North Pearl Could Be Going Up!

Portland Monthly Magazine recently published a run-down of the potential building projects in the works for North Pearl. But, will all of the planned vertical growth be enough? According to the article, maybe not.

Even if all eight residential buildings planned for the area known as the North Pearl are built, longtime neighborhood advocate Patricia Gardner thinks the neighborhood still won’t add enough units. “Each leaves three or four floors on the table,” she says of sizes the developers could build to, but are choosing not to. “Together, that’s a whole building not being built.”

And while many are excited about this potential growth of both the Pearl District and Portland in general, there are critics of the vertical rise and how it affects livability.

In a September 2013 Oregonianop-ed, “livability” advocates Michael Mehaffy and Suzanne Crowhurst Leonard broadly blasted any impulse to build upward, invoking the “tower envy” of skyscraping cities like Dubai. They lambasted Portland’s high-rise ambitions for everything from demanding more energy for construction to threatening historic buildings with rising land prices. “But perhaps most significant,” they wrote, “tall buildings isolate people in ‘vertical gated communities,’ away from the vitality of the street.” Either way, gone are the Pearl District’s quaint days, when a mere 120 condos might be stacked just six stories high around one of the graciously landscaped courtyards that became the neighborhood’s signature.

Click here to read the full article along with a list and specifications of some of the new planned buildings, like The Parker, The Abigail, Riverscape, 1420 Pearl, Block 15, Block 17 and the Overton. How do you feel about the proposed changes and upward growth of the Pearl? Please comment below.