In the words of Oak Park’s Stephen J. Kelly, a historic preservation specialist, “Will we continue to watch as pollution-spouting equipment turns usable buildings to rubble; more polluting equipment hauls away discarded building materials — concrete, brick, metal and glass — into a landfill to be abandoned?
Barrie Barton of Right Angle Studios speaking at right at a ULI Australia event in Sydney.
“We’re all in this together. So, stop thinking about the people that are just in our direct industry and [think of] all of the brands and all of the incredibly smart, creative people that you can work with to get together with the same objectives. We’re not that different, really. And there are some really exciting opportunities with people outside of the property bubble—to misuse that phrase—not the least of which is our citizens.”
This is a row of four townhouses on East Grand Boulevard, three blocks from East Jefferson. If you stand on the sidewalk you can see the Detroit River – right where cars turn to reach Belle Isle. That’s what gives the area its name: Islandview. Paula Gardner | PaulaGardner@mlive.com
Detroit is still a city balancing rapid redevelopment downtown with slowly rebounding real estate market – and 90,000 vacant houses.
“The conversion of a property from industrial or retail use to creative office has become an increasingly popular value-add strategy for investors,” Transwestern’s Michael Soto, director of research in Southern California and co-author of the report, said in a statement. “Two trends are fueling demand for this type of differentiated office product: One, technology, advertising, media and other companies trying to attract millennials are interested in the characteristic features of creative office space—open floor plans, natural lighting, common spaces and amenities such as cafés and rec rooms. And two, tenants are returning to cities, where they can take advantage of live/work/play environments.”
If you examine some our most prominent building materials, it quickly becomes obvious that the way we’re doing things is causing a multitude of harm to our planet. The effects include a short list of things like land destruction from mining, deforestation, and significant greenhouse gas emissions from high energy consuming manufacturing.
Others with the group say they’ve been forced out of their homes as well and that it’s just a matter of time before many other buildings and houses in Portland are demolished and replaced.
Karen Crichton, one of Stop Demolishing Portland’s organizers, says she can no longer afford to live in the city either.
“People literally have nowhere to go,” Crichton said. “It’s not just the loss of people’s safety and security and their neighborhood, their sense of community, we’re losing the character of Portland, too.”
The home at 3407 West 35th St., Vancouver, before demolition… All photos by Caroline Adderson
The city hopes to prevent demolition by offering incentives to keep a house, if it’s deemed to have heritage value. Builders already have the option of adding a laneway house or basement suite, for example. If the owner insists on demolition, they are now required to recycle or reuse 90 per cent of the material, a pain for developers because it slows the job down and costs more, especially since most aren’t familiar with the process. Even if a pre-1940 house isn’t deemed of particular heritage value, developers are still required to divert 75 per cent of the waste from landfills.
Crews tore down a house on Northeast 29th Avenue and replaced it with a much larger house. After that replacement, crews tore down the neighboring house, too. (Casey Parks/The Oregonian)
Some infill developers have taken to tearing down the majority of a house but leaving small parts standing. As far as city planners are concerned, that’s a remodel, not a demolition.
Neighbors have also raised concerns about asbestos being released during demolitions without proper precautions. The Bureau of Development Services may require developers seeking a demolition permit to acknowledge that they have to meet state asbestos regulations.
“The demolition contractors wanted to kill me because I kept finding things I wanted to keep,” said Lisa Switkin, a landscape architect with James Corner Field Operations. The firm has been tapped by developer Two Trees Management Company to design the park.
The salvage operation is now more important than ever, as Two Trees prepares to raze the majority of the factory buildings. And the salvation efforts may help assuage the anger of some neighborhood residents, who have long opposed the redevelopment of the site on the grounds of historical significance.
by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN – The Goldsmith house at 1507 N.W. 24th Ave. awaits its fate: deconstruction and replacement by townhouses or a last-minute reprieve from the wrecking ball.
Developer Marty Kehoe’s company bought the site at 1507 N.W. 24th Ave. in March for $1.5 million. Adding it to the smaller lot next door, he proposed to demolish the 1902 Queen Anne Victorian home and build seven townhouses. The Northwest District Association heard about the plan too late and tried to stop him. But Kehoe’s crew was already gutting the building.
Kehoe says he may still sue the city if a demolition permit issued on April 9, but blocked nine days later, is not eventually approved.
The house is a hulking, moss green structure that sits high above the street, partially obscured by large trees, on a 10,000-square-foot lot zoned for residential development. It was designed by architect Edgar Lazarus and is an example of the Shingle style.
During the April 24 Northwest District Association meeting, Kehoe showed up on his own to answer questions about the project. The first question: “Is there anything we can do to save that glorious home?” His short answer: “I don’t think there is.”
“It’s a representative case of the challenges neighborhoods are facing with increased density, compatibility with character,” said Kellet.
Neighborhoods throughout Portland are grappling with infill development, he said, though demolition and new construction is particularly rampant in Southeast Portland. Eastmoreland is one of few neighborhoods with the organization and resources to pull off such a strong, unified fight.