916-square-foot units stacked in two groups of three. One of the upper level units, listed with broker Stacy Cooper of Portland Condos for $249,900, features views of downtown and the Northwest hills.

A second-level unit is priced at $219,000 and, like the others, has a 6-by-12-foot deck and big windows to bring in natural light.

Condo-retail Wyatt rises in Pearl District

                                                                                               
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Sales are open at The Wyatt, a 15-story condominium in the Pearl District
sited on the city block spanning Northwest Marshall and Northup streets and Northwest 12th and 13th avenues.

Developed by Robert Ball, The Wyatt will include 245 residential units and about 10,000 square feet of ground-level retail space. The red-brick-and-glass building will feature a lobby and courtyard designed by Portland architect Robert Murase. Construction is expected to be complete in fall 2007.

Condominiums range in size from 538 to more than 2,780 square feet. Most have private decks. Prices start at around $200,000 and range up to more than $2 million for penthouse units.

The Wyatt is marketed by Pearl Real Estate. A sales office at 1001 N.W. 14th Ave. is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.

Town homes available in Fisher’s Landing

                                                                                           
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Renaissance Homes opened sales on two neighborhoods in the Fisher’s Landing area of Vancouver.

The Lakes, a gated community, includes 88 town homes. Plans have two to three bedrooms and 2.5 baths in 1,651 to 2,966 square feet. Prices are from $399,900 to $499,900. A model home at The Lakes is set to open in early 2007, with move-ins starting in late spring or early fall 2007.

Plans for the second neighborhood, Hiddenbrook, call for 28 paired town homes with two to three bedrooms and 2.5 baths in 1,613 to 2,521 square feet. Prices are from $359,900 to $422,900. Hiddenbrook homes will be ready for move-in starting in spring 2007.

Homes in both neighborhoods feature two-car garages.

A sales office at 17908 S.E. 43rd St., Vancouver, is open Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

View spectacular from final floor of Benson  

                                                                                       
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The 26th and final floor at Benson Tower was poured recently and the condominium high-rise on the block bordered by Southwest Clay and Market streets and 10th and 11th avenues, is on schedule to be completed by spring 2007. Views from the top floor include downtown Portland, the West Hills, Willamette River and Cascade Range mountain peaks.

Seventy percent of the 143 units are sold. The remaining units range from 663 to 3,100 square feet and from $242,500 to $3.5 million. Benson Tower’s showroom and sales office at 1515 S.W. Fifth Ave. is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.
to 6 p.m., and weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Clackamas land trust wins $75,000 grant

                                                                                               
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Clackamas Community Land Trust recently won The Home Depot Foundation’s Award of Excellence for Affordable Housing Built Responsibly for a development near Clackamas Town Center. The award includes a $75,000 grant.

The winning project, Southeast Phillips Creek Place, includes 14 paired town homes that originally sold for $110,000 to $119,000. On average, land-trust buyers earn 58 percent of the median area income. To build the homes, the land trust had to undertake an unanticipated, large-scale cleanup of hazardous waste on the site.

Remodelors Council honored nationally  

                                                                                              
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The Remodelors Council of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland (HBA) was honored recently with three national awards from the National Association of Home Builders.

The local arm received a Council Award for Demonstrating Remodeling Excellence in three categories: Outstanding Public Relations and Promotion, for the "Building Bridgetown" exhibit at the Portland Children’s Museum; Outstanding Council Chair, for the contributions of Chairman Steve Frasier, Contract
Furnishings Mart; and Outstanding Associate Member, for the involvement of Jim Fisher, Jim Fisher Roofing.

Submit items to Builder Briefs by noon Monday to Sunday Homes & Rentals, The Oregonian, 1320 S.W. Broadway, Portland 97201

Construction Begins on Portland Aerial Tram  
                                                                                     
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Crews are now hard at work building one of Portland’s most distinctive future landmarks, the Portland Tram. This unique aerial tram, the first of its kind in the United States, will connect the South Waterfront district with OHSU’s Marquam Hill campus. Excavation has begun on boththe upper and lower terminals, and the land adjacent to Interstate-5 is being prepared for the "footprint" of the Tram’s intermediate tower.

