- Development cost: $12.3 million
- Completion date: September, 2001
- VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
Redevelopment of this landmark inspired additional private sector investment and confidence in the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. Venerable and Kalberer Company co-developed the 70,000 square foot building located in this historic district.
The Building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was constructed in 1906 as a grocery warehouse and consists of seven stories plus basement on a 10,000 square foot lot.
The building, typical of countless others in Downtown Portland, was severely underutilized for decades. The ground floor served as a showroom and offices for Kalberer Hotel & Restaurant Supply, while the upper floors provided an overabundance of inefficient warehouse space.
Venerable oversaw and supervised contractors and nurtured partnerships between public and private sectors. The large renovation project started in October, 2000 after the team secured a master lease from Portland Development Commission (PDC) for 10 years. The project merged the private owner and developer with the vision adopted for the project by PDC to create a central location for new, incubator creative businesses housed in one building. PDC instead decided to consolidate the entire agency in this site and now occupies the entire building.
PDC’s partnership included a low-interest seismic retrofit loan and storefront and exterior lighting grants. The City’s Planning Bureau assented to Venerable’s request for a deferral of some seismic upgrades to increase the project’s financial feasibility.
We found the project presented a substantial structural challenge because it was one of the City’s tallest unreinforced masonry buildings. Steel “K” braces were combined with floor and roof diaphragming, ties of perimeter walls to floors and timber beam/column strapping and parapet bracing.
Also, the choice of mechanical systems was a challenge. The original windows were in adequate condition and, therefore were required to be retained due to the building’s status as a National Register property. The single-pane quality compromised energy efficiency so much that a highly efficient mechanical system had to be selected to counteract building conditions. Venerable settled on a water-based system with compressors on individual floors, under floor plenum with movable floor vents and perimeter consoles. This system qualified for Business Energy Tax Credits.
The project team converted this large, inefficient historic structure with some physical constraints into a building that maintains the historic feel along with contemporary, unique styling and modern conveniences.