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Burnside Bridgehead project's design on track

Daily Journal of Commerce

November 26th 2014

The Burnside Bridgehead - a four-acre, four-block chunk of property purchased by the Portland Development Commission for $11 million in several deals between 1998 and 2006 - originally was going to be developed by now-defunct Opus Northwest. When it was unable to get large-scale development off the ground, the PDC opted to let several other developers pursue it in smaller increments. One of those projects could finally get a green light next week.

The Portland Bureau of Development Services has recommended approval for Myhre Group Architects' design of a six-story, mixed-use building at 419 E. Burnside St. for Seattle-based Trinsic Residential Group. Plans call for 157 residential units, two live-work units, ground-floor commercial space and rooftop terraces.

Also, the development will hold 50 residential parking spaces - including 11 tandem spaces - and 12 spaces for the adjacent building, according to a BDS staff report.

At a Design Commission meeting on Sept. 4, the developer and commissioners discussed moving the proposed location of a garage gate from Northeast Grand Avenue to Couch Street. The commissioners believe an entrance on Couch Street would be better suited for in-and-out vehicle traffic, because Grand Avenue has been identified in a Central Eastside design plan as a street best suited for pedestrian-friendly retail.

Relocating the garage entrance changed the building's overall orientation, which now features a primary residential entrance on Grand Avenue and a continuous arcade along East Burnside Street.

The Design Commission will meet Dec. 4 to review the staff report and hear testimony from the applicant and any concerned citizens. The commission will then be able to adopt, modify or reject the proposed development.

Meanwhile, construction of a $58 million, 21-story tower at Block 67 is under way. The project team - Guardian Real Estate Services and Hood River-based Key Development Corp., Skylab Architecture and Andersen Construction - put together a development that will include 20,000 square feet of commercial space, 284 apartments and 200 parking spaces.

Andersen Construction began site work in October, and Brad Nile, a project executive with the contractor, said vertical construction will begin in January and require approximately 22 months.

Also, Key Development is planning to develop Block 76W, a small piece of land on the west side of the Couch Street couplet, with a two- to three-story commercial building that will mirror the larger tower.

Developers of a 10-story, mixed-use project on Block 75 - 111 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. - on Nov. 18 submitted permit applications to the BDS. The Design Commission in August approved Works Partnership Architecture's design that calls for ground-floor retail space, office space on the second through fourth floors and 75 apartments on levels five through 10.

The project development team includes representatives of Beam Development and Urban Development Partners as well as Carrie Strickland and William Neburka, both principals at Works Partnership Architecture.

Expectations are for Beaverton-based Yorke & Curtis General Contractors to finish the project in time for a May 2016 opening.

The Fair-Haired Dumbbell, two six-story buildings connected by sky bridges, is the first speculative office complex proposed for development at the Burnside Bridgehead. Guerrilla Development owner Kevin Cavenaugh, designed the buildings with a Florentine pattern wrap to resemble gift boxes.

Guerrilla Development collaborated with Fundrise to raise more than $5 million from 1,200 accredited investors to pay for the project, according to Katie Brotherton with Norris, Beggs & Simpson.

Carter Beyl, a broker at Norris, Beggs & Simpson, said the building "epitomizes the tech pilgrimage to Portland," with its open space, timber-frame construction, expansive wood floors and robotic, stacked parking system.

Crews are expected to break ground in the second quarter of 2015 and finish by the end of the year, according to Brotherton.