A shuttered manufacturing site with a polluted past is steaming toward a future as subsidized housing, thanks to several infusions of grant funding.
The city's Bureau of Environmental Services is spending $200,000 to help pay clean-up costs for the brownfield Wagstaff Battery Company site in North Portland's Eliot neighborhood. That's on top of $4.5 million in urban renewal funds OK'd by City Hall in January.
The total price tag for the project, including public and private dollars, is roughly $20 million.
"This grant is an investment in our community, helping to create healthy neighborhoods, while providing deeply affordable housing in a historically underserved neighborhood," said Commissioner Nick Fish on April 11. "It's a win-win-win."
Contaminated soil lingered on the plot long after the one-story industrial structure at 2124 N. Williams Avenue was repurposed in 2000 as a job training center for the developmentally disabled, which was run by Port City and later Albertina Kerr.
After the hazardous material is removed, the San Francisco-based nonprofit BRIDGE Housing plans to build a u-shaped 61-unit apartment complex surrounding a landscaped courtyard. Other amenities including community gardens, common space, a children's play area, chicken coops — and 32 surface parking spots.
Forty units will be reserved for households earning 30 percent of the area's median income, or about $24,420 for a family of four, while the other 20 will be for those making 60 percent. Ten of those units will include wraparound services for people exiting homelessness. Only the on-site superintendent will pay market rates.
The land was donated by the Multnomah County Commission after a vote on Jan. 24.
"These are the units that keep our lowest-income community members stable in their housing over time, and prevent homelessness," noted Marc Jolin, director of the city-county Joint Office of Homeless Services.
While originally announced as a four-story development, the project has apparently grown a fifth floor, according to Next Portland. A majority of the units offer two or three bedrooms.
Quality local journalism takes time and money, which comes, in part, from paying readers. If you enjoy articles like this one, please consider supporting us.
(It costs just a few cents a day.)