Portland businesswoman and suffrage leader Abigail Scott Duniway, The Abigail
is a revolutionary mixed-income development energizing an underdeveloped corner
of Portland’s Pearl District. The family-centric project features 128
affordable and 27 market-rate apartments that range from studio to
three-bedroom units. The Abigail highlights
AMA’s strength in integrating affordable housing and market-rate units into
shared urban communities.
Elevating the standard
of what affordable housing design can be, the community encourages social
equality and creates community by connecting individuals to the site and the
greater city. Placed in the north end of one of Portland’s most successful
districts, the building is ideally situated to provide easy access to
family-oriented services, as well as to the shops, galleries, and restaurants
for which the The Pearl is known. With retail and community spaces on the
ground level, the building adds even more activity to the neighborhood.
Located four blocks from a streetcar station
and within walking distance of multiple bus stops, city amenities are just
minutes from the front door. With two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as its proximity to shopping, parks, preschools, and community facilities and services, The Abigail provides convenient living for families.
To encourage biking, storage racks and a bicycle repair station are on-site. In
the underground garage, preferred parking spaces are available for
low-emitting, fuel-efficient vehicles, complete with an electric vehicle
The Abigail is
composed of two six-story buildings linked by a transparent “bridge” element
accessible at each floor. Each building takes cues from the unique surrounding
environment in order to generate separate identities. The west building
responds to the urban character of 13th Avenue, while the less formal character
of the railway and river alignments influence the east building.
The layout of the buildings allows for the
organic creation of four distinct outdoor spaces that create both public and
semi-private courtyards. These courtyards function as places for communal
events, relaxation, and play. Oversized furnished corridors and
laundry lounges on each floor serve as further extensions of the community-based
design. A large, central community area on the main floor provides
space for a variety of activities including social gatherings, cooking and art
classes, children’s programs, and more structured services programming.
Adjoining but distinct office and meeting space was created for the tenant
services partner, Impact NW.
Although the Pearl District has been rapidly developing into a
model mixed-use urban neighborhood, it is dominated by newer housing stock and
small unit sizes. Neighborhood demographics are skewed toward small households and empty nesters. The typically elevated cost of housing is reflected in its higher income residents and a lack of diversity. The Abigail delivers an innovative solution to this development challenge by adding family-sized
units and appropriate amenities, while still restricting rents. The new community introduces a diverse demographic to the maturing neighborhood.
Located on the former Hoyt Street Rail Yards site, a
state-designated brownfield, the northeast corner of the property is Burlington
Northern Santa Fe Railway right-of-way. Not only did the building need to
respond to the close proximity of heavy rail through extra sound mitigation
measures, it also needed to respond to an oddly shaped lot. The resulting
efficient design maximized the number of much needed residential units, while
providing livability, generous green spaces, and unique view opportunities. The
design concept of two buildings joined by a bridge element was critical to
accomplishing these goals.
The Abigail provides targeted programs and
services for residents of all ages to help them move toward lifelong success.
These programs expand residents’ educational opportunities and financial
security, provide access to health and wellness resources and services, build
community, and connect them to safety net resources. BRIDGE partnered with
Impact NW, one of the best providers in the field, to bring programs to
residents of The Abigail free of charge.
Designed to achieve the rigorous LEED Gold for Homes Certification, the project team made sustainable practices a
priority from the beginning. Engineered and
constructed with careful attention to its environmental impact, the property
continues this focus with the reduction of energy use and natural resources in
the ongoing operation of the building. The Abigail brings a prime city location back to productive
use with the provision of affordable housing.