Touchstone example of what the creative class is looking for
This is a great example of what the creative class is looking for – the strange thing is that this building, the Fifth Avenue Court Apartments in Portland, OR, is hardly getting any recognition at all (until perhaps now.) It’s not even profiled on the architects’ website! It just goes to show the disconnect between what people really want and what gets marketed, but we all know that’s going to change soon.
Here’s what makes Fifth Avenue Court so appealing to creatives:
– It replaces a surface parking lot.
– It brings residences to the downtown.
– The homes are affordable, with rents ranging from 60% of median income, yet also scaling up to a more diverse income level at 120% of median income. Not only that, the apartments surround an internal landscaped courtyard rather than an endless internal hallway, and near-floor-to-ceiling windows showcased by 13′ ceilings.
– It’s in the heart of the historic downtown.
– It provides 16,000 s.f. of ground-level retail. Not sure what kind though (the building is at 211-245 NW Fifth Ave.), since it’s not publicized anywhere…
– All parking is underground (157 spaces of it).
– The architecture reflects its historic context, yet its color scheme and use of detail materials is distinctly contemporary.
– It’s within the transit network, convenient to multiple modes.
All it needs now is some recognition so more people have the opportunity to live in places like this, or even better, places like this…
Interesting what you see closer up. All of the things you say are true, but I live in Portland and wanted to find more about the building, so I Googled it and found many comments about a crazy manager and poor maintenance. It’s in Portland’s Skid Row, so definitely a mixed neighborhood although gentrifying. The retail tenant is an Amish furniture dealer. It’s a tax-increment financed building, so public money explains the low rents. The architect is big here, does lots of housing from high-end condos to low income like this. Specializes somewhat in eco-buildings, which may be why this wasn’t featured.
I think what the creative class really wants is someone to finance them a couple years until something creative pays off.
But seriously, I’ve been asked “where are the artists going to live” for 25 years now and it just perplexes me. Anywhere they want to live. Most creatives can’t really afford the ideal studio condo. I would think that endless, empty interior space would be an ideal situation for a creative community to take root.