Hotel-apartment combo project in Pearl District moves forward
A 23-story mixed-use building designed by Otak will be one of the first projects in the Pearl District to be built under new height and density guidelines outlined in Portland's Central City 2035 plan.
The building represents a combination of uses that's still relatively rare for Portland. A Hyatt Place hotel will take up the first 11 floors of the building that will rise on a quarter-block site at the corner of Northwest Flanders Street and Northwest 12th Avenue. Residential units, both market-rate and affordable, will fill the upper 12 levels.
Currently identified as Hyatt Place and the Lawson Residences, the building makes an effort by the city to encourage density and affordable housing by allowing buildings in the central part of the city to be constructed as tall as 250 feet with unlimited floor-area ratios if they earmark a percentage of units as affordable
The project owner and developer is Parq on 12th, a new venture between James Wong and Ray Harrigill.
Wong and his company, Vibrant Cities, originally planned on just building a hotel on the Pearl District site. After he and Otak began working on the project, however, Portland implemented it's Central City 2025 plan. The new codes, which went into effect in mid-2018, opened up a new opportunity for the development of the project.
Wong joined forces with Harrigill, owner of hotel management and development company The Sunray Companies, to form Parq on 12th and top off the hotel project with a dozen levels of multifamily housing.
The project went through two design advice sessions before moving to the formal review process. Earlier this month, the site plan and design received unanimous approval by members of the Portland Design Commission.
That unanimous support from design commissioners was the result of the project team working closely with city staff throughout the design phases of the project, according to Casey McKenna, Otak's mixed-use studio leader who is serving as the firm's project manager for Hyatt Place and the Lawson Residences.
"We were having bi-weekly meetings during heavy design phases," McKenna said. "It's not often that level of collaboration occurs, but this time it happened, and it was fantastic.
"This being one of the first under the Central City code, the size (of the project), the location, I think there was a real desire on everyone's mind to get this right. We feel it is a great case study of how it can be done when everyone is working toward a common goal."
Collaboration was a key element in addressing concerns from people already living near the project site, according to McKenna. Those concerns included worries about parking availability, issues about how the project fits in with the existing structural fabric of the area, and questions about how the project would impact the Northwest Flanders Bikeway that eventually will run along the south side of the building.
The team, however, had approached the project aware that there might be some opposition from neighborhood groups, McKenna said. The team went out and scoped out the surrounding buildings intending to come up with a design that would fit with what was already there. A valet area was relocated, and the storefront area moved back from the street to provide more sidewalk space.
"Our building reacts to that greenway," McKenna said.
Throughout the planning and design phases, the project team also held several meetings with area neighborhood associations.
"We met with leadership in our office, and we brought them to the table while we were designing," McKenna said. "They had direct input on some of the moves we were making. We intentionally did that. We wanted their feedback. We wanted them ... to actually be a part of the project."
The exterior of the building will feature metal panels and reinforced concrete panels with a window wall for the glass component. The lobby area will feature a bar area with a roll-up wall that will allow that ground-floor space to extend out to the sidewalk. The hotel and apartment portions of the building will have separate entrances.
The residential units will likely be a mix of studios and one-bedroom apartments, McKenna said. However, the exact number of units is still being determined, as is the portion that will be set aside as affordable.
Otak, a multidisciplinary firm, is handling architecture, landscape architecture, civil engineering and planning for the project. DCI Engineers is the structural engineer.
Katerra, a national company headquartered in California's Menlo Park, is the project's general contractor. In earlier documents for the project, the contractor was identified as UEB Builders, which has since changed its name to reflect its acquisition in September of last year by Katerra.
With design approval in place, the next step is to move forward to submit paperwork for building permits, which will probably happen in early summer, McKenna said. If that phase moves smoothly, the project could break ground before the end of the year.
"We're currently hoping for a 2022 opening," McKenna said.
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