Yet another apartment building is on the horizon for Portland, a new 26-story proposal from Unico Properties and ZGF Architects for the Pearl District. The Overton Apartments project looks to add another 285 residences to the Northern edge of downtown, a couple blocks away from Hoyt Street’s proposed 28-story residential tower. ZGF has drawn up plans for a full block complex of live/work townhomes in a 2 to 3-story podium under highrise apartments at the intersection of Northwest 13th and Overton Streets. Several less-detailed massing models of this tower have floated around last year, but it appears that the details are nearing finalization. There is little to get excited about with the standard glass/metal/concrete facade , and the 250 foot tower’s only really distinctive feature being its non-traditional axial twist from the street grid.
The proposal is still in pre-app, but I doubt it will be long before we’ll see city approval, as the city continues to push for central city housing and the 20-minute neighborhood style of living. The proposal appears to be on track with the city’s goals with 471 indoor bicycle parking spots, less auto parking than units available, an accessible eco-roof, and live/ work retail spaces at street level. Maintaining the unique urban design standards of NW 13th Avenue, the entire western sidewalk of the project will be raised to train-car loading height, a historic peculiarity that I find rather enjoyable. The turned facade of the tower also fits in with another one of the city’s continuing requests: that prominent buildings in Portland face the river, and the Willamette does bend to an off-grid angle along this portion of downtown.