Broadway housing building opens

At 8:55 a.m. September 18, five minutes before the announcedopening time, the main doors of The Broadway housing on SW SixthAve. swung open, giving Portland State 383 new and badly neededstudent apartments.

“The building is 100 percent full,” said Cathy Dyck, interimvice president for finance and administration. “We expect 600students to move in this weekend.”

She added, “People could apply for any vacancies.”

Portland State, the largest university in the Oregon system, hadgreat need of The Broadway’s 383 apartments. Every term theuniversity grappled with waiting lists for student housing.

More than 50 students and family formed a line outside TheBroadway’s main door before 8:30 a.m. When Michael Brantner,assistant director of Residence Life, swung the door open, studentsrushed up one flight of stairs to form more lines, to check in,receive information packets and room keys.

A crowd of others waited around the corner on SW Jackson Street.These were the beasts of burden – the relatives, friends and greenshirted helpers ready to move student household goods through thereceiving entrance, where two elevators waited.

Almost simultaneously with the open door on Sixth, John Eckman,assistant director of Auxiliary Services, declared the receivingarea open. First to get to the elevators was a crew of friendsrecruited by Haera Chung, a student from South Korea. She wasmoving from the Ondine to The Broadway.

The elevators, while roomy, proved to have quirks. Frustratedmovers discovered the system would not permit both elevators toopen simultaneously on the main floor. This created something of abacklog of baggage in the loading area.

The Broadway is a $47.5 million, 217,000-square foot complex.Student housing occupies the top eight stories of the two-towered10-story building that is bounded by Broadway, Sixth, Jackson andCollege streets. The second level will house classrooms, conferencerooms, a 24-hour computer laboratory and departmental offices.Retail outlets will front the street floor on Broadway. Eachstudent floor will have a resident assistant.

Looking out for the logistics of the move-in was Barbara Linn,consultant for the PSU foundation. The Broadway actually is ownedby the foundation, through its developmental creation, BroadwayHousing LLC. Bond financing and construction were managed byGerding/Edlen Development LLC.

This combination of entities to make The Broadway possiblestands as typical of the creative financing that became a specialtyof the recently departed vice president for Finance andAdministration, Jay Kenton.

The building boasts a 15,000-square foot eco-roof, largest inMultnomah county. The roof combines soil, gravel, grasses andcacti. It will provide insulation and allow a lag time in waterrunoff to the sewer system.

The Broadway side of The Broadway is currently fenced off forconstruction. Work is underway for Zelda’s Bagel and Bistro. Thereare two other lessees, Great Clips and Cold Stone Creamery icecream. They and two other potential leases aim to be operating byChristmas, Dyck said.

The Broadway occupies three-quarters of the block. The northeastquarter was coveted by PSU, but the owners, the 6th Ave. Deli &Market Place, declined to sell at the price offered. Technically,PSU could have acquired the corner by eminent domain, but, as Dycksaid recently, “We don’t do eminent domain.” Currently the deli isup for sale.