Hollywood Theater's New Neighbor: Five Story Apartment Building

Comments

1
I dunno, that front facade is pretty hard to miss. If anything, some ugly, boxy condos will make the Theatre stand out that much more.
2
It does seem like they could move it over a bit and have the pedestrian plaza area be on the theater side, but honestly it is a city and we need more housing in the city, especially near a major transit center like this would be.
3
Also 3 cheers to the city for not killing this project with ridiculous minimum parking requirements!
4
More like this please. If we want to become a denser urban place and have the benefits that go along with it, developments like this one will be sprouting up all over town. Specifically along higher-traffic streets where they are allowed to be built. If we get up in arms about these sorts of things then the suburbs will just continue to expand indefinitely. Is that really what you want?
5
For.
6
@ Allan, +1
7
That's the stupidest complaint about development I've ever heard.
8
@ Allan ++1
9
@ cat & beard +1

@ Allan +++1
10
I love living downtown, but I'm genuinely jealous of this place.
11
We have to maintain empty lots on all sides of the Hollywood Theater so it can remain "visible"?

It does seem like Portland has the dullest architects anywhere, though - all these condo buildings are totally cut from the same cloth. (Although this one isn't as bad as the one being proposed for NE Couch.)

12
We could move the theater to a spot overlooking the Banfield Freeway (maybe right next to Steam Portland?)...then *everybody* could see it! (Well, everybody on the MAX and freeway, anyway.)

In case you can't tell, I agree that the "[don't] alter the Theatre's visibility" argument is rather silly. With the wide boulevard there the Hollywood isn't going to disappear from view or anything.
13
You should blame Architects less, and developers more.
14
I give the theater 10 more years.
15
Build it now!
16
Another +1 for Allan. I remember when the building that used to be there caught fire. That lot's been empty for too damn long.
17
stupid. stupid. stupid.
that needs to be a parking lot AND pedestrian plaza.
not some high faluten ugly condo.
18
I call dibs on one of the apartments facing the theater!
19
Glad this is being developed, but man could you build something that clashes more with the theater. Its like they tried for it not to fit. These architects cannot think outside the box, literally. I guess its better then a parking lot.
20
As pointed out above, this doesn't have shit to do with architects, it has to do with beautiful design generally costing an assload of extra money to the developers.

You can have beautiful design, but it will come at the cost of higher rents. The developers obviously decided that they'd prefer offering competitive rents to constructing a building that non-residents would uniformly commend as a beautiful counterpart to the nearby theater.

Also, the damn thing looks fine - it's a fucking apartment building for god's sake, not the Guggenheim.
21
Not sure why people consider it some sort of privilege to live without parking. Frankly, I think this is something that Portlanders prefer for OTHER people.

At least at this location, it will be really hard for them to just park all over the streets, so it is likely to have a large majority of residents who truly have no car.

In most cases all these no-parking buildings do is monopolize all the street parking in a three block radius.

The theater has no gripe. This is a city, and that is a good development site.
22
@2 - the lot is indicated by the dashed black lines on the plan, so they can't just move the building. Actually, I don't even know if the 'pedestrian plaza' is feasible, unless the city has bought into the idea.
23
Don't we all love a courtyard that has five stories towering above it on all sides? Who loves the sun, anyway?
24
"Who loves the sun, anyway?"

It's Portland. Hardly makes a difference.
25
@blabby, for one thing adding underground parking to this building would cost 25k or so per space, so if you made two spaces per unit you are looking at a 50k increase in the cost of construction, that means way higher rents to make it worth building which means not affordable housing. Not everyone wants to live car free, but right now finding housing where you don't have to shell out like you own a car can be difficult. This provides a lower rent option for people who don't own a car and in many cities it is almost impossible for a developer to do that. Without the parking waiver this development might not go forward at all.
26
Econoline, I know that underground parking is very expensive and can blow up many a project. But you are assuming that "getting something built" is the highest calling for our city, and we must make all types of concessions to get it done. It is the highest calling for a real estate developer, but the public doesn't have to share that goal.

