Bus stops at the northeast and southeast corners of the intersection provide public transit access to Pacific Plaza in Portland. Joseph Hughes Construction recently completed the 16,000-square-foot, single-story commercial building for CSS Properties. (Josh Kulla/For the DJC)
Despite the ongoing pandemic, Oregon’s commercial construction industry remains busy. Nowhere is that more evident than at Portland’s steadily evolving SE 82nd Avenue, where general contractor Joseph Hughes Construction recently completed an eye-catching 16,000-square-foot, single-story commercial building at the intersection with SE Division Street.
Built for CSS Properties, which purchased the property in 2015, the new building replaces the Hung Far Low Chinese restaurant, long an East Portland staple.
“It’s speculative,” said Jef Krohn, project manager for Joseph Hughes Construction. “It could be divided into many different configurations. We have storefront access off the street, we’ve got corridor access off the center of the property; it’s got all the pre-plumbing and stub-outs to each potential space already set.”
Designed by Scott Edwards Architecture, Pacific Plaza features generous use of dark brick masonry and architectural metal panel on the exterior, which is distinguished by a host of different roof parapet elevations, steel canopies and other small details that set it apart from both its predecessor and the surrounding neighborhood.
Inside, the building is split into two separate commercial spaces that can be subdivided into multiple tenant spaces or left as-is for a single tenant. Between the two, a tall corridor festooned with skylights separates the building and provides entrances on both the east and west sides of the building.
“(CSS Properties) had a really clear vision about the dark brick and the metal panel, and the kind of chunky steel detailing around all of our openings and the steel canopies,” said Nathan Junkert, project architect for Scott Edwards Architecture. “This interior street concept was something they were wanting to do. Early on in the design they were talking about having foot traffic access to both sides of the building. This interior hallway was always a part of it, and I hope that they can get the tenant mix that will support this being an active walkway.”
The most interesting feature of the building, however, is not likely to be visible to passers-by, and is the result of the permitting process involving SE 82nd Avenue and the Oregon Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction over that road.
“We had a couple challenges with this building just because of the close proximity to the neighboring building,” Krohn said. “We’re 14 inches off of that building, so 8 inches off the property line. With the exterior brick veneer we couldn’t build the brick from the outside, so we had to build that wall as a structural brick wall and build it from the inside.”
It took a bit of engineering, he added, but designers seamlessly incorporated the easternmost section of wall next to a small commercial building fronting SE Division Street and blended it with the south face of the building, which features steel stud construction and exterior brick veneer.
“We were just kind of responding to the project conditions, really, with that neighboring building,” Junkert said. “To me, it was about us thinking through the constructability. These guys pointed out that, obviously, you can’t get a lift between this wall and the neighboring building, so we just had to go back to the drawing board on that part of the exterior wall assembly.”
As is commonplace these days in Portland and elsewhere, the pandemic did its part in tinkering with the project schedule. Fortunately, Krohn said, the project team was able to complete the project on time and on budget at the end of September. Steel and glazing supplies were both impacted by manufacturing shutdowns earlier this year, he added, which forced on-the-fly changes in phasing and sub-contractor schedules.
“We ended up having to jump around the building, which cost us a little bit of time,” Krohn said. “The labor force was definitely an issue. We would have been done with this building probably a month sooner if we hadn’t had that to deal with.”
The subcontractor team included Kraft Masonry, of Salem; Browns Architectural Sheetmetal, of North Plains; Al’s Excavation and Paving; Imperial Steel Craft; Vanco Contracting, for steel stud framing; Blackstone Fire Protection; Parker Electric; and Caliber Plumbing and Mechanical.
“We just had a great pool of subs and they all worked around each other,” Krohn said. “They were all flexible with their schedules and they were all very accommodating. We didn’t have any change orders because of COVID. We just got it done.”
Title: Pacific Plaza project extends 82nd Avenue revitalization
Author: Josh Kulla
Date: October 26, 2020