Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Urban Renewal Considers Funds for 440 State Street and Food Hall

An earlier round of work at 440 State Street
(via On the Way, 2012)
Downtown's urban renewal board, the Downtown Advisory Board, meets tomorrow, Thursday the 22nd, and they look to support more work on the 440 State Street Building.

You might remember back in 2012 an earlier round of work on the building. Apparently the "face lift" by itself was not enough, and there's a new project there.

A more current view (440 in green with lease sign)
Alley on east, drive-thru next door to west
(via streetview)
In response to an application, staff proposes to loan $450,000 and grant an additional $280,000 on the project. It would include apartments and a kind of modern food court (maybe modeled after things like Portland's Pine Street Market? - this is a new thing now, it seems):
  • Basement upgrades for entertainment businesses
  • Ground Floor upgrades to create 5-8 microrestaurants “Food Hall”
  • Second Floor upgrades that create 5 apartment units
It would be great for something to flourish here. Between the bank's drive-thru and the surface parking lots, what once was a thriving section of State Street is now a little quiet and dull. The renovation of the McGilchrist and Roth Building has helped, but there are still these holes.

In the drive-thru hole next door, well before the Guardian building burned down and was demolished there was a narrow brick building. Here it had George Will's music store (more on Will here, and a more modern picture of 440 and the Will building here).

George Will Pianos - 432 State Street,
now site of bank drive-thru
(January 31st, 1914)
Even with Ritter's and Archive just across the street on the corner, the bank and drive-thru makes this corner dead after 5pm and on weekends. On the other corners, Travel Salem also closes in the evening (in the Livesley Tower) and the Brick just closed for renovations. Directly across the street are small surface parking lots. Next to the bank on Liberty is a parking lot. This should be a more active set of corners, and I think that lack of active adjacency is a challenge for the 440 building. Even housing above the bank would help.

So a food court concept and housing above might be a welcome addition.

The Downtown Advisory Board meets Thursday the 22nd, from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm in the Urban Development Conference Room, 350 Commercial St NE, underneath the Chemeketa Parkade.

Update, March 23rd

Turns out there's more. A commenter linked to a Hearings Notice for the Historic Landmarks Commission. Here's a clip on the proposed new storefront system.

Looks like a streetcar era concept
The recessed entry is a little like those in the Adolph block for Wild Pear and Cooke's. The second-floor entry would be moved to the center between the two retail bays.


Anonymous said...

Here's a hearing announcement for a major historic design review for what looks like a major remodel of the storefront system.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Thanks for the link! Updated with a brief clip from it.

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

On the remodel, the Staff Report to the HLC recommends approval with a few conditions on inappropriate materials and some other details. No major changes to the overall concept and plan.