Lifeworks Northwest to occupy site with three-story building near Rockwood Rising.

COURTESY RENDERING - The main entrance off Oak Street is shown in this proposed design for a three-story office building in the Rockwood neighborhood. A proposed three-story office building will offer mental health and addiction treatment services in central Rockwood, planners say.

Lifeworks Northwest has signed a long-term lease for the structure to be built between Pine and Oak streets near the 188th Avenue MAX light-rail station in Gresham.

Design documents call for 24,000 square feet of office space inside the wood-frame building that sits on a 19,500-square-foot lot currently occupied by rusting autos and spare tires.

"I love the white. I love the dark. I think being bold is OK," said Commissioner Camilla Cok during a Wednesday, Feb. 7, meeting of the Gresham Design Commission, which ensures that proposed construction meets city standards. "I like the contemporary feel. I like the way you're articulating the brick."

COURTESY RENDERING - A proposed entrance to the building to be built by RKM Development Corporation.Blueprints show a lobby, pharmacy, medical rooms and a children's play area on the first floor, while the second floor features many private rooms and a training kitchen. Rows of cubicles are planned for an open office layout on the third floor that has access to an outdoor terrace.

Bike racks and 15 parking stalls are proposed, plus landscaping, benches and a small public plaza off the main entrance on Oak Street. Visitors approaching the building from Pine Street would follow a gravel and sidewalk path that leads to the main lobby.

"The door on Oak Street reads a little underwhelming on the provided renderings," noted Senior Planner Josh Williams.

Design Commission members also scrutinized the "monolithic" black-brick facade that would act as the western wall. The project backers have mulled adding planter trellises or a mural to break up the monotony. Some commissioners believe maintenance for so-called green walls can be a challenge.

COURTESY RENDERING - The pedestrian pathway for this building between Pine and Oak streets also features landscaping and outdoor lighting. "People aren't going to be able to see it unless you have a helicopter or live next door," argued Devin Follingstad with the Carleton Hart Architecture firm.

"Nothing's permanent," countered Williams, the City Hall planner. "If something does come in, this facade becomes more visible."

The L-shaped lot is tucked between Golden Dawn Clinic, triplex apartments and an auto body shop. R.K.M. Development Corporation purchased the approximately half-acre property for $1.7 million in 2007, property tax records show.

Rockwood Rising — a public-private development with housing, retail space and a marketplace — is being constructed across the street inside the Rockwood Triangle bounded by 185th Avenue, Stark and Burnside streets.

The Lifeworks project will come before the Design Commission again. COURTESY RENDERING - Visitors approaching Lifeworks Northwests facility from Pine Street will use a paved path to access the main lobby.

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