To move a home...

I got a great question from a local resident, that I thought would be worth sharing with the neighborhood about moving a home.

Question

A friend told me that someone presented at the Richmond Meeting, quite some time ago, about a home near Division. They were interested in finding a way to move off the site, rather than having it demolished.

I'm interested in doing what I can to preserve affordable housing in Portland, and have a site the home could potentially be moved to. 

Any assistance you can offer in getting me in touch with the owner or whoever it was that came to the Richmond group would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!

Answer

Moving homes is a great way to preserve some classic existing homes while also making space for new development. I find it fascinating that it's something we used to practice all the time, but it's been basically abandoned as a practice since about WW2. A great example of how common it was is the great Raising of Chicago, where they raised entire sections of town by over 6 ft! There's even a lot of local examples where the old deed is for a very different address, and some research can show that your house made quite the move. Or even some more recent examples would be the Phelps-Montgomery House on Hawthorne or the Morris Marks House in Downtown.

To get a house moved from A to B you're going to need the following:

  1. To purchase the original house
  2. A company that can move it
  3. A clean route between the two locations
  4. A place to put the house

To purchase the original house

To purchase the house you'd have to contact the owner. I don't know them, but the city does and you can find them on PortlandMaps.com

Sometimes the owner lives right there. Other times it's a rental from a local person. And sometimes it's an LLC or other shell company that makes it really hard to track down who actually owns the place. It goes without saying that you'll need to fully work out any deals with the owner before moving their house.

A company that can move it

I have a little experience with moving houses myself, as I had to raise my house to replace a crumbling foundation. There's not a lot of games in town, but the key companies are going to be Emmert International in Clackamas and Northwest Structural Moving in Scapoose. In fact both locations even have used-house lots where you can find a classic home and they can bring it to you.

A clean route between the two locations

This can get a bit messy. It's probably a step that the moving company will handle, but a few things you should know. Every intersection where the power or other lines are low will require the various utilities to come in and raise those lines. Sometimes this can require temporarily disconnecting things. This can get really pricey really fast, and is the main reason why few people move homes. Even a simple move of a few blocks could cost 10s of thousands.

Fortunately in your case, that house is rather short, so maybe not too much lifting if they can put it on a low-ish trailer. But you might also have to cut some trees, so expect to get at least an arborist to make sure there's a clear route.  The city is pretty challenging on cutting our tree canopy though, so this might also be an uphill battle, but if you love the place, it's worth looking into it.

A place to put the house

Sounds like you've got this part covered. But just in case, if you're wanting to put it on an existing lot then you could be subject to all sorts of Single-Family Zoning rules. The house you're looking at is over 800 sqft, which means that it would be too big to be allowed to be an Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU). If you're in an R2.5 zone though, you might be allowed to lot-split your present lot though and create 2 single-family home lots. But the particulars of that could get interesting. I'm sure people in the city would be really happy to help you out though. At the end of the day most of them love our older homes and would love to see more of them preserved in this fashion. 

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That's the short of it. 
If you're still interested, let me know what you find out. While I've only lifted and lowered my house to preserve and secure the home. I've had some friends out-of-state move their mid-century house and it's now lived in by a family a few dozen miles away. It's quite the ordeal and usually done in a single night, but I think it's a really worthwhile re-use of our existing housing stock. 

Best of luck, and let me know if you have any further questions!

/RNA Land Use & Transportation Committee Chair

3249 SE Division

Division Two - South Facade - Perspective From SW Corner of 33rd Ave & Division

Division Two - South Facade - Perspective From SW Corner of 33rd Ave & Division

Location: North Side of Division at 33rd (map)
Currently: Unfold Yoga, parking lot, Full Spectrum Health Center, and short-term rental trailers
Architect: Urban Asset Advisors
Owner: Division Two LLC
Permit: 2017-216161-000-00-EA
Development: Multi-family residential building (approx 44,053 sq ft). 54 residential units with Ground floor retail, 11 parking spaces.
Renderings: PDF of Plans and Views for 3249 SE Division

 

DEVELOPER Q&A

The RNA Land Use & Transportation Committee Chair had a chance to talk about the project with Urban Asset Advisors' VP of Project Management, Seth Henderson. 

Why Here?
Q: What factors made you want to develop on this lot ?
A:  This lot is next door to our Theory 33 project that is currently under construction. When the opportunity came up to acquire the lot next door and finish out the development of this lot we couldn’t pass it up. From an architecture standpoint it gave us the opportunity to positively impact the design and street feel of this key stretch of Division while also providing high quality housing that is in great demand for this outstanding location along Division Street.

