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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Another apartment bunker for Division Street

The real estate sharpies of Portland have never encountered neighborhood character that they don't instantly want to wipe out. That's surely happening along Division Street in the southeast part of the city. The street is experiencing a renaissance, and like clockwork some guy is ready to slap up some awful, oversized, out-of-place monstrosity. This one is supposed to be 31 units, with only 10 parking spaces. Apparently there's an 82-unit job going in somewhere close by with zero parking spaces.

The same thing is happening in the Hollywood District in northeast Portland. These guys never stop, and they're being completely egged on by the Blumenauer car-hater cult at City Hall. Just another reminder of the real shame of what they're doing to Portland. Oh, well -- off to the suburbs go the people with lives.

Comments (21)

I've noticed your banner header illustrates perfectly what is happening.

Sam's ilk sees the Pearl and these similar developments happening and think how great they are re 'making' Portland.

While the rest of us stealthily pack our bags, knowing it's completely fake, subsidized, soulless, generic and not the reason we came here in the first place.

They can have it now, I have given up.

I drove by one of your favorite bunkers on 26th and Division the other day. The rusty metal siding panels are truly an eyesore. Architectural, design, and planning failure there.

But it's "progressive"! Ha, ha.

Without new housing in the city, there's no choice but to go "off to the suburbs." Expensive architecture is, well, expensive. When new buildings in town are too fancy, they're criticized as caving to the wealthy (e.g. The Pearl). When new buildings are built to be more affordable, they're criticized as being dowdy and ugly. We can't have it both ways.

By the way, the buildings that currently endow neighborhoods with "character" were also once brand spankin' new, and probably not in conformity with those that proceeded them. A city is not a museum. People need places to live.

"A city is not a museum. People need places to live."

People also need places to park their cars, whatever the planners think.

JustSayin - Are you completely blind to the giant labels of Uninhabitable buildings and FOR RENT signs all over Portland that no one does anything about?

You seem bereft of the complexity and expense it takes to keep up a property in this bureaucratic nightmare of a city and an apologist for the corrupt developer-politician connection that stubbornly screams "we can't have it both ways.'

That 82-unit complex is planned for the northeast corner of Division and 37th, on the site of the now-defunct "Weird Bar." Apparently the developers plan on leasing out some parking spaces for tenants behind the mini-mart on the northwest corner.

The "apartment bunkers" should convert nicely to "govern. housing". 3-5 families per unit.

I think you misread the story ... there will be NO parking spaces. The 10 parking spots refers to bike parking.

you make a good point when you say "A city is not a museum. People need places to live."
The operative word is live, not be warehoused in some soulless bunker that looks to be the descendant of something the new soviet man would have been assigned to

Bunker? The building as portrayed is going to have some street level retail, which is helpful considering Division St's boom in restaurants and store front retail.

It has a variety of masonry, not just a slab. I mean, it may not be to your taste, but it is not the minimal and cheap hardi-plank stuff you see all over (and is the cheapest you can build). This is not the cheapest.

For reference, the rusty iron cladding material (which, again, is a taste issue), is actually a kind of interesting material. I looked it up when I saw it on some condos on SE 28th. It's actually a kind of iron alloy designed to rust only on the surface. Then that rust layer actually serves as protection. It's used around harbors a lot. Interesting stuff. If not pretty.

Anyway, no one on this site seems able to point to an apartment structure that would qualify as a non-bunker. So the term "apartment bunker" might be redundant. At least in these parts.

For the record, the City guidelines allowing these guys to build so few parking spaces (or none) is terrible and will be a disaster if no one fixes it.
(New mayor! Fix this!)


Cars will be extinct within 20 years. We'll all be vegans. Nobody will eat anything that didn't grow in Oregon or Southern Washington.

Global warming will make Oregon so much warmer, we'll have banana farms where the parking lots used to be.

And unicorns farting rainbows. Paradise.

You can't hold onto the old ways forever.

