Lake Oswego City Council endorses preliminary conceptual design for North Anchor project
Designers for the hotel component of the North Anchor project on Tuesday, April 20, shared a more fully-formed rendering of how the building will fit into Lake Oswego's downtown core.
The proposed design is intended to accentuate the city's natural characteristics while providing a unique flare that both stands out and fits into the surrounding environment.
On April 20, 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 council ultimately endorsed the preliminary conceptual design for the hotel and the multi-family residential building in the North Anchor project.
"The Board will be asked to approve the final Conceptual Design as part of the Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) scheduled to be completed in the summer," read the city's staff report.
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 First and Second 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 in June 2020.
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.
While not much changed with the multi-family building from the previous update last month, the focus Tuesday was on the hotel.
Chris Hodney, design director for the multi-family project, said there were minor refinements made in current renderings to show more reality and scale with the window openings in the upper floor apartment buildings, as well as more detailed window configurations.
Scott Barton-Smith, design director for the hotel project, said they saw the hotel as a contrast to the multi-family residential building, but one that is still complimentary. He said they focused their attention on anchoring the corner of the building on First Street and B Avenue in a different way than the residential project. For the proposed hotel design there is a single entry to the restaurant and lobby of the hotel, and it includes a covered outdoor space large enough for seasonal outdoor seating.
Barton-Smith said the proposed hotel design fits into Lake Oswego's arts and craft-style code, which is inspired by local traditions and nature. This style also offers asymmetry and steeply pitched roofs, stucco and archways.
When looking at examples of this style, Barton-Smith said designers latched onto other components like a singular, lighter-colored material that's continuous from the ground to the roof, which he said provides a "clean canvas" for playful windows and plantings to stand out or grow on the face of the building.
Mt. Hood, which is visible from the city, inspired the form and color of the hotel, Barton-Smith said.
"Turning to nature is really, we believe, one way to make timeless architecture," said Barton-Smith, adding that the Willamette Valley basalt and local traditions of lumber and steel inspire the color and detail of the building as well.
The proposed design is also voluntarily set back by about 10 feet from the north property line to preserve a view corridor for the nearby apartment complex. This also allows a pedestrian cut-through in the alleyway.
Hotel rooms are proposed on all four sides of the building and designers would ask for a variance to add a fifth floor for luxury rooms. There would also be a lightwell — an open area bringing in natural light — in the center of the building that would extend to the ground floor.
Councilor Jackie Manz said it was an "extraordinary design" and asked about the window pane material.
Barton-Smith said designers are looking at the window material but what's specified in the schematic phase is a clad-wood window, meaning it's made of wood with clad on the exterior. He added that there are many color options.
Councilor John Wendland asked about the foliage on the hotel.
Barton-Smith said Hacker Architects believes in connecting to the landscape, which is an important element to every design. He said they would look at what plants could thrive with the building's microclimate and that the landscape would likely change. The building could strongly stand on its own, he added, especially for the first couple years as the landscape matures.
Wendland also asked if the height variance would stall the project.
Sarah Zahn, development director with UDP, said the hotel would remain within the height limit in the zoning code but the variance would be for an additional story. While there is a risk that it would stall the project, the team believed they could make a substantial argument in support of it.
For more information about the project, visit the city's website.
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