The Market
Q: Obviously you’ve done some market research. Tell us more about the demands you see and how your building helps address them.
A: Division has built itself out as one of the top retail/food corridors in Portland. This has driven the demand for people wanting to live along Division and also the demand for retailers wanting to be a part of this great retail energy location.

Parking
Q: Parking in the neighborhood has become increasingly difficult. What part will this new facility plan in that equation.
A: The project provides (9) structured parking spaces.

Commercial Space
Q: You are in a commercially-zoned property. Are you building any commercial space as part of your property?
A: The project will provides a total of 2,541 sf of leasable commercial space, separated into (2) tenant spaces.

Great spaces make for great communities
Q: What are you doing to make the place excellent for those who live/work in your place and those who live/work near it?
A: 

  • Central courtyard, activated by the apartment building entry, provides an active protected pedestrian space for residents, and neighborhood residents
  • Building design reinforces hierarchy of ground floor and maintains vibrant pedestrian environment
  • Location of parking entry and building services is minimized along the street to maximize active storefront space and maintain pedestrian safety.
  • All units are accessible
  • Units are designed to maximize light and air throughout unit

 

Division Design Guidelines 
Q: Have you heard of them? If yes, what featured recommendations are you implementing?
A: 

  • Massing is broken by central retail/entry courtyard to continue pattern of mid-scale façade widths, and extends the feeling of SE 33rd Ave as a public space.
  • Increases visual continuity of the main street corridor by continuing the 13’-11” ground floor height of (2) adjacent developments to the East, and holding the building face at the property line. 
  • Support a diversity of housing sizes and price ranges
  • Promotes active streetscape, storefronts
  • Increases access to public gathering via the central courtyard, and a semi-public patio at the North.
  • Compatible materials – single material, with variation, interest, and articulation through natural material and constructed detail.
  • Façade articulation – meaningful, program-responsive window pattern, with mid-scale shadow-lines at each floor and apartment stack.
  • Permanent overhangs and canopies at retail entries, and courtyard edges
  • Generous storefront windows
  • Transparent building lobby , mail, and bike room to extend the courtyard through the building to the North landscaping.
  • 25-foot building setback, and landscape screening to adjacent residential zones to North
  • Public Space – Thoughtful location of parking entry, and use of pedestrian courtyard/plaza

 

Inclusionary Housing
Q: The City now requires inclusionary housing; how many units and at what levels?
A: We are providing (2) units, both on Floor 2. One will be a 3-bedroom/2-bath , the other will be a Studio. Both will meet requirements for Type A accessibility.

Change
Q: If you could change one thing about this project, what would it be?
A: Remove minimum parking requirements along Division projects to allow for maximum active storefront and pedestrian experience.

Contractor Traffic & Good Neighbor Agreement
Q: Will you agree to direct all your subcontractors with large trucks (dump trucks and semis) not to use adjacent neighborhood streets and to use SE Division to get to main thoroughfares? Would you be willing to sign a good neighbor agreement with the RNA to guarantee that
A: Means and methods of construction are not dictated by the standard A102 contract, and the developer takes on additional liability by dictating these terms. We endeavor to minimize impact to the local community during construction execution, and would be more than willing to require our general contractor to participate in a discussion with the RNA to hear concerns and brainstorm on solutions. The same general contractor is currently executing our Division33 development; have you received any complaints regarding this project execution? We have been in constant dialogue with our neighbors on the west, east, and north, have not had any noise, dust, traffic complaints in the public right of way.

 

Project Narrative

The following is the full project narrative from Seth Henderson...

‘DIVISION TWO’ is a planned 45,000 sf, 4-story mixed-use building located at 3305 SE Division. The project will provide (54) for-rent apartment units (a mix of Studios, 1-bedroom, and 3-bedroom units), and 2,541 sf of leasable commercial space at the street level. All apartments will be accessible (ANSI 117 Type B and Type A units). Structured parking will also provide (9) on-site parking spaces.

The project is a modern building, which utilizes existing compatible architectural patterns, and timeless design tools, to complement the existing context and Special buildings of the district. Specifically, the design focuses on façade width, differentiation of the street level, reinforcing an active pedestrian environment, façade order, and variation and shadow within a singular natural material.

The property is located in an uninterrupted block on the North side of Division, between SE 32nd Ave, and SE 34th Ave, with SE 33rd Ave terminating at Division in the middle of the property. The design team recognized what is essentially a ‘superblock’ as incongruent with the scale and pedestrian-oriented goals of the district. Therefore the design utilizes a central, shared retail and entry plaza to effectively split the building massing – repairing the block structure at SE 33rd Ave, and reinforcing a pattern of building façade widths similar to the neighboring 4-story developments to the East (3319 under construction; and Salt N Straw building). The plaza also continues a successful typology of active, off-sidewalk pedestrian spaces which differentiate the character of SE Division and the neighborhood.

