PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - American Assets Trust says it’s creating a neighborhood in Portland’s Lloyd District, where the San Diego company is building apartments by the hundreds.
If that’s the case, Phase Two would be the neighborhood’s town square.
As its 657-apartment Hassalo on Eighth development nears completion, AAT is turning its attention to redevelopment of the four-block site just to the south. It would replace Oregon Square, a collection of low-rise office buildings, with four new high-rise and mid-rise apartment buildings.
And in the middle, the company is planning more than 100,000 square feet of open space. (That’s nearly 14 times the size of downtown Portland’s Director Park, 2-1/2 Pioneer Courthouse squares and almost two football fields.) The privately owned park would be open to residents and anyone else.
“We definitely see it as being both an amenity and asset to the development, but also a destination,” said Kyle Anderson of GBD Architects, which is designing the project.
The idea had its origins in a negotiation with the Portland Parks Bureau. AAT proposed using the portion of its development fees that would go toward new parks to build one on-site. The company would build the park, then hand the deed over to the city.
The talks fell apart, but AAT kept the idea for the public space, anyway.
“The Lloyd District doesn’t have a city park,” said AAT Vice President Wade Lange, adding that nearby Holladay Park is technically in the Sullivan’s Gulch neighborhood. “As more people move here … that’s going to be a glaring miss on our part.”
The space would be owned and managed by AAT, which would have staff on-site 24 hours a day. It would host events for its residents and for the general public.
Oregon Square is already home to the Lloyd District’s year-round farmer’s market, frequented mostly by people working in the surrounding office towers. More than 11,000 people work within three blocks, AAT says. (They haven’t yet hammered out an agreement to keep the farmer’s market there, but Lange said it would be a good fit.)
“We know that’s an opportunity during the workday to capture a group of people who are looking to get out of their buildings,” Lange said.
Like downtown’s Director Park, the Oregon Square plaza would sit atop a parking garage. It would include a covered area and a fountain that could be turned off to make more room for events.
The plaza would be surrounded by four residential buildings. Anderson, the architect, said his firm has been careful to create a “porous” design, where people could access the space either through the wide gaps between buildings or through retail storefronts that be accessible from either the sidewalk or the plaza.
AAT plans to start construction at Oregon Square in spring or summer of 2016.
The original story can be found on The Oregonian’s website: https://bit.ly/1zPwPy1
Information from: The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com
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