Developer Gordon Jones, left, checks out his apartment building set to open this spring. Memo photo/Tim Curran

Developer Gordon Jones, left, checks out his apartment building set to open this spring. Memo photo/Tim Curran

Construction at the 90-unit Rose Apartments at 328 N.E. 97th Ave. is ongoing so that its first tenants can move in, possibly as early as March 1, 2015.

The two, four-story apartment buildings, Rose East and Rose West, mirror each other, one facing Northeast 97th Avenue, the other facing Northeast 99th Avenue, each with 45 units. Forty percent of the units are for low-income qualified tenants, available to people earning 60 percent of median family income. “I’m really excited to get it completed and the people moved in in time to get the vegetable boxes planted for the year,” said Gordon Jones, developer of the complex. “It’s going to be a fun project.”

Jones has tentatively scheduled a grand opening shortly after the March 1 move-in date. Public officials and well-wishers will be on hand to celebrate. “We’ll finish the first building and get people moved in,” Jones said. “Then we’ll be finishing up the second building, and we can have our grand opening while it’s being completed.”

The second building should take only a few more weeks after initial move-in, he predicted.

Jones said the March 1 completion date “is a little bit tentative only because there are so many things that are weather-dependent right now, like painting the buildings. But we usually get some nice weather in February, so I’m optimistic. I think we’ll get them painted.”

Michele Lovin, a portfolio manager with Princeton Property Management, said her company has not yet started accepting applications or reservation deposits for the Rose Apartments but probably will after Jan. 1, 2015. She is currently receiving about 25 calls a week from people interested in leasing units.

“There’s a lot of excitement about this beautiful, new modern building that is going to bring a new skyline to the Gateway area, being right there on the freeway,” Lovin said. “We get our fair share of people looking for the market rate but we have more of an interest for the income-restricted units. I think those people in that area with the income-restricted units have been forced to live in secondary markets, secondary units—the Bs and the Cs—and so they’re so excited to be able to have the opportunity to lease at this brand new, beautiful building.”

Jones worked ten years to construct the $10.6 million mixed-use building, receiving a ten-year tax abatement for including at least 20 percent low-income units. He opted to include 40 percent.

In the private-public partnership, Jones worked with multiple agencies, including Metro, the Portland Development Commission, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland Environmental Services, TriMet and Riverview Community Bank. Metro assisted with financing because it is a high-density building near a transit center and helped Jones add green features including a community garden and public plaza.

Property owners along 97th Avenue formed a Local Improvement District to cover part of the costs of the street improvements, along with money from PBOT. The city also created a new street—Northeast Everett Court—connecting Northeast 97th and 99th avenues.

Workers broke ground at the site last December, (“The Rose apartment project breaks ground in Gateway,” MCM January, 2014). This is the first building developed by Jones that general contractor Precision Construction has worked on.

“We are going like mad dogs,” said Jon Dalton, a job superintendent with Precision. “Typically, we’ll have about 50 to 60 people out here every day.”

The framing part of the four-story wooden structure was completed last August. In mid-November workers started constructing what Dalton called the “skin of the building,” installing windows and siding. They also drywalled the east and west buildings. After spraying the exterior with liquid Tremco sealant, they added HardiePlank lap siding. “We’ll work on the building from the fourth floor down to the first floor,” Dalton explained. “If you start on the fourth floor then you can build it out all the way down, and it’s a cleaner job site. You don’t have to haul materials down all the time. If you finish the first floor first, everybody’s walking through the first floor to get to the second floor.”
Their next step will be to install cabinets and flooring, followed by painting the entire interior. “The last thing we put in are the entry doors to all the units,” Dalton said.

The company also subcontracts with other construction firms, electrical, plumbing and concrete masons, who add their special talents to the building.

Work crews are committed to recycling materials because the development is seeking a gold certification through a nonprofit called Earth Advantage, a third-party green building certification program in Oregon and Washington that works with builders to reduce waste and make buildings more energy efficient. “We recycle everything that’s possible,” Dalton said. That means recycling 100 percent of cardboard and wood detritus, as well as general trash recycling. Inspectors from Earth Advantage are on the site once a week, walking through the buildings, checking for moisture control and other factors such as sound transfer between buildings.

Jones said the building is very much on schedule. “I’m usually there almost every day,” Jones said. ”I’m very hands on.”

Rose_sidebarDalton had nothing but praise for the 67-year-old Jones. “He’s great,” Dalton said. “He’s street smart; he knows everything that goes on because he’s done a couple of other buildings, and he’s a pleasure to work with.”

For more information on the Rose Apartments, call 503-227-ROSE(7673), or visit the website: