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Yorke & Curtis' Broadstone Enso project rising in Pearl District

Daily Journal of Commerce

February 12th 2009

High above Interstate 405, Yorke & Curtis' name is emblazoned across a giant tower crane, signaling its presence in the Pearl District. The Beaverton contractor is working on the Broadstone Enso building, a $23.5 million project that will add 152 units of market-rate rental apartments to the area.

"This is our first project with a major tower crane," said Yorke & Curtis Project Manager Pat Compton. "It's exciting to have it up there where people can see our name. We worked really hard to get to this position and feel confident approaching a multifamily project."

Designed by Myhre Group Architects of Portland, the six-story, mixed-use development broke ground in October 2008 at Northwest Lovejoy Street and 14th Avenue, in front of the Portland streetcar line.

"For the design, we took a look at the site itself, which is in a fast-moving area," said project manager Allen Tsai of Myhre Group Architects. "There is a lot of transit. We tried to incorporate the concept of motion into the building."

Myhre Group Architects did this by placing staggered, silver masses of metal over the wood-framed building's dark-colored base skin, and by accenting the corners of the building with trailing canopies. Metal, wood and concrete accentuate the various bumps and canopies that pepper the building's exterior. Even the building's name, Enso - a Japanese symbol meaning circle - expresses movement.

The center of the Broadstone Enso will have a breezeway with a courtyard featuring a community barbecue area, fire pit and artwork. Myhre Group Architects integrated similar materials from surrounding Pearl District buildings into the design of the Broadstone Enso to tie in with the area's industrial history. Yorke & Curtis recently completed the demolition of an enormous warehouse built in the 1940s that occupied the project site.

"It had really nice timbers, which will be used for feature walls in the Enso's common areas," said Compton.

"The Northwest Rebuilding Center also pulled doors, plumbing, lights and interior trim from the warehouse to be reused. They were very fast and professional."

Other sustainable elements of the Broadstone Enso include a white roof membrane to reflect the sun, and an efficient roof filtration system for storm water.

The building was developed by Alliance Residential Company, which has developed other Broadstone communities in eight states, including Washington. Dave McAfee, Alliance manager for the Pacific Northwest, feels the Broadstone Enso will be a success despite a slowdown in the residential market.

"I think this project will hit a market that condos cannot serve," he said. "It is transit-oriented. The streetcar runs right in front of the building, and there's a Safeway nearby. I grew up in this area, and it has been a remarkable transformation."

Scheduled for completion in April 2010, the 215,000-square-foot Broadstone Enso building will have 11,500 square feet of ground-floor retail/office space, five stories of apartments, and a parking garage.

Yorke & Curtis' first cement pour for the building's basement post-tension slab is slated for Tuesday.