The vacant lot on the southeast corner of MLK and Ivy used to be a service station turned alchemy lab known most recently as the Grant Warehouse. The former owner had polluted the site with an unknown toxic brew which was discovered during a fire. Consequently the City tried to force Mr. Grant to clean up the site, which was beyond his ability and means. Ultimately the EPA did the clean up and placed a lien on the property. Eventually the EPA turned the property over to the City and from there it ended up with PDC as an “opportunity site” within the Convention Center Urban Renewal District. PDC hosted a couple of community advisory committees to explore development options and to solicit design proposals. One of the goals was to provide home ownership opportunities rather than subsidized rental housing. Due to the poor housing market and challenge financing condo construction in inner-NE Portland final design and construction had been delayed. Now it appears a workable plan has been identified that can be constructed.
The developer selected by PDC is Ariston Development with a design for what they call Ivy Street Homes. The project will consist of two sets of units. The first will front MLK and will include live-work units. Some of these will be affordable by placing the underlying property into a land trust with Proud Ground, successor to the Portland Community Land Trust. The second complex will be behind the first. A total of 28 units will be in the development including a variety of sizes and configurations. There will be 1.5 parking spaces for each unit and a host of “green” features that should make the units affordable to own. Prices are expected to be in the mid-$200,000 range. For comparison, a 3 bedroom, 1,300 SF unit in the Knott Street Townhome complex behind the Nike building is currently listed for $264,500. These units were originally built as “affordable” as well and sold for roughly $140,000 when they went on the market in 1999.
For more information visit the Ariston web site at, http://aristondev.com/projects/ivy-city-homes.