Page B1.1 . 30 January 2008                     
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    LEED Gold Resurrection

    by Brian Libby

    To visit the RiverEast Center in Portland, Oregon, is to stand at a major crossroads. The newly renovated former warehouse building sits along the Willamette River, just across from downtown, at the base of the Hawthorne Bridge. This location affords unobstructed views of boats and cars streaming by in the foreground with the classic downtown Portland skyline behind. The RiverEast Center also sits beside a massive freeway bridge and overpass to the west and a railroad track busy with freight and occasional passenger trains to the east.

    The resurrected 1951 building stands near the geographic center of a city that has been praised in urban planning circles for controlling urban sprawl through increased density. This approach in turn makes real estate in core neighborhoods, such as Portland's burgeoning Central Eastside, increasingly valuable.

    That area isn't zoned for condos, so it hasn't exploded with development quite like Portland's more widely known Pearl District across the river. But as a result, the Central Eastside offers a more eclectic mix of blue collar and creative industry denizens. Here architects, graphic designers, chefs, and photographers regularly rub elbows with forklift and big-rig operators.

    For the two company heads who developed the RiverEast project, the prospect of diving headlong into a $17 million warehouse conversion was not exactly a risk-free endeavor. Longtime friends Jeff Reaves of architecture firm Group Mackenzie and Jay Haladay of software-maker Coaxis, Inc. faced a lengthy process that involved negotiations among government agencies and a contractual commitment to rent to nonprofit tenants at below-market rates.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    Sections of concrete wall, removed to add windows and improve daylighting throughout the RiverEast Center, were reused in a site installation designed by artist Linda Wysong.
    Photo: Gary Wilson Photo/Graphic

    ArchWeek Image

    The original double-height, cast-in-place concrete columns help to define the offices of Group Mackenzie in the RiverEast Center
    Photo: Gary Wilson Photo/Graphic Extra Large Image


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