12 Portland skyscrapers that changed Portland; Small-scale manufacturing in Central Eastside; Booming South Downtown Milwaukie

The word skyscraper might be a stretch, regardless, this piece goes deep (or is that high?) on 12 Portland skyscrapers that changed the city for good (and bad).  I don't normally recommend reading the comments from OregonLive but there's a lively discussion on buildings missed (of course there's the old-timer lamenting how much downtown has changed since—fill in blank of the decade when they peaked/moved here). Great pics throughout, too. I love it when the Oregonian dives into its pic morgue. And for the record, where's the Weatherly

Portland Small-Scale Manufacturing
White papers don't exactly instill a sense of excitement but this one is pretty fascinating. It's called The State of Urban Manufacturing Portland City Snapshot. Stay with me. 

In a nutshell, the white paper helps to try and understand what the small-batch manufacturing sector looks like, who its "entrepreneurs and employees are, and what cities can do to help these firms thrive and grow into larger jobs generators, and retain them within the urban core." 

One of the cities that the The Urban Manufacturing Alliance profiled is Portland. And one of the key takeaways I got (and, sure, I'm cherry-picking) is that manufacturing job growth between 2010 and 2016 was most evident in the Central Eastside district, where it increased by 30 percent. I'm intrigued by small-scale manufacturing and how individuals and companies are making stuff, not outside of cities, but right in the middle in places like the Central Eastside

The downside? 

Affordable space represents the most urgent challenge facing manufacturers in Portland today, especially smaller, fast-growing companies that prefer to accommodate their expansions within city limits.

Milwaukie has a lot going in South Downtown
And, they've got a new website to prove it. South Downtown wasn't even a thing like 5 years ago. And now? Here's some of what's going to be completed (whoa?) by 2019-2020. 

  • Axletree apartments, a new five-story, mixed-use development.
  • Kronberg Park Multi-Use Walkway
  • Coho Point at Kellogg Creek, an opportunity site for a 5-story mixed-use building.
  • A new high school 
  • A new space for the Milwaukie Farmer's Market

That's just some of the projects.

 The future site of Coho Landing in South Downtown Milwaukie. The current building will be demolished.  Source. 

The future site of Coho Landing in South Downtown Milwaukie. The current building will be demolished. Source. 

Small-scale on Division
Took a stroll down Division in today (as I do every couple of years) and was— as usual—blown away by the changes. I like that these kind of workhouse buildings (see pic) are still around. Two-story, retail on bottom, housing on top. Could this even get built anymore? Does code even allow that? 

 Small-scale still exists along Division (surrounded by new construction). 

Small-scale still exists along Division (surrounded by new construction). 

Guild Theatre gets new life; mid-century in Milwaukie; new pedestrian bridge in Forest Park

We've got to admit it was touch and go with the Guild. It was in disrepair for years, then vacant. (Buildings that are vacant for long periods of time always us nervous.) It was originally built in 1927 as the Taylor Street Theatre until 1948 when it was renamed, renovated in 1956, then closed in 2006. But wait! It was renovated in 2016. Original plans called for it to be used as a theater, but that came to pass. Until this year, it sat vacant. And now, Willamette Week reports that it will get a new resident—Japan's Kinokuniya Books. Chalk that up as a win. 

Milwaukie Cleaners closing
Dry cleaners closing their doors isn't exactly breaking news. However, this one piques our interest. One, it's a cool structure. Two, it's a hidden mid-century gem. Three, it would make a great spot for something other than a dry cleaner? Restaurant? Beer-something? Coffee shop? Market? The Architecture Heritage Center did a walking tour of downtown Milwaukie last year that (we think) that featured it. (They're doing another one in the fall.) 

Beers Made by Walking and a new pedestrian bridge in Forest Park
If you've never done the Beers Made by Walking hike, do it. Last weekend, we had the chance to wander around with Forest Park folks and brewers from Hopworks and Reverend Nat's Hard Cider. The two-hour walk provided a chance to see a new Metro trail under construction, a 500-year-old cedar, and a forest —mere miles from downtown Portland. 

Closer to town on Burnside in Forest Park it was recently announced the Burnside Wildwood Trail crossing has enough funds to be built. After support from myriad of sources, including Portland Parks & Recreation, Metro, major family and public foundations, private donations, and crowdsourcing, construction is predicted to start in late summer. 

 Based on a stunning design inspired by the concept of a “bridge floating in the woods” by Ed Carpenter, an artist from Portland.  Source. 

Based on a stunning design inspired by the concept of a “bridge floating in the woods” by Ed Carpenter, an artist from Portland. Source. 

Multi-Use Walkway in Milwaukie; Restore Oregon; empty storefronts; Luxury Bread Building

The engineering design for the new Kronberg Park Multi-Use Walkway is nearly complete in downtown Milwaukie. The walkway will stretch from SE McLoughlin Blvd. to the Kellogg Creek Bike-Pedestrian Bridge in south downtown Milwaukie. 

The bridge spans consist of two weathering steel beams with a concrete deck. Over time, the weathering steel produces a natural brown rust-colored appearance that blends well with the forested context, and also reduces the need for maintenance painting in the future. The bridge is supported on hammerhead-style concrete piers with round columns. The columns, in turn, are supported on concrete footings with driven pile foundations. The railings will be galvanized steel in a pattern similar to those used for the Kellogg Creek pedestrian bridge at the north end of the park.

