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I checked out the project last weekend and I was not that impressed. Let's start with the outside. The materials look cheap. If you are just going to paint a building, then at least make the colors vibrant and interesting. This looks drab and boring. It does feel a lot more urban in the area and bringing additional residents and retail to the area will help it feel much different.

The parking situation was interesting. Looked like most people were parking underground and not in the lot on the same level as New Seasons. Lots of empty spots there yet underground was full. Perhaps some signage will resolve that or people will figure it out.

Spent some time at Mudbay, one of the new stores. Every single customer walked in through the back door from the parking area. There was no foot traffic from Broadway. It's a nice attempt to create a shopping area but a lot more needs to happen to the area for that to become pedestrian friendly.

Having said that, the New Seasons was packed and I expect for this store to become one of their top stores. Fred Meyer may suffer a bit. It will pick up some business from the new residents but NSM will cherry pick some high-spending customers. It's possible QFC will suffer a lot more though.

All in all. A good project but it could have been better.

Lucas Gray

This development is comprised of some of the ugliest buildings in Portland. It is a shame how little thought or creativity was put into the design. The materials and colors are bland, and the ground floor retail appears dark and dreary. There was very little attention put into the design of the street front or improving the pedestrian experience along Broadway. This is a huge fail for the developer, the design team and a terrible addition to the neighborhood.

It is projects like this that make me think we should have design review for the entire city.

Karen Stein

Could not agree more, Lucas. The development is a hulking set of structures that are too tall for the corridor and create a claustrophobic, dark gauntlet along Broadway. I far preferred the open feel of the unused lot before this was built, and I think that the architects could have made an effort to retain that feeling of openness and light. Instead, they did the opposite. And the design of the buildings, and the signage, brings to mind a medical center or offices rather than a pleasing place to live and shop. The interior of the New Seasons also feels as if it has no relationship to its location. There are few windows that provide shoppers with a sense of place. And why did the developers and Trimet not add a Max stop at 33rd, given the number of residents, neighbors and shoppers who will be traveling to and from the complex? It's definitely disappointing.

Jo Price

I was so hopeful for this development. It is a huge lot with so much potential. Instead the gray exterior and really boring materials all around are so disappointing. I bet a lot of that commercial space right on the corner of 33rd will remain unfilled. The view of it from the freeway overpass at the south is even more disappointing. There is not one redeeming color or design element. Double thumbs down.


Just a curious observation. Why didn't the developer add a lane of street parking next to the building? Yes, it would have cut into their property but that might have helped activate the streetfront.


Sadly, this project did go through the Design Review process.

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