The building design utilizes timeless design tools of urban architecture to reinforce an active pedestrian street front, and activate the upper floors with Juliette balconies, and shadow. The ground floor is articulated with a taller ceiling height, larger storefront window openings, and entry canopies. At the courtyard edges, the building above cantilevers over providing added weather protection to seating areas in the courtyard. At the upper floors, the façade is organized by a shadow -line at each floor and apartment unit, created with a light sheet-metal reveal. A subdued window pattern reflects the rooms, and layout of the apartment units.

The façade complements contextual buildings by providing great variation, shadow, and interest in the specification and construction of a single natural material. The primary material stained tight-knot cedar siding, is installed in varying depths and spacing. The resulting variation of shadow provides a tactility and grit which reflects the eclectic and dynamic character of the existing neighborhood architecture.


Ladd-Lincoln-Harrison Greenway Project

The following are the notes presented during the 2017-11-13 RNA General Meeting
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Key Links

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/75123

Neighborhood Greenway Assessment PDF: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/542741
 

Greenway Overview

  • Vision:
    Create network of safe greenways so that people from 8-80 can safely get from-to anywhere in the city by walking, running, skateboarding, or biking

  • Current Definition - https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/50518
    Streets with low traffic volume and speed where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors are given priority.

  • Greenway 101
    https://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/554110
    Greenways are not cut-through streets

    • Vehicles should travel 20 mph or less

    • There should be a daily average of approximately 1,000 cars per day with the upper limit set at 2,000 cars

    • There should be ample opportunities for people bicycling and walking to cross busy streets, at least 50 crossing opportunities per hour, with 100 crossing opportunities per hour the preferred level of service.

  • Current greenway map

  • The neighborhood greenways with the highest bicycle traffic volumes (as of 2013) are, in order:

    • SE Lincoln-Harrison (4,230 daily bicycle trips on Harrison at Ladd);

    • SE Clinton-Woodward (2,870 daily bicycle trips on Clinton at 26th);

    • Burnside Corridor Bikeway (2,115 daily bicycle trips on Ankeny at 28th);

    • NE Going Street Bikeway (1,920 daily bicycle trips on Going at 9th);

  • Cycling mode-share for our neighborhood:

1990 Census Bicycle Mode Share

 

  • Theoretical Greenway Design

General idea is to keep cars from traveling along greenways for extended stretches

General idea is to keep cars from traveling along greenways for extended stretches

LUTC Activity: Principles we want

Here’s what we came up with during the Land Use & Transportation Committee Meeting…

  1. Unique streets should have unique solutions

  2. Diversion that is frequent enough that no single side street sees most of the diverted traffic, and so speed bumps are not needed.

  3. Connect with other greenways

  4. Seasonal flexibility

  5. No speed bumps on greenways

  6. Do not divert traffic into side streets

  7. Good, clear directional signage

You might notice there's differing—and sometimes conflicting—opinions on the best solutions.
 

This Project

First we need to take a look at what streets are designated by PBOT for cars, and which are considered Local Service streets:

Source: portlandmaps.com » Gallery » Transportation » Transportation System Plan Classifications

Source: portlandmaps.com » Gallery » Transportation » Transportation System Plan Classifications

Here’s another way to look at our neighborhood streets.

Blue streets are non-neighborhood collector streets that connect at least 2 neighborhood collectors.

Blue streets are non-neighborhood collector streets that connect at least 2 neighborhood collectors.

Here’s the scope for the Ladd-Harrison-Lincoln Greenway

Lincoln NG

Here’s how they monitor traffic.

You can determine not only vehicle counts, but direction, speed, acceleration, and types of vehicles.

You can determine not only vehicle counts, but direction, speed, acceleration, and types of vehicles.

Here’s the data they found:
Traffic Volumes

Anything not-green is bad and out of spec for a Greenway.

Anything not-green is bad and out of spec for a Greenway.

Vehicle Speeds

Anything not-green is bad and out of spec for a Greenway.

Anything not-green is bad and out of spec for a Greenway.

