Even before details are finalized for the massive Con-Way redevelopment in Northwest Portland, the surrounding neighborhood is already seeing dramatic change. A new proposal called Q21 is being planned for the name-referenced corner of Quimby and 21st. Consisting of 160 apartments, 12,000 sq. ft. of offices, and 15,000 sq. ft. of retail the mixed-use building will retain the tilt-up concrete shell of the existing warehouse in order to frame the new glass and metal panel facade.
The program appears very urbanist in design, and the focus on street activity and stormwater retention will please the sometimes finicky neighborhood. The project also looks to appease the infamous Nob Hill parking Henny Pennies by offering 111 auto spaces within and underneath the walls of the structure. The overall scale of the 260 by 200 foot site blends into the dense neighborhood with townhouse style setbacks facing the older neighborhood, a step-down massing plan from the busier 21st Avenue, and a 35-foot wide boardwalk facing the Con-Way properties.
The boardwalk is part of the greater Northwest Masterplan and fits into the Q21 scheme not just as a community asset, but also as a potential outdoor seating area for the ground level retail spaces. The North-facing boardwalk will certainly be a welcome relief from the summer sun in this currently wide-open sea of parking, but that parking will all be replaced by a high-density neighborhood if all goes as planned. Con-Way is looking to build the next great neighborhood of Portland on their 15 acres, and the city has high hopes that the rebirth will include not just the Quimby boardwalk, but also a public plaza across the street from Q21 and an extension of the Streetcar through the area.
Details are all preliminary, but the project looks to capitalize on the growing momentum of the Con-Way superblocks. The area is already abuzz with multiple new apartment complexes and retail shops, and New Seasons announced that it is building a new grocery store at 21st and Raleigh, a block from Q21, which will open its doors in 2015.