The envy of the Pearl

“Autre Ne Veut” translates to “I want no other,” a statement true enough for the latest apartment building wrapping up construction in the Pearl District. The building, NV, is named in a play on the French phrase inscribed on a 15th century British dress ornament stored at The Cloisters, part of The Met in New York.

JOSEPH GALLIVAN - NV is located at 1261 NW Overton in the Pearl District.

One of the tallest residential towers in the city, NV is located at 1261 N.W. Overton. It is designed by ZGF Architects, developed by Unico Properties and currently under construction by Andersen Construction.

NV has 284 units ranging from live-work lofts, townhomes, one- and two-bedroom apartments to commercial space at street level. The site used to be a warehouse that was torn down in 2014, and the 26-floor, 250-foot-tall tower is now under construction and nearly complete.

Julie Currier, Unico Properties Senior Development Manager, said there were many reasons why they chose to build apartments here.

“Namely because the site is located in the northern portion of the Pearl: the zoning allows for taller residential projects with better views and more light,” Currier said. “The site also has three parks within as many blocks, which, combined with the shopping/dining/entertaining options of the Pearl District, provide a fully-rounded residential experience that is hard to beat.”


NV will be one of the tallest apartment buildings downtown, taking up a full block. The third floor is dedicated to shared resident amenities, and the entire tower is twisted 45 degrees off the city grid.

“The strong podium base holds the edges of the street with activities including retail, work-live-play lofts and townhomes,” Currier said. “The tower’s alignment is rotated off the urban grid and optimized to further increase views and daylight opportunities for residents.”

The third floor, which is the first floor of the tower and at the top of the full-block retail podium, has a roof deck surrounding the tower with fire pits, outdoor kitchen, living, yoga and game areas, a huge water feature, flatscreen, workout equipment, a great room, a show kitchen and private dining areas.

ZGF Architects designed the structure and common areas, partnering with AMA Architects on the unit interiors.

Alan Locke, senior designer with ZGF Architects, is the lead designer for the project.

“My role is to bring together the aspirations of many people — the client, the city, the community — and arrive at a cohesive vision by listening and then distilling those goals into architecture,” Locke said. “The brick of the podium nods to the scale and material of the District’s historic brick warehouses while the tower’s glass and stainless steel allude to the District’s current context as a contemporary regional destination.”


NV has an extensive green roof, stormwater management, high-efficiency heat pumps, bike parking, electric vehicle chargers and LED lighting. It is aiming to achieve a LEED Gold rating. NV has 224 underground parking spots, 152 storage spaces and 473 bike stalls. It offers the only valet parking at a residence in the Pearl.

“The design seeks to advance the vibrancy of the Pearl District with a glass residential tower atop a two-story podium clad in brick,” Locke said. “The podium’s massing follows the scale of the block-by-block cadence of the District, while the tower itself — placed upon the podium on pilotis, or piers — shifts 45 degrees on axis from that cadence to take advantage of stunning views.”

Views extend from NV straight down the city streets to the West Hills, eastern mountain range and the Fremont Bridge. Currier said the tower will feature large apartments, mostly floor-to-ceiling windows and luxury finishes.

“NV has taken the concept of shared residential amenities to a level not yet experienced in Portland,” Currier said. “The most interesting feature of the building is the two-story sky homes, which have not been done in this market.”

VIDA DESIGN - NV has retail at street level and a residents' deck on the third floor surrounding the residential tower.

Unico has been in the Portland market specifically since 2000, and owns and manages a portfolio of properties including the iconic U.S. Bancorp Tower (Big Pink). Unico also developed the launched Asa Flats & Lofts in the Pearl in 2008, which “truly reflected Portland’s authenticity and distinct personality,” according to Currier.

“Unico has a longstanding commitment to sustainability, understanding that buildings leave lasting legacies on their surrounding communities,” Currier said.

Unit rates haven’t been set in stone, but are being developed in comparison with other luxury apartment projects in the neighborhood and around Portland.

NV has a completion date scheduled for late summer. Find more information online at