Downtown Transit Mall Prepares for Light Rail, New Streetscapes

                                                       
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Plans are emerging for the revitalization of theDowntown Transit Mall,including new Light Rail stations at the south end of the Mall. The primary new MAX Light Rail station will be located at Portland State University’s Urban Center, just two blocks west of the Harrison high-rise condominium towers. Designers envision new sidewalks, streetscapes and plantings in the neighborhood, as well as an innovative public art program.

Builder Briefs: Brownstone-style luxury town homes offer mountain views from Johns Landing

Five new luxury town homes by Blackstone Development are now available in Johns Landing, at Southwest Corbett Avenue and Pendleton Street.

Priced from $519,900 to $669,900,
Features: Homes have two to three bedrooms and 2.5 baths, Interior styles include European, contemporary and traditional, with features such as 9- and 10-foot ceilings, soaking tubs, walk-in showers and closets, exotic hardwoods, stainless appliances, two-car garages and exterior video-monitoring systems.
Size of condominiums: 1,748 to 2,090 square feet.

Inspired by East Coast brownstones, the town homes feature brick exteriors and wrought-iron railings.  The town homes have views of Mount Hood and Mount St. Helens.

A model home at 0204 S.W. Pendleton St. is open Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.

Grand opening for new Travertine condos

                                                                                
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Sierra Pacific Communities will hold the grand opening for Travertine Condominiums in Hillsboro, on Sunday, Nov. 19, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sixty-nine town-home style units are planned at Northeast 49th Way and Airport Road.

Visitors to the opening event may tour a model home, 1903 N.E. 49th Way, and enjoy complimentary food and beverages. The first 25 people to show up will receive gift certificates to Starbucks; holiday turkeys will also be given away.

Priced from $254,000 to $310,000, the two- and three-level town-home-style units have up to three bedrooms in 1,500 to 1,880 square feet. They feature front and back decks, and one- to two-car garages. The community backs to Dawson Creek Park, which includes ponds, wooded areas and walking trails.

Interior features include bamboo floors, travertine entries, vaulted and 9-foot ceilings on main floor, kitchens with granite counters and stainless-steel appliances, air conditioning and high-speed Internet wiring. Upgrades are available.

Regular hours for the model home are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12 to 6 p.m.; Sundays, 12 to 5 p.m.; and by appointment.

Lofts being built in Multnomah Village

                                                                                        
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Construction has started on Multnomah Village Lofts, a four-story, 23-unit condominium on Southwest 31st Avenue.
Near downtown Portland and within walking distance of shops and restaurants in Multnomah Village, the project by Edge Development is set to be completed in fall 2007.

Eight plans offered range in size from 770 to 1,475 square feet. Pricing will not be set until Feb. 1, but one-bedroom lofts are expected to start at about $325,000. Two-bedroom penthouse units will be priced from $600,000 to $650,000.

Features include maple hardwoods; double-sided gas fireplaces shared between master bath and living room; baths with vessel sinks, natural-stone counters and chrome fixtures; kitchens with granite counters and stainless-steel appliances; and stackable washers and dryers. Many upgrades are available.

Big Meadow offers new homes in Molalla 

                                                                                          
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Roth Homes opened sales on 61 additional homes at the Big Meadow development in Molalla.

Priced from $324,400 for a 2,155-square-foot plan to $420,400 for 3,756 square feet, homes at Big Meadow included finished garages, front- and back-yard landscaping, backyard cedar fencing, and aggregate patios and driveways.

Interior features include 9-foot ceilings; hardwood floors; kitchens with slab granite counters and stainless-steel appliances; and master suites with jetted tubs and dual sinks.

A model home on Meadow Drive off Highway 213 is open daily, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Southeast conversion all new inside 

                                                                                                
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Nineteen homes are available at Creston Court Condominium in Southeast Portland. The former apartment building features newly remodeled units with hardwood floors, vintage-style fixtures, cherry kitchen cabinets, granite counters and stainless-steel appliances.

Units range in size from 616 to 1,818 square feet. Prices are from $179,950 to $299,950. Seven are ready for occupancy, Two model units at 3705 and 3725 S.E. 42nd St. will be open every Sunday in November, noon to 4 p.m., and by appointment.



Portland Condos

                                                                                                                                      
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Portland New Condos Online is the homebuyer’s and investor’s premier resource for finding and comparing new condo, townhome, and loft developments in Portland and across the country. For the condo builders, real estate marketing firms, and real estate advertising agencies New Condos Online is the first and largest national advertising portal for showcasing new Portland condos, pre-construction condos, condo hotels, new townhomes, new lofts, and condo conversion properties.

