Team for Lake Oswego's North Anchor project refines design elements
Designers for the North Anchor project recently proposed changes, most notably to the ground floor corners of the residential project.
On March 16 the Lake Oswego City Council, acting as the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency, received an update from UDP — the developers in the North Anchor project — and the design directors from Hacker Architects for the hotel and multi-family residential components of the project.
The design directors provided the City Council with an update on refinements made to the proposed designs over the last month after receiving feedback from the council in February and the Forest Hills Neighbors/First Addition Neighborhood Association earlier this month.
During the Tuesday afternoon meeting, the design directors primarily discussed how the design would address the corner of State and 1st Streets as well as the gables — part of a wall enclosing the end of a pitched roof — along B Avenue and 1st Street.
The project is expected to bring a mixed-use complex to the property on the stretch of B Avenue between State Street and the alley between 1st and 2nd Streets.
The city's efforts to develop the property date all the way back to 2004, when the North Anchor block was listed as the centerpiece of the City's East End Redevelopment Plan. The City began acquiring parcels at the site in 2010, and the first request for proposals (RFP) went out in 2015. About a year after a prior proposal for the site fell through, the city reached a memorandum of understanding with UDP this past June.
UDP's mixed-use proposal for the North Anchor site includes a lounge area and rooftop access, an estimated 75 multi-family residential units, 60 hotel rooms and more than 6,000 square feet of ground floor retail space that could be divided into smaller spaces. These numbers are subject to change.
After the initial hotel partner, Atticus Hotel, backed out late last year, UDP selected Mosaic Hotel Group based in Northern California. The group has experience operating small, boutique hotels and dining inspired by the hotel's location.
"We're engaged in our schematic design project on both the residential and hotel properties right now," said Sarah Zahn, development director with UDP. "We're playing a little bit of catch-up on our hotel design right now."
Chris Hodney, design director for the multi-family project, said the previous design had the retail component expanding to the corner and showed an entry with a canopy. Hodney said they made a change to cut in a large recessed retail plaza or retail court on parcel B of the multi-family project.
"It was an opportunity to provide a fairly large opportunity for outdoor seating," said Hodney, adding that it opens up the corner quite a bit.
Also due to the site's grade change, there's a proposed planter and sidewall that will emerge above the ground and provide public seating on the sidewalk side. The corner of the building, which would provide more outdoor seating than the last design, is covered and would provide shade and weather protection year-round.
On parcel C of the multi-family project, they're taking a similar approach but are treating it differently because of traffic along State Street and the lack of a grade slope (the sidewalk is relatively flat). There is no proposed sidewall as it would be flush with the sidewalk but there will be opportunities for people to sit outside and it will make the retail space more accessible for pedestrian traffic.
Overall, the architectural refinements helped to create a more open retail court in the current design proposal.
Last month, Councilor Rachel Verdick expressed concerns about design aspects of the gables on the multi-family buildings. She said the rows of gables on the buildings appeared intrusive on the street and asked for the architects to take that into consideration.
"We haven't changed the gables yet," said Hodney, adding that they feel strongly about the way the gables anchor and split up the buildings.
Scott Barton-Smith, design director for the hotel component, said they've been working with Mosaic for the last couple weeks to develop a program that makes sense for Mosaic and UDP operationally, while balancing those demands with the vision for the city and neighborhood "to make a truly beautiful building that is unique and is a beacon on 1st that compliments the multi-family building across the street," he said.
The ground floor of the hotel will have a covered outdoor space in the southeast corner and a large entry plaza that leads into the lobby. The restaurant would line 1st Street and the outdoor space would be large enough for seasonal outdoor seating.
Barton-Smith said he will have more to show in regards to hotel design next month.
The team also completed a preliminary parking analysis — which is subject to change as the plan is continually being refined. And Zahn said it's a bit complicated.
"We are looking at different required spaces for hotel rooms, retail and residential units," Zahn said. "We will do our best to identify our retail tenants as early as we can, but as you know that's a process that often plays out a little bit later in the development cycle."
Zahn said they looked at parking separately for the hotel and multi-family projects.
For the hotel, right now there are 58 spaces required and for the multi-family residential buildings there are 76 to 111 required (the range is due to the unknown retail tenants). They currently are providing 108 spaces for this component, Zahn said.
Mayor Joe Buck asked what the parking would look like around the site.
Zahn said there will be parallel parking spaces along the hotel frontage and angled parking along 1st on both sides of the street.
Councilor John Wendland said he loved the open spaces. He asked if the hotel design would be different from the multi-family design. He also asked if they could design the hotel without gables.
Barton-Smith said he intends for the hotel to be contrasting but complimentary to the multi-family parcels.
Councilor Massene Mboup brought up concerns around diversity in the renderings. He said he saw no Black, Indigenous, people of color, children or people in wheelchairs in the design renderings.
Hodney said that's something they've spoken about internally and have discussed making sure the renderings are more reflective of the diversity of people.
The project team plans to return before the City Council Tuesday, April 20, — a slightly pushed back date — to present the final design package for endorsement.
Right now the development team is about halfway through the schematic design on both the multi-family buildings and the hotel.
Toward the end of May, Zahn said they're expected to make the land-use submission and hopefully the approval process would be completed in September.
Zahn said the construction for the hotel would start around April 2022 and the multi-family project would begin shortly after. The entire construction period for both projects would take just over 80 weeks.
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