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



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.

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?

  • 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?

  • 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.

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.