The city of Portland, Oregon has been proclaimed as North America’s “Best Big City,” according to Money magazine. One visit will explain why. Portland has unmatched natural beauty, bustling local scene, sumptuous dining and welcoming accommodations; all effortlessly accessed via the light-rail system. Though it’s not easy being green, it’s exactly why so many home buyers and investors flock here, year-round. Scroll down or choose a sub-market and find your new home in Portland today on New Condos Online! Be sure to register for a FREE “My New Condos Online” personal account so you can save searches and real estate sales information for these new home communities today!

Property:

The Q Condominiums at Orenco Station

Builder:

Legend Homes


Location:

Portland – Hillsboro, Oregon


Address:
1298
NE Orenco Station Parkway, Hillsboro, OR 97124   

Type:

Condo

Stories: 1 to 3
Units:
63
Bath:
1 to 2.5
Bedrooms:
1 to 3
Unit Size:
819 – 1,842 sq.ft.

Price: $180,000 – $379,000
Phase:
Completed
Completion Date:
Available now

                                                                       

More details…

http://www.newcondosonline.com

Harrison Will Open Condominium Salesin Second Downtown High Rise

                                               
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156 View Homes at 111 SW Harrison Will Begin at $180,000

Harrison, the new residential area formerly known as the Portland Center Apartments, announced that sales of 156 newly remodeled condominiums in its second residential tower, located at 111 SW Harrison (Harrison East), will begin in October. The release comes after a strong response to the initial offering of view homes at 255 SW Harrison (Harrison West), which is 85% sold. Conversion and remodeling of Harrison East is moving ahead swiftly. Landscape, interior lobby and pool improvements are also underway as the first new owners prepare to move into Harrison West this month

“We’re delighted at the response to our first offering and are moving ahead promptly with our remodeling and marketing plan for 111 SW Harrison,” said Scott Stehman of Reliance Development. “These beautifully designed units will offer prospective urban residents another great opportunity to secure a view home in the heart of the City.”

Initial price ranges for the 156 units in Harrison East were also released today. One Bedroom units will start at $180,000, Two Bedrooms at $270,000, Two Bedroom Penthouses at $500,000 and Three Bedroom Penthouses at $615,000. To secure these initial prices in Harrison East, potential buyers must be registered for the priority interest list at www.LiveHarrison.com.

Panoramic view units in a variety of price ranges still remain at 255 SW Harrison. To see the model units, visitors should come to the Harrison Sales Center, which is open Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Sunday from noon to 5:00 pm.

About Harrison

Harrison is a unique community, encompassing three high-rise residential towers with 537 condominiums including 24 townhomes in the heart of downtown Portland. Each of the three towers offers floor-to-ceiling windows, with stunning views of the Willamette River, the downtown skyline, the West Hills and Cascade Mountains.

Shielded from the urban bustle by a network of tree-lined walkways, lawns and fountains, Harrison also offers easy connections to all corners of the City. Portland State University, Riverplace, Keller Auditorium and the downtown shopping district are within easy walking distance. From the 3rd and Harrison Portland Streetcar stop, residents can quickly connect to the South Waterfront, Willamette River Greenway, OHSU via the Portland Tram, the Pearl District and all the attractions Portland has to offer.


Architects push quality affordable housing 

                                                                                          
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Developers from a Fort Myers architectural firm, Architects Inc. are meeting with business owners to discuss the development of culturally-rich low-income housing.

 Building designers have found ways to make properties marketable, given space restrictions and other constraints coming from the target income bracket.

Sales Begin at Canyon Court Condominiums in Beaverton!  
                                                                 
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Portland, Oregon, September 29, 2006 –Sales for 31 luxury townhouse-styled condominiums has begun at Canyon Court Condominiums. Canyon Court is located on SW 103rd
Avenue, just one block North of Canyon Rd in the West Slope neighborhood. Prices for Phase #1 are $219,900-$229,900.

All units feature 2 bedrooms, 2 full baths and attached 2 car garages. Standard amenities include slate entries, hardwood flooring on the main level, Granite counters, Stainless appliances as well as gas fireplaces & heating. In addition there are two color packages to choose from. The first occupancies are expected to be in Late November. 
 