Opens spring of 2019.

 The walkway will connect downtown Milwaukie to McLoughlin.  Source.

The walkway will connect downtown Milwaukie to McLoughlin. Source.

Historic renovations wanted
Restore Oregon is inviting nominations for its 2018 DeMuro Award. Their goal is to recognize historic rehabilitation projects across Oregon that exemplify exceptional creativity, quality, and community impact, and to share the lessons learned. Submissions will be accepted through July 11th. They're an amazing organization and I love what they do.

Empty storefronts in new buildings—it's not your imagination
Not totally (but totally) Portland-related: what's with all the new multi-family buildings with empty storefronts on the ground floor? From the excellent Strong Towns

I seem to read about a new restaurant or bar opening almost every day. So there is clearly a demand for commercial space. Why not these newly built commercial spaces then, especially when most of them are in highly attractive, busy neighborhoods? The basic answer is, of course, that the rents are too expensive for small businesses.

Adaptive reuse project of the week: Luxury Bread Building
The Central Eastside and Eastside has such a rich fabric of older buildings that we hope can either a.) carry on or b.) at least be retrofitted and repurposed. Meet: the Luxury Bread Building built in 1929. Its previous life was a family bakery called the Luxury Bakery Company. Completely rebuilt from the ground up, the building will feature some impressive mechanicals, full seismic upgrades and will serve as a retail and production hub for the area, providing a home for Portland’s rapidly growing “maker” economy. Potential uses include food & beverage production, textiles, design, and creative office. 

Brick buildings: cute, but deadly; Milwaukie growth spurt; demolition porn; welcome to South Portland

Historical brick buildings, also known as unreinforced masonry buildings or URMs, "make up nine percent of the buildings in Portland. Though charming, they’re the most dangerous places to be in or near during an earthquake" (which can happen tomorrow or 100 years from now). So, what's Portland going to do? Tear them all down? Make owners pay a bajillion dollars to reinforce? Replace them with boring, vanilla condos? Glad I'm not the one making decisions around here. 

 Interesting, leaky roof. Presuming this one's coming down when sold.  Source. 

Interesting, leaky roof. Presuming this one's coming down when sold. Source. 

Downtown Milwaukie (or DTM—too soon?) is on the cusp of a huge building boom. There's new construction ready to start for the Axletree (110 units) and the rumor of a brewery on the bottom floor. Next door Coho Point at Kellogg Creek, a five-story mixed-use project is in the works.  And if you cross McLoughlin, there's an interesting piece of property for sale in one of the few commercially zoned properties within the area. My guess is a tear-down. The roof leaks, it looks like it's going to collapse, it's a unique style. Watching this one for sure. 

 The Axletree in downtown Milwaukie.  Source. 

The Axletree in downtown Milwaukie. Source. 

Portland DJC posted a photo essay of demolition porn last week. The old Portland Music Co. building is a goner. Its replacement will be a "six-story, cross-laminated-timber building." (Portland Music Co. moved down to Oak Grove on McLoughlin, by the way.)

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Portland is moving closer to changing mailing addresses for nearly 10,000 businesses and homes in what would be the most significant change to the city's address book since the Great Depression.  For some of you in Southwest, you will now be in South Portland.

Renovating on SE Grand, property for sale in Oak Grove, Willamette Falls back on track

Michael Andersen looks at Portland's infamous 1924 rezoning legacy that launched a "century of exclusion." 

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Great news! After a brief hiccup, the Willamette Falls riverwalk project is back on track. (Sorry—PBJ subscribers only.) 

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 For sale across from the Park Avenue Max stop—four parcels for a total of 27,014 SF lot. The site also includes a 4,752 SF industrial-flex building. The property is "ideal for owner use or a redevelopment opportunity."  Source. 

For sale across from the Park Avenue Max stop—four parcels for a total of 27,014 SF lot. The site also includes a 4,752 SF industrial-flex building. The property is "ideal for owner use or a redevelopment opportunity." Source. 

Down in Oak Grove at the last Max stop, a key piece of property has been listed for sale. The whole corner is ripe for development. On one side you have the station, across from that is Max parking, then a 7-Eleven. With a local organization (Oak Grove is unincorporated) working with the county to re-imagine the intersection (e.g., introducing code so more sprawl doesn't get thrown up on McLoughlin) this might be a viable intersection someday. 

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Lorentz Bruun Construction announced on its Instagram page that they're in the process of renovating an old furniture store on Grand (716 SE Grand). Built in 1904, the brick-cladded building had a modern facade plopped on in 1979. The building is next to Dig a Pony and Kachka. Bruun recently adapted the Iron Fireman warehouse building (1721-1799 SE Schiller St.) in SE Portland (coming soon: Ruse Brewing) and are working on the new Central Eastside Mt. Hood Brewery location at OMSI. 

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 There's brick behind that 1970s facade.  Source.  

There's brick behind that 1970s facade. Source. 

Speaking of beer (when are we not), down in Oregon City, First City Ale House (great name) has applied to the OLCC for a taproom on Main Street. Oregon City is booming.