May 13th, 2011 | by BEN WATERHOUSE Arts & Books |

Eyesore of the Week: Banality in Slabtown

conway-savier-23-property

I'm not exactly wild about the neighborhood Willamette Week has called home since 2006. Shortly after we moved in to our building at Northwest 22nd Avenue and Quimby Street, a coworker described the area as a "wasteland of $8 hamburgers"—a description that, although lunch prospects have improved substantially since then, still rings true.

But one thing I do admire about the north end of the alphabet district is that it has retained a few pockets of genuine strangeness: the patio at New Old Lompoc; clusters of vaguely sinister warehouses; Stepping Stone Cafe; this thing

So I am saddened to see that the first scheduled redevelopment of Conway's many empty parking lots is an apartment building so bland that I assume the architects must have been instructed to avoid any hints of personality.

Savier Flats is a proposed four-story, 179-unit, two-building complex for either side of Savier Street at Northwest 23rd Avenue, and it looks just like every other four-story apartment complex that's been built in Portland in the last 10 years. It is excruciatingly dull, and, although I'm sure its construction will be a boon to the neighborhood's restaurants and lessen the monotony of my lunch schedule, I wish the project had any hint of creative design. (Although, given the images on the developer's web site, it could be much, much worse).

Or maybe I'm just grumpy that this project is forcing my farmers market to move.

 
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