The grand opening of the Rose Apartments in East Portland’s Gateway District represents a visible icon of the progress and momentum happening in the neighborhood, local community leaders believe.
Two four-story buildings offering 90 apartments, The Rose is a contemporary development with a focus on sustainability, through green building materials and energy-efficient design; community connections, with a public plaza and garden hosting artwork by Ivan McLean; and affordability, with 40 percent of units income-restricted at 60 percent of area median.
The project is representative of the partnerships at work to revitalize the neighborhood. In addition to Metro’s investment of $500,000 through the Transit Oriented Development program, Metro invested $40,000 in green building funds for the plaza, and private investment reached $10.3 million.
“It took a lot of collaboration and cooperation between public and private sectors to see it come to fruition,” said Gordon Jones, developer of The Rose. “It is very satisfying and gratifying for me. Without the public partners it just couldn’t have happened.”
Development of The Rose created 71 jobs, is believed to bring more than $12 million into the local economy, and is projected to increase transit ridership by 49 trips per day through the Gateway Transit Center and the East 102nd Avenue MAX station.
“East Portland is likely going to be experiencing some revitalization,” said Ted Gilbert, citizen member of the Gateway Program Advisory Committee. “The question is whether it will be done well or not – whether it will be done in the form that Metro and the City of Portland have long envisioned.”
The Rose is just south of Gateway Green, a 25-acre recreation area under development. The park focuses on sustainability and park and bicycle recreation. Another example of local and regional partnerships revitalizing east Portland, Gateway Green is becoming a reality with the support of a $1 million Metro Nature in Neighborhoods challenge grant, plus support from the Friends of Gateway Green, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Oregon State Parks, Portland Parks and Recreation, the Gateway Program Advisory Committee.
“Gateway Green is something visible that people not only will see but will ultimately experience and come to have first hand knowledge of all of the attributes that East Portland has going for it,” Gilbert said.
Jones began planning for The Rose in 2004, before the Great Recession. As a long time contributor to the revitalization of the Gateway District, he kept his investment in Gateway with The Rose, finally breaking ground on the property in December of 2013.
“What delayed getting [Gateway] kick started into the regional center it could be? A couple of things,” Gilbert said. “Timing, including the recession. The other reason has been perception, if we can do some visible iconic things to get people to take a fresh look at what the area has going for it we think that could change, and change in a hurry.”
Original feature appeared at Metro News.
Photo credit: Metro.