Yard, 21-Story Building at Burnside Bridgehead, Begins to Take Shape

Drivers across the Burnside Bridge and along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard have likely noticed Yard, the hulking apartment building that will eventually rise 21 stories above the Willamette River’s eastern banks.

Thirteen floors are now complete, reaching about 145 feet into the air and offering impressive views of downtown Portland and the east side.

Project developers Key Development Co. and Guardian Real Estate Services announced Wednesday that 57 of the building’s 284 apartments – or 20 percent of the total – will be more affordable workforce units reserved for Portlanders making up to 60 percent of the area’s median family income.

The companies’ agreement with the city comes after Portland officials planned to raise from $1 million to $3 million a cap on property tax breaks awarded in select neighborhoods to developers who include affordable housing in their projects.

Kevin Larkin, the Yard project superintendent for builder Andersen Construction, said Thursday that the building would be ready for occupancy in July of next year. The first four stories are dedicated to parking, and the fifth floor is slated to house a spa and restaurant. The upper stories are for apartments.

The ground floor also will have a 4,000-square-foot restaurant, Larkin said.

Yard is part of a boom in development at the Burnside Bridgehead. Nearby, theBlock 75 mixed-use project is competing with Yard for skyline prominence. And theso-called Dumbbell, a visually striking combination of retail and office space, is moving through the city’s review process.

Larkin, who has much experience in the Portland construction business, said the “challenge factor” in building Yard “is definitely there.”

“The views from this one are right up there, the views heading down the river in both directions,” Larkin said. “It makes for quite the panoramic shot.”

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