Belmont Townhome Condominiums

                                                                                                    
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The Belmont area offers condominiums as unique as the neighborhood, designed for buyers who want to live in a traditional
neighborhood but in a smaller, low-maintenance home.

New condos on or near Belmont Street include:

Belmont Townhome Condominiums, 3311 S.E. Morrison St.

Sizes: 835 to 1,626 square feet

Prices: $234,900 to $429,900

Sales: Gary Whitehill-Baziuk, Realty Trust Group, 5015 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.; 503-516-8369

Consisting of 28 row houses with a courtyard and alley-loaded garages, the project blends with surrounding condominium complexes and older single-family homes. The condos, built on the last parcel of the old Belmont Dairy site, are across the street from Zupan’s and within walking distance of Belmont’s array of shops and cafes.

The condos have one to two bedrooms; some two-bedroom units have a ground-floor bonus room. Kitchen and living room are on the second level and bedrooms on the third.All townhomes include a one-car garage, air conditioning, bamboo floors, maple cabinets, Energy Star appliances (refrigerator not included) and granite countertops.

Harrison Condominium Project Launches
Web Site, Announces Initial Pricing from $175,000


LiveHarrison.com will show sample views from the three high-rise towers and allow interested buyers to join the Priority Interest List.

Harrison, the new residential community formerly known as the Portland Center Apartments, has launched its Web site, www.LiveHarrison.com, where prospective buyers can join the Priority Interest List. Only current residents and interested buyers who join the Priority Interest List will have an opportunity to purchase a unit in the first phase. The first condominium units in the Harrison will be available for purchase by spring of 2006 and ready for move-in by summer 2006.

The developers of Harrison also announced that starting prices for units in the first phase will begin at $175,000 for a one-bedroom, $225,000 for a two-bedroom, $350,000 for townhomes and $550,000 for penthouses. The pricing gives the project appeal both to first-time home buyers and to those looking for luxurious urban living. The majority of the units are expected to sell in the $175,000 to $550,000 range. Discounted prices and advance purchase options will be offered to current residents.

“We are delighted at the interest we’ve seen so far in this new home-ownership opportunity in the heart of Portland,” said Scott Stehman of Reliance Development, who is leading the project. “Via our new Web site, prospective buyers can check out floor plans, join our Priority Interest List and even see examples of the stunning views they can enjoy from Harrison.”

Harrison’s three high-rise towers, ranging from 22 to 25 stories, will be remodeled in phases, beginning with the units in the top half of Harrison West (255 SW Harrison Street). One tower will be fully renovated every 14 months, with final completion slated for September 2008. Interior finishes will include hardwood floors, granite kitchen counters, stainless-steel appliances and new bath fixtures and treatments. All common areas, including the beautiful external grounds, will be enhanced.

Unlike many new projects now under construction, prospective residents at Harrison will be able see the unit – and the view – they are buying. In fact, LiveHarrison.com lets visitors experience sample views from low, medium and high floors in the project. Floor-to-ceiling windows and a large balcony off the living room offer ample natural light and a variety of sweeping vistas. Penthouse units offer two to three balconies, and the ground-floor townhouses have wood-burning fireplaces.

Home sales in the Dallas/Fort
 

                                                                                                              
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Home sales in the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area fell 7.5 percent in August from their year-earlier level, while prices maintained modest growth, according to preliminary statistics provided by North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.

Realtors recorded 8,386 single-family home sales last month, down from the August 2005 level of 9,067.

The median single-family home price gained 3 percent during the period, rising from $148,000 to $152,500.

There were 15,245 new single-family listings placed on the market in August, up 10 percent from the year-ago level, bringing the total number of single-family inventory to 46,818 listings, which is 10 percent higher than a year ago.

The condo/townhome market fared better last month, as sales of those units gained 6.7 percent year-over-year. Sales reached 545 in August, up from 511 in August of last year.

The median price paid for a condominium/townhome was $119,950 in August, an increase of 9 percent from the year-ago price of $110,000.

Condominiums and townhomes spent an average of 68 days on the market last month, down considerably from 83 days posted one year earlier, while single-family homes sold after an average 66 days, compared with 68 days last year.

ENTREIS serves more than 23,000 MLS subscribers of 16 shareholder Realtor associations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, covering 4,000 real estate offices.

