Last fall, at a meeting of the Brooklyn Action Corps, representatives from "Brew Dr. Kombucha" and "Townshend's Tea Company" – till now located at 4245 S.E. Milwaukie Avenue – revealed their plans to leave the site, and the neighborhood, in 2020.
Matt Thomas, owner of the two businesses, remarked that by 2015 he'd realized that they had outgrown the space, and subsequently has found a place in Tualatin to move to, and this year will do so.
Meantime, the owner of the property, Jerry Baker, said he planned to sell the sloped property, which is bounded by S.E. Cora and Boise Streets, to a developer – "Ethos" – to build a four-story residential complex with retail business at street level along the Milwaukie Avenue side.
Subsequently, due to Portland Building Code changes, the planning firm Hacker Architects was able to design the new complex, tentatively called "brookLAND", as a FIVE-story, 160-unit apartment complex – accomplished by including "affordable" rental units, 42 auto parking spaces, and 240 bike spaces.
Since the shape of the lot is unusual, planners are hoping to mitigate the design by creating "connections to nature" – with entry notches into interior courtyards. Fifteen percent of the surface area is required to be dedicated to landscaping. Consequently, a large interior open-air courtyard with green spaces is planned to allow for more light and cross-ventilation. A café is planned for the northeast corner, and a fitness center is also planned. The 160 apartments will be comprised of 1, 2, and 3-bedroom units. The project's completion date is projected to be 2022.
There were concerns expressed by the Brooklyn Action Corps neighborhood association about sewage and stormwater from the site, but planners explained they were re-using all stormwater within the project. Concerns that top level residents would be able to look down into established neighbors' back yards was countered by a ten-foot setback from the property line.
The complex will feature a modern design that some Brooklyn residents felt would not blend in with existing home styles in the historic neighborhood. However, the addition of courtyard green spaces, elevators, ADA-accessible units, a gym, a common area lounge, work-space, and a rooftop viewing deck were considered commendable additions. Brooklynites will miss the employment opportunities and the uniqueness of being the location of Townshend's Tea and Brew Dr. Kombucha, but the B.A.C. wished them well in their new Tualatin location.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.