Cyan PDX: Declassified

As I first blogged about in this post a couple months back, the Cyan PDX project is now up and running. The coordinator for their media relations, Beth Forsman, saw my original post and e-mailed me a personal invitation to come and check it out. She was kind enough to arrange to have Damin Tarlow, the project manager, meet with me and give me the full tour.

The showroom is impressive: a large, beautifully open area with two full models of the available floor plans. As Damin explained to me, the project is centered around living small, with the least amount of carbon footprint and local environmental impact. All the appliances are European in design and the first of their kind to be installed in the US: in fact, the oven dials were all in celsius. The clothes dryer doesn’t vent heat outwards, rather it recycles the heat generated and vents what moisture remains out the same drain the washer uses. The building will also feature an eco roof and have Zip Cars stationed outside. The intent is to make the surrounding area a “green street”, with as little automotive traffic as possible and with a heavy emphasis on walking and biking. In fact, parking spaces don’t come included in the price of your condo: you’ll need to fork over another 40k for that luxury.

What surprised me to hear is that this is only phase one of the project. Phase two is directly across the street on the West side of 4th and Harrison. The existing Streetcar jog around that block will be straightened to flow diagonally across the lot, following the existing line through the PSU urban center, and the building will be built over and around it. Phase three will see the showroom demolished and recycled and a third building erected on that lot.

All in all I was impressed with the concept, but with a bit of healthy long-time-Portland-resident skepticism. The prices are a bit high for condos on the smallish side IMHO, and I have to wonder if the trend in the pearl could happen here: if the buyers don’t come will these become apartments? Regardless, the landscape in downtown is changing, and it will be interesting to see what this area looks like in a few years time.

On a personal note, one thing I liked is that they use Macintoshes in their showroom for people to check out their website with. Major Mike points for that! As an added bonus, check out the building at night if you can: projectors fill the front windows with a screensaver-like display of moving light and color that’s very cool to watch, just don’t let it distract you from your driving. (:

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