Thursday, February 8, 2018

SW Corner of State and Commercial Heating Up Again?

You might remember from a few years back a concept to redevelop the nearly quarter block lot on the southwest corner of State and Commercial.

Project concept, apparently discarded now,
 for State and Commercial
via Nathan Good Architects
Nothing has been said publicly about it, but it looks like that's off the table now.

A reader sent in an Oregon Business article from a few days ago that discusses a completely different concept:
Cathy Reines of Koz Development...whose Snohomish, Wash.-based company specializes in student housing and what are known as micro-housing units, zeroed in on an empty lot in Salem’s historic downtown for a 140-unit apartment building with ground-floor retail....

The location, at the corner of State and Commercial streets in downtown Salem, was ideal for Reines, who looks for places where there are large student populations or hospital workers, with access to outdoor amenities. Salem Hospital and Willamette University both fit her parameters, along with a walkable riverfront that gives people access to outdoor recreation....

Reines’ partner, Josh Scott, says that infill construction in a historic neighborhood has special considerations, including meeting the city’s design guidelines. Salem, unsurprisingly, didn’t want a flashy or modern “look-at-me” building as infill, Scott says.

His work started at street level, making sure there was a consistent main-floor height with other downtown buildings. Adjacent buildings and those across the street can offer good cues, he says.

“There’s a fine line you walk not trying to imitate, not trying to create that false historic feeling, using proportions and general forms that are found in historic neighborhoods, and letting the modern building be what they are,” says Scott. [link added]
The City doesn't show any new permits or land use applications for 260 State Street, which is the address previous projects have used, so perhaps this is still only in the "talk" stage and not yet a formal project. Maybe it's developer "vaporware"!

In any case, it's something now to watch. It would be great to have something built at this corner, especially housing.

Addendum

Oh yeah, some history...Here's the building that used to be on the corner:

Griswold-Murphy block, 1940 (Salem Library Historic Photos)

Same site today - streetview
And Harry Scott's first bike shop was around the corner and on the alley, on State Street.

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