Grant Warehouse: FAQ

IMG_4942Grant Warehouse Project

Frequently Asked Questions

In fall 2015, Portland Housing Bureau selected Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc. (PCRI) and Gerding Edlen in partnership with Colas Construction and Carleton Hart Architects to redevelop the former Grant Warehouse site on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. between Cook and Ivy Streets. The project design is under development, but answers to many common questions are provided below. If you have questions not answered below, please email Travis Phillips or call (503) 288-2923 ext. 116.

Q: How can I stay informed about the project?
A: To stay informed, we recommend signing up for our e-news. Be sure to check the “I’m interested in” box for Grant Warehouse news. The project team is also hosting an open house on March 14, 2016. More information on the open house can be found HERE.

Q: How many apartments will there be and what size? How big will the building be?
A: In their Request for Qualifications (RFQ), Portland Housing Bureau stated the project should incorporate 45-70 family-sized rental units, meaning two- to three-bedrooms, as well as community-serving commercial space. While the project design is still being developed, we are exploring options that range from 50 units up to approximately 80 units, with a large number of these apartments having at least two bedrooms. Storefront commercial space is envisioned along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Details about the size of individual or overall commercial spaces are still being developed. The completed building is likely to be similar in size (massing, height) to other newer developments nearby.

Q: How much will the rents be?
A: The completed development is intended to be affordable to households earning at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Some rents will be set to be affordable to families earning 60% AMI, while other units will be reserved for families with lower incomes. The exact mix of affordability and unit configuration is still to be determined, but the table below provides some general guidelines for how rent levels may look and how the rents correspond to the maximum income of a household:

PLEASE NOTE: the income and rent levels below are intended as a general guideline and are subject to change without notice.

Unit Size Family Size Max Income Level Max Income/year Gross Rent/mo
1 br/1ba 2 60% AMI $27,480 $827
1br/1ba 2 50% AMI $22,900 $689
2br/1.5ba 3 60% AMI $28,325 $993
2br/1.5ba 3 50% AMI $25,750 $827
3br/2ba 5 60% AMI $37,080 $1146
3br/2ba 5 50% AMI $30,900 $955

Some subsidized units may be available to households earning at or below 30% of AMI, in which case, monthly rent will be set at approximately 30% of a household’s income. Applicants must meet income restrictions established by the City of Portland’s Housing Bureau. More information can be found on the Portland Housing Bureau website.

Q: How do I get on the waiting list?
A: A waiting list is not yet available. It is expected that a waiting list will open a few months before construction is complete. To stay informed, we recommend signing up for our e-news. Be sure to check the “I’m interested in” box for Grant Warehouse news.

Q: When will construction start and how long will it last?
A: After a final design has been confirmed, the project will be submitted for city building permits. Construction will start after the building permits have been approved, currently estimated to be in late 2016. We anticipate construction will take approximately 13 months, with completion and resident move-in expected in late 2017. This schedule is subject to change as design progresses and without notice.

Q: Who will live in the new building?
A: PCRI residents come from all walks of life. They are your cashier at the grocery store, your nurse at the doctor’s office, your bus driver, or the EMT in the ambulance which passed you on the road recently. Many residents (like Rachel, Betty and the Shaw family) utilize the stability of their PCRI home as a stepping stone to homeownership. For the new apartments at the Grant Warehouse site, PCRI will establish a waiting list separate from our other properties. In an effort to mitigate forced displacement from rapidly-changing neighborhoods, current and former residents of North and Northeast Portland may receive waiting list priority. Additionally, PCRI has agreed to utilize a preference policy established by Portland Housing Bureau, which is still in draft form.

PCRI embraces Fair Housing standards and strives to go above and beyond these standards to ensure equity and opportunity for all residents. PCRI is planning to host pre-leasing assistance for prospective residents several months prior to project completion in order to help prepare applicants and resolve potential barriers to tenancy. Applicants will be subject to third-party background checks. As with other PCRI homes, our leases detail expectations that all residents maintain our high standards of property maintenance and neighborly behavior.

Q: How will this impact my property?
A: Developing a high-quality building with new homes and commercial space will improve the appearance of the neighborhood by improving a currently-vacant lot. Professional landscaping and maintenance will ensure the building remains attractive for the long term. Aside from short-term inconvenience from construction, the new building is expected to have a positive impact on the neighborhood. The design is intended to be responsive to the existing neighborhood, balancing the need for more housing with the scale and feel of the surrounding neighborhood.

Q: How do I know the site is not environmentally contaminated?
A: At the time the original Grant Warehouse buildings were torn down, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) inspected the site, confirming that any contaminants at the site were properly cleaned up. Oregon DEQ documented the clean-up activity and performed testing at the time the clean-up was complete before issuing a “No Further Action” decision, confirming clean-up had been satisfactorily completed. To provide further assurance that the site does not pose health risks to future residents or neighbors, the PCRI-Gerding Edlen development team will hire a third-party consultant to complete independent environmental inspections to verify there are no remaining environmental concerns.