Home Firm Profile People Services Portfolio Awards News Careers Contact

MGA News

Crossings transit project brings urban living to Gresham

Portland Business Journal

November 19th 2006

The Crossings at Gresham Station is a diverse, high-density, community, combining retail, residential and office activities.

A joint effort between Metro, TriMet and Mike Rossman of Peak Development, the project was one of the first in the area to receive support from Metro's Transit Oriented Development program. That program provides incentives to develop mixed-use, higher-density projects near transit centers along the MAX light-rail line.

Located immediately adjacent to the future Gresham Station light-rail station, The Crossings encourages the use of mass transit, bicycles and walking, and promotes urban living, thus helping mitigate traffic congestion, improve air quality and influence surrounding land-use patterns.

General contractor Lone Oak Construction completed the $11 million project in spring 2006. A grant from Metro and tax abatements helped fund the project.

The triangular site -- a 'crossings' between two prominent components of the area, Gresham Station shopping center and the Gresham Central MAX stop -- is linked together by a series of broad pathways along Northwest Civic Drive and 13th Street. These pathways begin at an urban plaza near the MAX stop.

This plaza, a bustling center of activity, sets the mood of the entire site design. A raised adjoining sidewalk, overlooking the MAX, flows toward Civic Drive, and toward a small amphitheater overlooking the main plaza space filled with outdoor cafe seating. A center planting island, surrounded with seating nooks and landscaped with ground cover and shade trees, is a welcome refuge for tired shoppers. At night, pools of soft light from streetlights and building-mountluminars illuminate the plaza, streets, pathways and rear parking areas.

Pushed to the active edges of the site, the building screens the rear parking lot from Civic Drive and 13th Street. Planter islands soften the parking area. A center planting island at the rear parking area, facing the MAX line, is terraced down to meet the below-grade parking ramp.

The main five-story building, with retail space on the ground floor, 81 residential units above, and below-grade residential parking, fuses old-world charm and contemporary urban architecture. The building offers a variety of market-rate studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and loft-style units. It consists of three parts: the center portion a mixture of European and local craftsman-style facades, and the outer portions a reflection of modern loft-style architecture.

Ten individual facades, built to the edge of the sidewalk, push forward and back in an alternating fashion. Clad in brick, concrete, metal panel and fiber-reinforced cementitious panel, they provide pockets of activity for sidewalk cafes and interactive retail spaces to flourish. These retail spaces, accessible from both the street and parking sides of the building, encourage activity to spill out into the neighborhood.

An anticipated second mixed-use phase, Civic Neighborhood, relies on creating the powerful sense of place begun with the Crossings at Gresham Station. Set on a 4.35-acre site, Civic Neighborhood would combine mixed-use buildings, live/work townhomes, and two pedestrian-friendly plazas, and include green features such as harvested-rainwater ponds. Situated on the existing east/west pedestrian pathway, the building placement would connect the entire project and encourage additional morning and afternoon activity on 13th Street. If this second phase is realized, it would provide for an enhanced, pedestrian-oriented experience and a diversity of building types, scales, uses and materials.

The Crossings takes its cue from a bygone era before suburban sprawl; it is focused on the creation of livable high-density centers, villages and towns connected by efficient transportation services. All of The Crossings' residents and employees have convenient access to more than half of the Northwest region's major locations of jobs, services and centers of trade. This is the first of several future buildings designed by Myhre Group Architects that will emphasize transit-oriented design.