by Jon Engelsman
At first glance, the four-story apartment building slated for construction at NE 30th & Killingsworth feels like an all too familiar tale in Portland’s busy infill development market. But in the case of the 30th & K apartments, it’s the cast of characters involved and their existing relationships with the Concordia neighborhood that make it interesting.
In fact, the three key players involved with this new project have a well-established legacy here, specifically through their recent involvement in numerous expansions of nearby Concordia University campus.
Brian Spencer – The Developer
Brian Spencer is the owner of Ascend Holdings and newly formed 30th & K Properties LLC. He is also the owner of a former Best Buy in NE Portland now leased to Concordia University as their Columbia River Campus. Renovations of that campus expansion were built by…
Union Corner Construction- The Contractor
Union Corner Construction was signed on to build the new 30th & K apartments. The company is also the general contractor for recent Concordia University campus expansions, including the library and community stadium, as well as the university’s new law school and library in Boise, Idaho. All of these campus expansions were designed by…
Mackenzie – The Architect
Mackenzie is a long-standing Portland architectural firm that is the designer of the new NE 30th and Killingsworth apartment building. A preliminary drawing of the building was included in the March 2016 edition of the Concordia News. Of their previous work with Union Corner Construction and Concordia University, Mackenzie boasts designs that are LEED certified, “sensitive to the residential context,” and “respectful to the surrounding community.”
In light of this significant history with Concordia University, it begs the question of how these three parties came together for the new 30th & Killingsworth development and whether the university is somehow involved. Considering the university’s involvement in the new Concordia Student Housing, currently under construction only thirteen blocks away on 17th & Killingsworth, it’s not a stretch of the imagination to wonder what might be in store for the new 30th & K apartments.
And while there is no doubt that this development group has built an impressive legacy of work in our area, one thing is certain: the Concordia neighborhood hopes that those involved in the 30th & K apartments will build upon their legacy of work by creating something that meaningfully integrates with the community and becomes something that the neighborhood will point to with pride.
Joe Engelsman is a Concordia resident.