Construction ramps up at Pop Blocks development
After a few hiccups, construction on the mixed-use, mixed-income complex at the corner of NE 27th Avenue and Sandy Boulevard is speeding along — adding several new levels since earlier this year.
Catch up quick: Seven years ago, Seattle-based developer Security Properties bought the '60s-era Pepsi Cola Bottling Plant for $27 million with the intent to turn the 4.7-acre site into a combination of housing (about 500 to 1,300 apartments), parks, retail and commercial space — now referred to as Pop Blocks.
- The bottling plant's original, Art Deco-style arches would also be preserved and serve as a public pavilion.
- Despite city officials approving the design for the Splash Apartments (the first iteration of the development) back in 2018, the project was stalled and then restarted a few times over whether Security Properties could use tax-exempt funding to build required affordable housing units.
What's happening: Construction resumed in November 2022, minus 33 affordable units (it will now only have 11) and is expected to finish in the first quarter of 2024, a spokesperson from R&H Construction, the contractor for Splash Apartments, told Axios.
- The 219-unit, eight-story residential building, with 13,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, is slated to open next August — eight months behind schedule.
What's next: Last month, the Portland Design Commission gave its advice for an additional eight-story, 160-unit residential building (dubbed "Building B") and a "sculptural play area" (soon to be known as Pacific Park) to be added to the southwest corner of the site designed by Portland-based Ankrom Moisan Architects.
- A design review is scheduled for February, and if the commission signs off on the plans, a permit will be issued and construction can begin on the second parcel of Pop Blocks. Occupancy is slated for late 2026.
The bottom line: It may still be a decade before we see the site developed to its fully intended glory.
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