Since 1995, First Amherst Development Group, through related entities and partners, has participated in several prominent and award winning projects throughout downtown Portland, OR.
First Amherst has participated as co-developer, consultant and/or investor in the following mixed-use developments.
Museum Place Lofts and Townhouses
This transit-oriented, mixed-use development, which is located on a full-block site in Portland’s Cultural District consists of 140 loft-style rental apartments that rest on top of a 47,000 square foot Safeway grocery store; 1,100 square feet of neighborhood retail space; and 220 underground parking spaces. There are 28 units reserved for residents earning less than 50% of Area Median Income, and the remaining units are available at market rates.
The Museum Place Lofts & Townhouses is part of a three-block redevelopment effort that serves as a neighborhood landmark and a catalyst for revitalization. In addition to providing a variety of housing and employment opportunities, this development offers an exciting environment in which to live, shop, dine and take part in community and recreational activities.
Hollywood Library/Bookmark Apartments
First Amherst Development Group, through an affiliated entity, participated in the development and also acted as the tax credit investor for this unique mixed-use project in the Hollywood District of Portland, Oregon. The project combines a 13,000 SF branch library with 47 mixed-income apartments and 815 square feet of ground floor retail space. This innovative, transit-oriented project is a first-of-its-kind joint venture between the public and private sectors; the County owns the library, and Sockeye Hollywood, LLC (a “First Amherst” controlled entity) owns the residential and retail spaces.
The Bookmark Apartments offers a total of 47 units, including 1 studio, 2 split-level lofts, 33 one-bedroom units, and 11 two-bedroom units. There are 19 units (40%) provided to households at or below 60% of Area Median Income and the remaining 28 units are available at market rate. All residents have access to a generous landscaped courtyard on the south side of the building (above the library), and several units have private courtyard space or large decks on the north side. The Bookmark Apartments have been thoughtfully designed to offer a unique living opportunity in the Hollywood neighborhood of Portland.
Located just one and a half miles from Portland’s city center and along a major public transit route, the Belmont Dairy exemplifies the potential for quality urban living in a high-density environment. The project involves the adaptive use of a 70-year old dairy in the core of an established urban neighborhood, and serves as a model for mixed-income, mixed-use development.
Once a productive complex supplying milk to the local schools and Eskimo PiesTM to local grocery stores, the dairy was abandoned in 1990 and quickly became a neighborhood eyesore. Over 40,000 SF of the original 80,000 SF dairy was saved, major building elements were recycled and Portland General Electric’s (PGE) Earth SmartTM building standards were incorporated throughout the process. The development offers 66 apartments, 19 residential lofts, and 26,000 SF of retail space, including a Zupan’s Markets, a popular Northwest specialty grocer, and Sweetwater’s Jam House, a lively Caribbean restaurant. The lofts feature 18- to 22-foot ceilings, large windows with double French doors, and most offer a mezzanine level. The one- and two-bedroom apartments offer 9-foot ceilings, large windows and designer kitchens. The development also provides a landscaped courtyard for the enjoyment of all tenants.
The neighborhood has embraced the revitalization of the dairy. Today, after sitting vacant for five years and attracting squatters and graffiti, the Belmont Dairy is the cornerstone and impetus for the revitalization of the Sunnyside Neighborhood and Belmont Business District within downtown Portland. The Belmont Dairy has been recognized regionally and nationally as a model in-fill and mixed-use development project, and has received various awards including the Governor's Livability Award and BEST Innovation Award in 1997.