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Mike Francis

This is a very cool project. I look forward to sitting in the brewery someday, toasting Doyle and DiLoreto.

C. LoNigro

The Leftbank now creates a warm welcome as one crosses the Broadway Bridge, and gives life to this transitional urban area.

One mistake in the article however, Diloreto Architecture has great experience in restoration projects of this caliber as they were architect on the Eastbank Commerce Center.

John Russell

I'm really loving that old aerial shot at the bottom. At the very least it's interesting to note how the streetscape has evolved around the Leftbank—such as the old intersection with Flint, the two-way traffic on B-way, and the lack of stop lights. Unfortunately, you can also see some of what was demolished to make way for I-5 up top. It will be interesting too to see what happens with the vast swaths of nearby pavement in the near future.

t

I like the comment that this project is "mission driven" and not "commerce driven". That's a quaint idea. Do they have any tenants? Having an empty building is an interesting "mission".

Its a very tough location to access with a million cars buzzing by it on all side at all hours. I have a hard time seeing it ever become "pedestrian friendly". Nice idea and a nice building, but one that is going to very tough to keep full.

tao

The City and PDC are putting PDX Lounge there, to help promote our leading sustainable design and development sector, and to offer space for them to collaborate for higher visibility, marketing and showcase events, and B2B networking. A modest investment that should support these companies, many of whom are positioned to have some resilience even in this economic climate due to growing demand for better design/development.

nesw

My understanding is no retail brewery at this location - just a coffee bar. Love the creative use of the space and reused materials - but they seem to be lacking some essencial "green" elements - like daylighting the downstairs office areas and new windows with some level insulating value. Do not think I would want to commute here daily by bike (or anyother way for that matter). However very happy to see the buidling come alive again.

andy powell

It's really exciting to see all of the interest and opinions about the Leftbank. Many thanks Brian (and all), for your involvement... it’s exciting after many months of labors to open up a dialogue about the place! A few thoughts about some of the posted comments and perceptions...

Yes, the project is striving to gather the mission-driven, not the commercially-driven. This is a distinction that is as much cultural as it is economic, and the comment suggesting it ‘quaint’ gave me a bit of a chuckle. Simply, the idea is to bring together people with passion for what they do. It’s certainly reflected in the framebuilding school we're talking with, but even more so in coming tenants like PDX Lounge and Portland Farmer's Market. They are at the heart of the 'vibrant community' we are working to cultivate -- and this not for the sake of selling space, but rather, for the sake of making everyone involved better, more inspired, more empowered. Think 'building as advocate,' less so the traditional 'building as money-maker'. Of course, the need for the project to be economically sustainable is a given, but that is just one part of the triple bottom line (economic, environmental & social) we are seeking to satisfy.

In regards to the ‘essential green’, we’ve made an informal accounting of our ‘green’ credentials, which is available here: http://leftbankproject.com/2008/08/but-is-it-green/

The comment raises a significant question, which we’ve grappled with every step of the way. How do you balance the desire for highest-efficiency and best environmental practice with the need for affordable spaces? In this initial phase of restoration and redevelopment, to do everything that could have potentially been done to those ends would have ultimately made the place unaffordable for the very people it seeks to embrace.. Understanding that, we’ve focused first on restoring the true integrity of the buildings and reusing everything we possibly could. When introducing new systems into the building, we’ve invested in the best and most efficient technologies available, as in the case of our Daiken super high efficiency HVAC system, or the broad use of LED lighting. And as for daylighting, we have taken every opportunity available to increase it in a building that already has a considerable amount (perhaps Brian can attest?). Couple that with operable windows in virtually every space, and you have a very livable building that still remains accessible to lots of us who can’t (or don’t want to) pay for the pearl.

As for the brewery, it’s been clear from the beginning that in order for an honest-to-god collaborative community to develop and thrive here we would need a few things, and great coffee, good food and yes, drinks (!), were among them. The craft brewery is an upstart called Upright Brewing Company, and while not a brewpub itself, its brews will be available in the cafe at Leftbank that's currently under development. In this cafe, regional, seasonal, and organic foods will fill the menu, and 3rd wave coffee + teas and more will fill the cup... and of course, Upright beer and likely a full bar to back it up.

And one last note, about accessibility – I’ve biked regularly to and from the area for the last 18 months, and can tell you that once you know how the traffic works, it’s not much of an issue. It is, like many spots on the bike map, a place where you’ve got to keep your eyes open and your riding practice on its best behavior. That said, the coming streetcar line is going to change the area rather dramatically, with widened sidewalks, improved bike lanes and quite possibly, additional crosswalks and signaling – all of which will make for a very different place!


Ray Whitford

I sure hope that your work opens up the Rose Quarter area (within 1/4 mile of 99W and the Broadway Bridge) to others! Your early adoption and vision will always be remembered.

Hopefully the Blanchard site (PPS Maintenance building) will be used for a AAA Baseball Stadium and the PPS can use a Gateway/CEID location). Getting 41 more days of fans coming to baseball games will also help with traffic.

Place the SMART Tower nearby; think about moving I-5 East and underground; work toward opening up the waterfront for the public; move Union Station to new underground platforms under 99W and the Memorial Coliseum (Memorial Station at the Trails End Transit Station); and add more parking (MLB needs down the road) and/or apartments above the current parking structures. (Remember that all of this is a forty year project, and we still have no master plan for this critical piece of land in PDX.)

The Rose Quarter and Old Town/Chinatown needs to be our Entertainment Zone. You are doing a great job with your investments in creating a livable and friendly zone that could truly become the center of Portlands Welcome Mat and First Impression.

Ray

val

Bravo! This project is just the sort of thing Portland needs to see more of. The adaptive reuse of a historic building is the very essence of "sustainable development."

Heidi Bertman

Leftbank is an example of restrained decorum on the development scene in Portland. There is an intelligent balance of materials and building reuse, as well as more technically based sustainable strategies. Thank you for posting about this project.

It's refreshing to have the original building there where you can touch it, particularly when so many developments either cover up or demolish the history of our existing building stock. The focus of the development as mission-based instead of lease-it-now-based (isn't that what we really mean by "commerce-based?") is going to bear itself out as the economy refines. Looking at the recent "hub" development with Lincoln, etc., it seems to make a lot of sense to Portlanders to support the fabric of our city this way.

The neighborhood will be very interesting to watch as the PDC plans and support manifest in the next few years. There will be an increased sense of pedestrian accessibility and literal ties over the bridge.

Valentij

I got to go to Leftbank for Beyonda's New Years Eve Ball and it is amazing. Doyle lives!

There is a certain aesthetic of 80 year old brick and timber that you just can't fake. If anyone wants to turn an old eastside warehouse into large flats, count me in!

brad cooloey

Finally got a chance to visit this project and was thoroughly impressed. The expression of materials and communal spaces makes for a very invigorating space.

Also the brewery in the bottom didn't hurt the experience any.

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