Developer Gets Neighborhood Association OK on Mississippi Avenue Apartments

The furor over a controversial 81-unit apartment building on Southeast Division Street hasn't just resulted in the city halting construction on the project.

It's also led to more power for neighborhood associations.

Members of the Boise Neighborhood Association are sending a letter of support to the city for a planned 42-unit apartment complex at 4018 N Mississippi Ave. The project is being built by Dennis Sackhoff, the Beaverton-based developer behind the halted Division Street project.

But the neighborhood association only signed off on the building after Sackhoff adjusted his plans to include retail space along the full length of the building facing Mississippi Avenue. The initial plans included no storefronts.

Boise Neighborhood Association member Caroline Dao says Sackhoff's development manager David Mullens volunteered to make changes.

"He said he would never go into another neighborhood without a letter like this, because of what happened on 37th and Division," she says. "They are so raw."

The city issued a stop-work order on the 37th Street Apartments last month after the state's Land Use Board of Appeals ruled that the project had been illegally permitted. The ruling was based on a design technicality, and had no relation to the lack of on-site parking that had infuriated neighbors.

Sackhoff's proposed Mississippi Avenue building also includes no on-site parking, and the neighborhood association letter says they'd prefer parking spaces in the plans. But at a meeting last night, members said they were satisfied by getting storefronts on the project.

"The result is a building that better reflects the neighborhood," says Dao.

Meanwhile, the city's proposed rule changes to require some on-site parking for all new apartment projects get a public hearing today at the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

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