Key Tool to Control Volume:
Diverters

Key Tool to Control Speed:
Speedbumps

Specifically, here’s the current proposed diverters and locations:

Ones Richmond can comment on: 30th & Lincoln and 50th & Lincoln Others are outside of our neighborhood

Ones Richmond can comment on: 30th & Lincoln and 50th & Lincoln
Others are outside of our neighborhood

PBOT Detail View of Proposed Diverter at Lincoln & 50th

PBOT Detail View of Proposed Diverter at Lincoln & 50th

PBOT Detail View of Proposed Diverter at Lincoln & 30th

PBOT Detail View of Proposed Diverter at Lincoln & 30th

LUTC Activity: Comments about current project

Here’s the top ideas we came up with during the Land Use & Transportation Committee Meeting…

  1. Remove diverter at 30th and Lincoln

  2. Bi-directional diversion 30th, around 35th, around 43rd, and 50th

  3. 50th and Lincoln absolutely

  4. Support for tightening and controlling 30th and Lincoln

  5. No speed bumps on greenway

  6. Make 30th diverter better with raised walkway

You might notice there's differing—and sometimes conflicting—opinions on the best solutions.

 

Steps you can take now…

Open meeting floor for discussion

Talk to the city at the remaining open houses (see key links above)

Take the city’s survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GK7STJ6

4130 SE Division

4130 SE Division - Rendering - NW Corner

4130 SE Division - Rendering - NW Corner

Location: South Side of Division between 41st & 43rd (map)
Currently: Division Medical Center
Architect: Baysinger Partners Architecture
Owner: Unsold as of yet
Permit: 2017-260750-000-00-CO
Development: Construction of a 4 story, 19-unit residential, multifamily building.

Developer Q&A

The RNA Land Use & Transportation Committee Chair had a chance to talk about the project with one of the architects, Matthew Lillard. 

Why here?
Q: What factors made you want to develop on this lot? 
A: Familiarity with the neighborhood and increasing the use potential of land from the current use.

The Market
Q: Obviously you've done some market research. Tell us more about the demands you see and how your building helps address them.  
A: There is still a very strong demand for housing in the neighborhood and city.  Our building provides 19 units, all at two bedrooms. Owners/ developer are providing two bedroom units to fit a missing need in housing as other developers are providing smaller studios to increase rent dollars per square foot.  They are providing more generous units to decrease turnover.

Parking
Q: Parking in the neighborhood has become increasingly difficult. What part will this new facility play in that equation? 
A: We are providing 8 on-site spaces for our building.  There is an additional 3 potential unassigned street spaces in front of our development (the new Trimet bus line may affect these in the future with a stop up the street).  Comparable to other recent developments, the developers recognize the parking needs and are providing a high percentage of parking in comparison to the market.  While the city does not require any on-site parking for our number of units, we are providing tuck under/covered parking   We are also providing interior guest and in-unit bike parking for the residents.   

Commercial Space
Q: You are in a commercially-zoned property. Why are you not building any commercial space as part of your property? 
A: The owner/developers do not want the commercial space competing and demanding parking from the rental units.  They would rather add the parking area for the residents than add retail/commercial on a poor retail/commercial site.  With onsite parking, the building and space for commercial is small and not a great space for smaller shop in the mid-block at this part of division.   The adjacent corner and larger lot will remain a better retail site.  We will retain the shared parking access with the neighbor

Great spaces make for great communities
Q: What are you doing to make the place excellent for those who live/work in your place and those who live/work near it? 
A: They are trying to make sure each downstairs unit has an outdoor space and a private space that they the residents can feel ownership.  We put the trash area inside the building and are shielding the parking area to provide safe, but attractive storage spaces.   The ground floor is a durable brick finish that can be treated with a graffiti coating.  We are providing windows onto the street at all levels.  We are a small infill building that provides a good scale and texture to the neighborhood.        

Division Design Guidelines
Q: Have you heard of them? If yes, what featured recommendations are you implementing?  
A: I have not heard of them. 

Inclusionary Housing
Q: The city now requires inclusionary housing; how many units and at what levels?
A: We are not providing this because it is a small lot and a small number of units.  The city recognized the difficulty of managing and financing the inclusionary zoning with smaller lots and excluded smaller developments from this requirement.  The project is not removing any existing rental units and is adding to the overall supply of housing.

Change
Q: If you could change one thing about this project what would it be?
A: The owners/developers are very satisfied with the design and told me they would not change anything.

Contractor Traffic & Good Neighbor Agreement
Q: Will you agree to direct all your subcontractors with large trucks (dump trucks and semis) not to use adjacent neighborhood streets and to use SE Division to get to main thoroughfares?  Would you be willing to sign a good neighbor agreement with the RNA to guarantee that?
A: I will need to discuss with the contractor first and discuss more when the owners/developers are back in town.  I do not envision them utilizing any of the smaller neighborhood streets for any reason. 

Questions specific to your site:

  • Q: Can you send us color renderings of the site? Ideally in context to the surrounding area.  
    A: Please see the attached.

  • Q: Can you send us floor plans for the building? 
    A: Please see the attached.

 

More Details

PDF of Plans and Views for 4130 SE Division