Portland rejects 17-story Fremont Apartments plan

PORTLAND, Ore. — The city council said no Wednesday to a plan to build a 17-story high rise along Naito Parkway and the waterfront in the Pearl District.

While blocking a beautiful view was the main issue for some residents, that was not what bothered the city council. It was mostly about how close the building would be built to the river. 

The council talked about their concerns before voting, and then approved an appeal by neighbors, to stop the development.

Background: 17-story tower could block NW Portland view

City leaders were most bothered by the width of the greenway between the building and the Willamette, down at one spot to just 13 feet. That’s too narrow for bikes, walkers and others to share; the city wants the path to be closer to 50 feet.

There were other issues, too. But not centered on the fact that the view of the Fremont Bridge would be lost for some, including those visiting The Fields Park.

One opponent of the plan said sending the developer back to the drawing board will give everyone a chance to come together on a better plan for the Fremont Apartments.

“We need to be able to make decisions for density and for views. It’s not one or the other, there’s a compromise. So many groups ore in one end zone or the other; let’s play in the middle of the field. Everyone can win,” said John Hollister, a Pearl District resident who wants to see some affordable housing included in the plan.

The city council voted unanimously to approve the appeal. and will finalize a vote in a month. The developer is expected to make changes and reapply to build at the waterfront location.

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