Previously on the Koz Apartments/Nishioka Building at 260 State, I had thought there would be a separate review at the Planning Commission, but it turns out the review at the HLC is the only layer of review. Consequently, though, the Staff Report and level of analysis seems thinner than a corresponding site plan and design review rising up through the Planning Commission.
I am ambivalent about this. This is a big and important project for downtown, and the architecture isn't very exciting, and it seems like we could do better.
On the other hand, this site has been vacant or underutilized for so long that we should just be happy something that isn't awful is going in. Asking for "exciting" architecture might not be helpful. We just simply need a quantity of "ordinary" building downtown. Many of the buildings we celebrate now in the Historic District were never "exciting" in style. They were ordinary and we value them still. And maybe we don't need so much regulatory review anyway. (It will be interesting to learn if there is any substantive criticism of the review at the HLC.)
Finally, this corner on Ferry and Commercial (and we have to remember that Ferry is part of the OR-22 couplet in downtown) is just simply more autoist than even just State and Commercial on the other side of the very same block. State Street is walkable in a way Ferry is no longer, and it's not clear that it's at all plausible to suggest a better project is realistic here. Kitty corner from the Conference Center another hotel makes sense, and maybe we should just be glad to have something instead of the empty lot or dead old parking structure.
|Evolution of the building facade, late 2018 and late 2019|
A hotel needs parking and the disposition of it is a central element. A very small amount of parking is on the first floor. The rest of the first floor is lobby, a restaurant, and meeting rooms. Since Ferry Street is a little hostile to walking meeting rooms front that. A restaurant fronts Commercial and that is a genial thing. The sidewalk environment seems appropriate.
|Ground floor shows a restaurant and parking lot off the alley|
Parking within a building on the ground floor shall only be allowed behind secondary façades. Commercial storefronts or office uses shall be provided between any ground floor parking area and the primary façades fronting the public street. Parking is prohibited between the building and the streetThe entire second floor is a hidden parking garage, and about half of the third floor is parking. Rooms start on this third floor, and fill the floor plan on the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh floors. The seventh also has a rooftop lounge and deck.
|The third floor (here) is about half parking,|
with rooms on the perimeter;
the entire second floor (not shown here) is parking
Apart from that, Scott's will be sandwiched. And if the two projects are successful, then Scott's may wish to redevelop their own parcel eventually. That's the kind of problem you like to have, however.
|Scott's will be overshadowed a little|
|Interest in biophilic design from late last year|
This block face on Commercial between State and Ferry will undergo a great change, and there are other projects in the city. The moment is actually a little exciting in the history of the city.
|Last week the crane went up|
- New Police Station
- UGM Shelter
- New YMCA
- Nishioka Building
- New Holman Hotel
- MAPS credit union
- A new Hospital tower (see comment)
The HLC meets at 5:30pm on Thursday the 21st in Council Chambers at City Hall.