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The Brooklyn neighborhood, like others in Southeast, is seeing a lot of new apartments being built

RITA A. LEONARD - Work is underway at Brooklyns four-story Dean River Apartments, near S.E. 17th and Pershing Street.  A new four-story apartment structure, described as having "affordable units", is now under construction on a triangular lot in Brooklyn near the MAX Orange Line crossing at Powell Boulevard. The site, bounded by S.E. 16th, 17th, and Pershing Street, was originally proposed by residents for a neighborhood orchard four years ago. After much volunteer design planning for the orchard, however, TriMet – which owned the plot – turned down the idea in favor of selling the space for development.

Contractor "Siteworks Design-Build" began construction on the gravel lot in mid-May. The new "Dean River Apartments", as it will be called, will have many studio apartments, and is intended to appeal to PSU students who are thought to find it easy to bike or take MAX across the river to the downtown university. There's no parking planned for the site – the city does not require any – but there will be much bike storage space.

The owner of the development, NorthWest Sustainable Properties, is a boutique real estate development firm based in Portland. Founded by Portland designer/builder Jean-Pierre Veillet, who has 25 years' experience, the company has completed several local award-winning projects under the aegis of "Siteworks Design-Build" teams.

Bob Merritt, Superintendent at the Brooklyn site, remarked to THE BEE, "The Dean River Apartments is a transit-oriented development. Its residents can easily access downtown, while still living in a close-in, historic Southeast neighborhood. The project will offer much-needed market affordability to Portland's housing stock, with units at a gross rent lower than new-construction alternatives. The small-format apartments may include some built-in furniture. Amenities will include a third-floor community deck and lounge."

Project Manager Brent Bowling told us that the team also worked on a four-building apartment complex near S.E. 28th and Powell Boulevard called "Sunshine Portland Apartments". That project has 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units, with outdoor amenity space for families. "Those buildings are focused on energy-conservation and community-building. They're located behind the old Wendy's Restaurant at 2880 S.E. Powell, which itself is being remodeled into a new Starbuck's coffee business," says Bowling. The new Brooklyn apartment building is expected to be completed in about a year.


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