New details emerge on Block 75, the 9-story 145,000 sq. ft. mixed use building on the corner of NE Couch and MLK at Portland’s Burnside Bridgehead. Combining street level retail with flex office space and apartments, the Eastside proposal looks to utilize the highly visible corner with a rather ambitious program. The building is set to contain 8,000 sq. ft. of retail, 60 apartments, and 30,000 sq. ft. of offices all on top of 58 parking spaces. The project only uses the Southern half of the block, with a quarter of the block housing the existing Union Arms Apartments and the last quarter slated for future development.
The exterior design is directly related to the site, according to Works Partnership: “…the program is neutralized and assembled into tubes of space that allows for a plastic response to the sweep of the arterial bridge access that cuts through the development.” As discussed before, the area around East Burnside is quickly becoming the best collection of local designed buildings in Portland, and this project looks to add itself to that portfolio. The bundle-of-tubes design will certainly catch the eye down Couch Street, and I’m expecting some excellent cityscape reflections in the off-set glass facade. As the Skylab and Guerrilla Development projects fill in the remaining Bridgehead blocks, this once dead-zone area looks to become one of Portland’s greatest places.