Arbor opens its first condo neighborhood
 

                                                                                             
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Arbor Custom Homes opened sales at Arbor Crossing, a new all-condominium development in Hillsboro at Northwest 206th Avenue and Quatama Road.

Condos range in size from 772 to 1,556 square feet. Flats have two bedrooms and one bath; two-story units have two to three bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a single-car garage. Phase-one prices range from $149,900 to $219,900.

Rush anticipated for Lake Oswego condos  

                                                                                          
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Sixteen condos include boat slips attached to their decks, and four additional boat slips are available for purchase.

All 60 condominiums at the Villas on Lake Oswego will be made available to buyers at a grand-opening sales offering on Sept. 14, 4 to 7 p.m., at the property, 668 McVey Ave., Lake Oswego. No pre-sale reservations will be taken.

Developed by Marty Kehoe, the refurbished former apartment building sits on Oswego Lake, at McVey Avenue and State Street. Featuring upscale finishes such as quartz-slab counters and hardwood floors, the condos range in size from studios to three-bedroom units; with prices from $150,000 to $570,000.

Living large in small spaces 


                                                                                                                 
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Condominiums with less than 1,000 square feet are some of the hottest properties in Portland’s new-home market, attracting a wide spectrum of buyers, from empty-nesters trading yardwork for travel to singles or couples trading space for luxury finishes and better neighborhoods.

A look at three new developments shows how the right combination of storage, visual continuity and neighborhood all work to create a "living large" feeling in a compact new home.

Buyers at the 27-unit Andria Condominium at Southeast Belmont Street and 42nd Avenue range in age from early 20s to 80s.

Buyers move into The Meriwether, first of the River Blocks condos

Their neighbors are Caterpillars, cranes, chain-link fences and the remains of the Zidell Marine Corp.’s metal-recycling and barge-building business. Not to mention a coterie of hard-hatted construction workers.

Nevertheless, the first residents are moving into The Meriwether condominiums, the first buildings to be completed in the South Waterfront District’s River Blocks development just south of the Ross Island Bridge.

On-site: St. Georges condominiums   


                                                                                                  
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Address: 5239 S.W. Shattuck Road, Portland
Number of condominiums: 20 (two have sold)
Sizes: 1,616 to 1,738 square feet
Prices: $289,900 to $329,900

Standard features: Three-level condominiums with two bedrooms, 2.5 baths and one-car garages; open floor plans; island kitchens with maple or cherry cabinets, granite tile counters, eating bars and pantries; wood-wrapped windows; high ceilings; master suites with soaking tubs, separate showers, tile floors and walk-in closets second bedrooms have full baths and walk-in closets; lower-level bonus rooms wired for theaterlike sound with front and back decks.

Family of condos rises on South Waterfront skyline


                                                                        
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Realty Trust Group is handling residential sales in the River Blocks
project, co-developed by Portland-based firms Gerding/Edlen and Williams & Dame.

The only units still available at The Meriwether are three penthouses, ranging from a 1,600-square-foot two-bedroom for $815,610 to a 2,540-square-foot two-bedroom with a den for $1,399,000.

However, two sibling condominium projects under construction — the John Ross and Atwater Place — are still selling a wide range of floor plans.
                                                                 

Will stores, condos help tame ruckus on Southwest Macadam?  
                                                      
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Southwest Macadam Avenue is a high-volume state highway between Portland and
Lake Oswego. Could it become something more as it enters South Portland? The Portland Design Commission has approved plans for two condo projects near Southwest Boundary Street with pedestrian amenities and ground-floor retail.

"I think in the long run, Macadam will slow down and become more civilized," says Mike McCulloch, commission chairman. "More people will be living there. More retail will domesticate the street a little."

Turns out those bumpy yellow mats that decorate so many downtown curb ramps have a name. They’re "truncated domes" in transportation jargon, and they’re intended to let the sight-impaired know they’re about to
enter a street.

You’re not alone if you think they’re ugly. "They’re just noxious," says Rob Dortignacq, chairman of the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission.

Help may be on the way. The city used charcoal-colored truncated domes in a recent Old Town/Chinatown remodel, and the charcoal version is headed to Northwest 23rd Avenue as the city repaves between Burnside and Lovejoy a year from now.

Over time, the glued-down mats crumble. "When they pop up, maybe we can get rid of the yellow ones," Dortignac says.

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