The swamping of surrounding streets with cars because the developer doesn't want to address the parking needs of his own project is a valid neighbor concern.

It's strange that liberal Portland seems to think that a developer not being able to build the largest new building at the greatest profit is a tragedy requiring special breaks from city government. Due to our d**k-sucking love of planning, we now seem to worship for-profit real estate development as well. Strange for a "progressive" city.

I would also add that this is market-rate project. They will charge the maximum rent they can get for the units. I don't see anything in this post stating that the lack of parking will be passed on to renters in the form of lower rent.
27
Not every single person owns a car, in fact many people in Portland do not, the whole point of this development is that it appeals to people who aren't going to own cars. If local streets are swamped with cars the answer is to charge to park on street, then plow that money back into local improvements. There is already a lot of parking in the area, parking which if the surrounding parking on street were not all being offered at the subsidized price of free could charge for parking. For instance the Rite Aid right near here has rooftop lot, the Whole Foods building has a huge garage, this neighborhood doesn't need more parking, although it might benefit from charging for on street parking.

Also why is no one pointing out the obvious benefit to the theater of having 51 apartments worth of customers most of whom probably won't own a car, located 15 feet from their front door.

The only thing that might be a good idea for this development would be to try to partner with a car-sharing company to further decrease the likelihood that renters in the building will own a car.
28
Pal's Shanty might seem like a dive bar if you have spent too much time in the Midwest, but it is not.

Compare and contrast with Blackwell's Grubsteak across the street from the theater (which is also pretty tame, but will freak out most Iowans).
29
Actually, a large majority of households in Portland do own a car, though it is true that a small minority do not.

Tell me Eco, and be honest, would you live in a home without any parking space available, not even on the street?

We paid to build the streets in the first place, and maintain them for decades. It isn't "free" "subsidized" parking - that is a half-baked talking point repeated endlessly by car haters. (By which I mean they hate other people's cars, because they all own at least one.)

The businesses of Hollywood would just love the loss of free street parking for their customers. See the progression here:

1) City allows/encourages the addition of 51+ residents without providing a single parking space.

2) Parking becomes a nightmare.

3) City (who never could have foreseen this) is "forced" to start charging for parking.

Pretty neat trick.
30
My household currently contains less than 1 car per adult. If I had a job that was within easy reach of the red or blue max line I would definitely consider making the switch to car free if there was access to zip car. Especially if the apartment I was renting cost less because it didn't come with 1-2 parking spaces. Many households in Portland are car free, recent census data pegs it at about 6%. I think those people deserve the option to live in a place where they do not have to pay for a parking place they don't intend to use. Market rate for an apartment with no off street parking should be less than one with off street parking. The only reason it wouldn't be is if there was so much free parking subsidized by the city that people didn't view parking as a valuable commodity, you know basically the situation we have now.
31
btw assuming that all residences are on floors 2-5 the average size of these rental units will be well under 600 feet. While only 6% of all households in the city are car free the demographic which is the most car free is young and single, which is clearly what these units are targeted at.
32
The planned building looks like the box the Hollywood Theater came in.

And @econoline - new apartment buildings like that aren't pitched to the young and single crowd - they're for older people who eschew cars and have a significant amount of money. I don't think people in their 20s would be able to afford a new building like that.

A commercial building more architecturally compatible with the theater would be preferable.
33
If it can fit nicely next to the Hollywood Theatre I'm for it. The Hollywood area seems to be lost in a time warp of sorts while other commercial areas around town like Mississippi and Hawthorne have seen revitalization. Anything to counter this and make the area see more foot traffic has to be good.
34
Econoline: "My household currently contains less than 1 car per adult."

Right, but you do own one. Most of our planning theories (and that is what they are, "theories") are predicated on large numbers of people behaving in a way that even the planners themselves don't behave.
35
It's super generic and looks just like all the other crap they tend to build.... They should have made it subservient to the theatre rather than the other way around. And yes, they should have required the developer to include parking. It is however a great location for housing being so close to both transit and retail. Also happy that it will include first floor retail.