PORTLAND, Ore. -- For the past two years, Portland has watched as the building at Southwest Yamhill and Park Avenue crept higher and higher.
Now, the Park Avenue West building is all completed at 30 stories, during a time Portland is seeing a lot of high rise towers being built.
This one, almost wasn't.
Walk into any of the east facing apartments or office suites, and you see over downtown, the Willamette River and as far as Mt. Hood.
"This is an amazing block because of that unobstructed view to the river," said TMT Development President Vanessa Sturgeon as she gave KGW an exclusive first look inside Tuesday. Her grandfather, Tom Moyer was the founder of TMT Development, and after building the Fox Tower next door on Southwest Broadway, Park Avenue West was a long time dream of his.
"He loved this block because it's just right in the bullseye of downtown and it has this really tall height limit," Sturgeon said.
Getting there wasn't easy. Ground broke in 2008, which was the wrong time. "During the recession, the whole real estate scene went completely upside down, so all the lenders that were in the business of lending money to real estate projects got completely out," she said.
A three story hole in the ground on the site sat open for nearly five years, a constant reminder of the crash. Then in 2013, loans were approved, investors came back and so did the construction crane with dozens of workers.
Now crews are putting the finishing touches on 200 beautiful studio, one and two bedroom apartments for rent on the lower 15 floors. Sturgeon says 10 percent are filled so far. The apartments rent between $2,200 to $4,500 a month. And the demographic of tenants has been pretty interesting, Sturgeon says. Everyone from millennials who work nearby, to baby boomers, empty-nesters who don't want a yard anymore and even active seniors in their 70s and 80s.
The top 13 floors are fully leased office space that Portland desperately needed. Law firm Stoel Rives, along with Morgan Stanley and Washington Trust Bank are set to move in soon. Office space is able to be rented for a higher premium than residential.
Retail space on the street is open for lease. The entire building is LEED-certified green materials and technology.
"You notice it's not straight up and down. There are angles, curves and wings to the building to give it some architectural interest," Sturgeon said.
While in 2008 it would have started Portland's new urban lifestyle of live and work closer in with less commute, Park Avenue West now joins the movement in a city changing fast.
"High density going up is really the way of the future for real estate development," she said.