Neighborhood Association Opposed a Six-Story Apartment Building in Slabtown. It’s Now Seven Stories.

The battle became emblematic of neighborhood groups’ clout in opposing new home construction despite a housing shortage.

Seven years after acquiring the Slabtown property, developer Guardian Real Estate Services will break ground on a 200-unit apartment building on Northwest Pettygrove Street, 20% of which will be affordable for tenants making 80% of median income.

The developer bought the 1.55-acre property in 2015 and then faced a series of delays while the Northwest District Association fought the design of the project.

In particular, neighbors objected to the height of the building: They favored four stories instead of six, lamenting it would block sunlight from reaching a public square (“Sky Wars,” WW, Jan. 24, 2018). The battle became emblematic of neighborhood groups’ clout in opposing new home construction despite a housing shortage.

The building is now seven stories, says the developer.

“Slabtown Square has been an exercise in perseverance,” said Tom Brenneke, president of Guardian. “From design iterations and appeals to overcoming the negative perceptions of Portland when attempting to capitalize, we worked through each hurdle to bring this development to fruition.”