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This seems like a very promising development: a truly ugly parking garage to be torn down and replaced with a building that will house people rather than just cars, and parking to be put underground where its impact on the city is at least less visible. I've actually wondered if I'd live to see the day (or the real estate market) that such a thing could happen in Portland.

I hope this trend continues and that many more above-ground parking garages that now mar the downtown area will meet the wrecking ball. To the extent that there's a market for more downtown housing, it would be wonderful if the new housing replaced the parking garages.

Or to pick up on a thread from another discussion: Where would I like to see housing density increased downtown? Where we now have architectural monstrosities devoted to storing cars!


Edlen says he wants to build a 460-foot condo tower. For comparison, another tall condo building is the John Ross, which will be 325 feet and 31 stories. This new building would be 40+ stories of condos, in what is currently not a residential district. Is there a market for that much housing?


In regards to that the US will need approximately 100 million new units of housing in the next 19 years, I would definitely say so! How many units would a 460 foot tall tower hold? What % dent in the 100 million unit count would that make?


This tower will go a long way to curing the achillies heel of Downtown PDX, Housing. We just don't have enough people living Downtown. If we have 100,000 jobs in DT, should we not provide 100,000 housing units? If we're ever going to get to that number then we're going to need these 460ft towers.

Brian Libby

If the tower is indeed 460 feet and/or 40+ stories tall, it would be a major, major presence on Portland's skyline. That calls for some very strong design.


I agree that the tower, being one of the top 5 tallest in Portland, needs to have an incredible design. But I welcome the taller building(s). Portland needs to think about getting higher in the air to provide more housing, and if it can't be done in SoWa or the Pearl, lets get some of these taller towers downtown.

In most other cities across America condo towers are streaching well above 50 stories. Portland can absorb a few 460' towers if not taller as long as they protect our public viewpoints of the skyline and Mt. Hood. This location also will not be overwhelming nearby parks, which many have criticized the Ladd Tower of doing.

I'm glad to see G-E's proposal to take down a parking garage as well as develop that eyesore parking lot on 10th and Washington as outlined in the WW story. Unfortunantly the WW story tried to stir up controversy with a 'conspiracy' between the PB5 and this tower proposal, but I take G-E at their word when they say part of the underground garage could still provide low cost parking. Good to see Portland growing up!


Agree with Mark. As a newcomer, I love the city, but here is what it needs to put itself on the map (I realize many pdxrs do not really want it on the map, but that's another discussion): 1.A signature bridge spanning the Columbia (say a Calatrava design)
2. A 50-75 corporate tower by a 500 Fortune company (say designed by Sir Norman Foster) 3. A new concert hall/Opera house (?Diller and Scofidio) 4. A new W Hotel at the far end of the Pearl.
So I think a 40+story condo tower downtown is a start.


^I think Portland has plenty of quality, in-city architectural firms that can and should be given priority to design signature projects over starchitects. Although, I'm more in favor of design competitions and therefore if the starchitects want to compete with the in-house talent, we will all walk away with a richer, better designed city.

Justin M

The Tram, Nikos, the Tram!

That is what is going to put Portland on the map.

I grew up in Portland and currently live on Capitol HIll in Washington DC. And actually, Portland is on the map. Most people I meet from DC, love Portland and want to move there.

IMO, Portland needs to focus less on being "on the map" and more on providing basic services to it's citizens.

And to bring this back on topic, just let me say that Portland's skyline blows, so any new development that takes away from the stumptown image is fine with me.


Nate asks, "Is there a market for that much housing?" Well, we keep hearing that planners expect the Portland metro population to grow by another million people over the next couple of decades. If even a tiny fraction of those newcomers -- let's say 5 percent -- want to live downtown, that would translate to an additional 50,000 people looking for downtown housing. At an average of two people per apartment, that means downtown would need 25,000 additional condos to meet the demand of the newcomers alone (and that's not even counting the folks already in the Portland area who might opt for downtown if more quality housing were available there).

Is there a market for that much housing? I'd say there's a market for MUCH MORE housing than that downtown. With its cultural amenities, shopping, convenient public transit access to the airport and all, downtown Portland may be the single most desirable place for well-to-do urbanites to live between Seattle and San Francisco -- if only there were more tower developments from which they could choose.


^and price ranges...


A condo tower here could be terrific, if well-designed. Interestingly, I've noticed that there are NO tall buildings between Yamhill and Morrison downtown - and this is the MAX spine. So this one would really, really stand out.

Someone brought up the idea of a new opera house/concert hall. This block would be a great site for it. On the site of the existing auditorium, beside the Keller fountain, some fine 40-foot condo towers could rise...

Ray Whitford

Portland does need to break through the 460' barrier at some point in certain locations that do not effect public lines of sight to Mt Hood.

One place I feel should be considered for breaking the barrier in a big way is the Lloyd District and Rose Quarter District. Some blocks are bigger so hybrid structures with Retail/Commerical/Office/Apartment/Condo levels would have scaling for setbacks(terraces) and no restrictions for public sight lines to Mt. Hood. The West Side types need to understand that both sides of the River need to growth up.

It would be interesting to see when GoogleEarth gets some Solids added for Lloyd District to see about any sight line issues for Mt. St Helens.

Ray Whitford

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