nw quimby & 21st (update)

The proposed Q21 mixed-use project with potential Streetcar extension, NE corner looking SW (YBA Architects)

The Q21 project proposed by YBA Architects and Anderson Construction is coming close to fruition. The revised plans for the residential, retail, and commercial complex are far more detailed than those before, and the overall scheme looks even more promising. The redevelopment now consists of 8 Pettygrove fronting townhouses, 155 apartments, 15,000 sq. ft. of office space, two ground floor retail spaces, and three restaurant spaces. A small outdoor courtyard is proposed to activate the NE corner of the 260′ x 200′ superblock, which is intentionally designed to pull the retail experience of NW 21st up NW Quimby complimenting the already underway L.L. Hawkins development from Capstone Partners across the street.

The proposed Q21 project from NW 21st looking NW toward the Con-Way properties, the under construction 113-unit Capstone Partners project by Holst/ GBD can be seen in the background (YBA Architects)

Rendering of Q21’s NW Quimby-facing retail spaces and setback apartments, note the mid-block crosswalk connecting to the neighboring development where the women in white is still looking at her camera… (YBA Architects)

The facades on all three sides pushes and pulls from the sidewalk creating an effective street texture that will undoubtedly have some very nice moments within and around it. On NW Pettygrove, where the street is more residential in nature, a series of townhouse ‘front stoops’ maintain the neighborhood feel in contrast to the more urban NW 21st and Quimby frontages.

View of the NW Pettygrove townhouses from the SE, wood elements soften the front stoops while incorporating the existing concrete outer shell into their facades (YBA Architects)

The proposed Q21 retail frontage, offices, and setback apartments along NW 21st, view from NW Pettygrove looking NW (YBA Architects)

The massing of the building is broken up into four parts: the existing tilt-up concrete warehouse shell, a taller overhanging urban frontage, and two east-west wings on either side of an elevated inner courtyard. Materially, the building appears to be rooted in the industrial past, with clean lines and contemporary finishes looking toward the district’s future. Parking is limited, and tucked into the middle of the building to maximize exterior uses, and every residential unit has some kind of view whether it be Mt. Hood, downtown, the west hills, the inner courtyard, or toward the street life below.

A more ‘realistic’ view of the proposed Q21 in typical Portland weather conditions, view from the East (YBA Architects)

I have no doubt that this building will be a great addition to NW Portland, as it is poised to be the transitional piece from the existing neighborhood fabric to the envisioned Con-Way urbanity. With the new New Seasons and other projects nearby, this once dreary sea of parking lots and slab warehouses is quickly transforming into yet another 21st century Portland neighborhood.

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