King + Parks: Frequently Asked Questions

King + Parks Apartments

Conceptual Rendering of King + Parks Apartments. ©Merryman Barnes Architects 2017

Frequently Asked Questions
Updated May 25, 2017 (previously updated April 27, 2017)

In spring 2016, the Portland Housing Bureau selected Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc. (PCRI) in partnership with Colas Construction and Merryman Barnes Architects to develop land owned by the City of Portland at the corner of NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Rosa Parks Way. 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 King + Parks news. The project team anticipates attending and/or hosting community meetings as the development’s design progresses. Dates for community meetings will be posted on PCRI’s website and shared via our e-news, in addition to other media.

King Parks Apartments: Proposed Site Plan

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 a preference for developments that maximized use of the site and included family-sized rental units, meaning two or more bedrooms. While the project design is still being developed, current designs include 70 units, with the majority of these apartments having at least two bedrooms. Initial designs are for a four-story building along Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Rosa Parks Way, similar in height to a building one block north. Where the new development meets existing residential homes to the west, the building will step down to three stories.

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, however.

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.

Conceptual Rendering of King + Parks Apartments. ©Merryman Barnes Architects 2017

Conceptual Rendering of King + Parks Apartments. ©Merryman Barnes Architects 2017

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 King + Parks 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 at the end of 2017. We anticipate construction will take approximately 14 months, with completion and resident move-in expected in early 2019. This schedule is subject to change as design progresses.

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 King + Parks apartments, PCRI anticipates establishing 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 (when available, we will post additional information and a link to the Housing Bureau’s policy).

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.

Conceptual Rendering of King + Parks Apartments. ©Merryman Barnes Architects 2017

Conceptual Rendering of King + Parks Apartments. ©Merryman Barnes Architects 2017

Q: How will this impact my property?
A: Developing a high-quality building 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. In addition, a community room situated on the ground floor at the corner of M L King Jr Blvd and Rosa Parks Way is anticipated to be available for community members to reserve and use (details regarding availability are to be determined and may change over time).

Q: How much parking will there be?
A: Details about the amount of parking that can be accommodated on the site is still being evaluated as our project team seeks to find a balance between developing the site efficiently and cost-effectively while minimizing impacts to the existing neighborhood. Preliminary designs include 24 off-street parking spaces, even though current City of Portland zoning code does not require parking for affordable housing development at this location. The project team has considered underground and/or structured parking, but determined that the cost of developing such parking is prohibitively expensive and would not be consistent with our goals of prudent use of public funding. PCRI is also exploring partnerships to incentivize transit, car-sharing, and bicycle use among residents, as well sharing parking with adjacent businesses in order to further reduce parking needs and impacts.