Sellwood Lofts is not a bunker.

"Apparently the developers plan on leasing out some parking spaces for tenants behind the mini-mart on the northwest corner."

Which, of course, means that the parking is temporary. The parking will be leased for as long as the developer feels like it (because the CoP would never think of requiring the developer to provide the parking permanently as a condition of constructing the building).

Jack Bog wrote: Oh, well -- off to the suburbs go the people with lives.

Hi there, please don't be afraid of the suburbs. There are plenty of nice pre-owned homes that will serve you well for rather less money than you pay in the city, and you won't be feeding the new-construction beast. I feel no stigma, only a lifted burden.

There's not a tetanus-inducing brutalist bunker in sight. The condos in that 26th and Division abomination weren't all that cheap, either. It's a conspicuous lifestyle affirmation. The windows there are to show off the lucky residents to the admiring proles below, it's like playing The Sims.

But this same city won't let the little hair salon sitting in that turd pile's rusty shadow expand out of it's garage without paying tons for re-zoning. Using the house itself wouldn't fit in with the residential nature... you know, that zone tucked right in between the Division zone and the whole Clinton Street hubbub.

Easy re-zoning is for the big boys...

How sad, how horribly, horribly sad. I grew up around that area. My stomping grounds included that area, use to be a nice place to grow up, play, etc. As with most (only 99.9%) of the plans that the city has hatched, this one SUCKS major league; and studio and one bedrooms? Really? And 400 to 500 square feet? My home office area is 400 square feet - gads and you folks put up with this absolute nonsense. Was sad when I had to move away, that sadness fades more and more, faster and faster each time I read about this kind of bilge.

Amen! Native Oregonian...well said.

Thanks for replying about the bunker question (J. Bog). I was wondering what muster had to be passed to be a non-bunker.

According to the Portland Biz Journal, there was considerable public money in that project (mostly for cleaning up toxic waste). And there are only 12 residential units on a fairly large site. So I don't know that it could be a good model for any private development that would be profitable. But people like it. So a step in the right direction...

Don't forget that between the 26th Ave bunker and the new one planned for 37th is the block-long site of Stan Amy's former Nature's, kept vacant during the past several years, as well as the block-long parking lot to its immediate east.

This site was mentioned earlier in this forum:

"And who owns the Division site? It's listed as being owned by something called ADG III LLC, with addresses that again point back to Amy."

Stan Amy, of course, has been extremely generous to Eileen Brady:

"Brady’s biggest donations have come in at $10,000: from New Seasons co-founder Stan Amy; and PM Financial Services, a mortgage company owned by Darla and Kali Placencia in the Chicago area, where Brady grew up."

New Seasons built its Division St store at 21st, so it is highly unlikely that groceries will be sold again between 30th and 32nd. Besides, other sites are far more attractive to Ms Brady and her patron, Mr Amy:

"Apparently the fix is in for a New Seasons or Market of Choice grocery store on SW Fourth Avenue near the real estate development company known as Portland State University. It will be right on the streetcar line."

Surely, no one has forgotten the emphasis upon grocery stores by the divisive, vindictive, alleged mayor and the self-serving Portland Plan authors?

I suppose the rusty decrepit look works on the waterfront.
Can't see how it makes a lick of sense aesthetically plopped in the middle of some established neighborhood.
Unless the goal is to drive the value of the surrounding property down so you can build MORE rusty bunker apartments.
given that Portland has lots of now unused former waterfront why not build your lovely rusty bunker boxes there and leave the rest of us alone ?

The city is pumping up a bubble in rental units. There is no shortage of rental housing here. Inventory is temporarily tied up until the banks straighten out the foreclosure paperwork. When these vacant houses are finally sold investors, there will be an abundance and rents will plummet. First the city pumped up the housing bubble with subsidies for condo developers (SoWat). Now it encourages a glut of rental units. Why do these idiots keep getting elected?


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