One North is a neighborhood development on Fremont between Williams and Vancouver with a courtyard nestled between three office buildings. The design plan includes laser-cut quotes in weathered steel bands located throughout the courtyard. What should they say? Your input is welcomed!
Williams Reaches Substantial Completion
Just before the ball dropped to celebrate the new year, Portland Bureau of Transportation announced that the “N Williams Safety Project reached substantial completion”. One of the major tasks completed in December was installing the permanent light at Cook. There is still some minor work to do on Williams and the Rodney Bikeway portion has yet to begun. It is nice for travelers along the corridor, whether in a car, on a bike or on foot, to see construction wind down and to take advantage of the improvements.
Eliot has a publishing company that recently moved to N. Williams Avenue at Graham Street. I recently sat down with Microcosm owner Joe Biel to talk about who they are, what they do and why they decided to locate in Eliot.
Williams Construction Update
Here is a construction update from Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) regarding the Williams Traffic Safety Operations Project. Although the project has met several milestones, it will continue to be an active construction site for several weeks.
Rodney Greenway Coming Soon
By Stuart Malkin –
You may have already noticed the speed bumps being installed on NE Rodney. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is converting NE Rodney into a family friendly bike route, known as a Neighborhood Greenway. Neighborhood Greenways are a type of street treatment that provides a safe shared-use environment for bicycling. The road conversion will run south to north from NE Broadway to NE Killingsworth and offer a calmer alternative bike route to the soon to be improved Williams street bikeway.
Upcoming Changes on Williams and Rodney
On Monday, the transformation of Williams will begin as construction starts on the North Williams Safety Project. There are a lot of changes, but the biggest on Williams is that most of it will be one lane and the bike path is moving to the left side. Rodney will also see the addition of speed bumps and a diagonal traffic diverter at Ivy.
Meeting – Impacts of Williams Project
On Tuesday August 19th at 6 pm there will be a community meeting to discuss the impacts of the N Williams Traffic Safety Project and options to address them .
Land Use Summer Update
There isn’t much to report on but things that are pending may fill the entire fall issue of Eliot News! The “big” issues are the pending Williams and Rodney bike projects and the next version of the Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) proposal. Also, there are two developments proposed, one at Williams and Fargo and another at 7th and Brazee.
Bella Mi Soap Company
By Katie Hughes
Bella Mi Soap Company is one of the newest additions to the North Williams Corridor. At a time when many products you find on the shelves are laden with chemicals or tainted by greenwashing, it’s refreshing to find a business that actually lives up to the principles of sustainability.
WineUp on Williams
By Nancy Zimmermann Chung
One of the most recent additions to North Williams Avenue, WineUp on Williams opened this fall in Eliot’s historic Rinehart Building. Recently, I stopped by to take advantage of the bar’s “Tightwad Tuesday” deals and to chat with co-owner Wayne Oppenheimer.
The current Comprehensive Planning process provides city planners with a once every 20-year opportunity to rethink planning processes and tools. It is evaluating two tools that are important to Eliot as part of that process; the Ex zone and “institutional” (hospitals and colleges) land uses and users.
Our Voices Were Not Heard
It was with high hopes that residents of the Eliot and Boise neighborhoods took time out of their days to be active participants in the Design Advice Request (DAR) on Thursday. This was likely our last chance to voice our concerns over the development of the lot at NE Williams and Fremont and the future development of the overall neighborhood that each one of us has invested quite personally in. When City Council approved the zoning change from R1 to RXd, it was stated that the DAR hearing would be our guarantee of finding that middle ground where neighbors and developer would meet. This was not that place. It felt more like being stuck on a boat in the middle of the ocean, trying to yell for help to the mainland. And we only get to yell for three minutes.
Design Advice Review Says 85′ is OK
Ben Kaiser’s proposed 85 foot tall building on the SE corner of Williams and Fremont went for a “design advice review” by the Design Commission October 24th. The Design Commission only reviews projects upon appeal or through Type III permit procedures. Ben could have avoided this review but he agreed to it during the Council hearing on his zone change request. Exactly what he agreed to is in dispute. I believe he agreed to Design Commission review and approval but the Planning staffer assigned to the case, Hillary Adam, told the Commission he didn’t need to consult them further. We are seeking clarification. Decisions of the Commission can be appealed to City Council, otherwise it is Hillary’s call and Type II permit reviews don’t provide much protection to neighborhoods.
Neighbors Appeal Development
A group of neighbors that are most impacted by a proposed development on the corner of Williams and Fremont have filed an appeal with the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) in opposition of a zone change made in June. They have also started a website for their cause.
Flurry of Development Changing Eliot
During the great recession of 2008, many construction projects nationwide halted. New project proposals slowed to a rate that has not been seen in recent memory. Property values fell nationwide, but some interesting trends were associated with those changes. More Americans are starting to value walkable, close-in neighborhoods, like Eliot, over more car-dependent areas. And these preferences are not just with their hearts but also with their dollars. This was a trend that has been going on in Portland for quite a while, but it is having some real results on the ground in Eliot in the ‘10s.