Guide to the South Waterfront Condos

Atwater  ◊  John Ross  ◊  Meriwether   ◊  The Ardea  ◊  Mirabella

South Waterfront Neighborhood

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South Waterfront History and Development Plans

The South Waterfront, the largest and most expensive redevelopment effort in Portland history, will transform an abandoned 130-acre industrial brownfield along the Willamette River south of downtown into a $1.9 billion high-rise neighborhood as dense as parts of Manhattan. Eventually, about 20 high-rise buildings will be built on the site. This includes medical offices and labs for Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

The Portland Development Commission (PDC) signed an agreement with OHSU and a group of waterfront property owners that cleared the way for construction of a 38-acre central district, which includes 3,000 residential units, one million square feet of office space, 150,000 sq. ft. of retail and a hotel/conference center.

Map of South Waterfront

You can view a map of the area (Adobe PDF format). A map showing the South Waterfront area along with the buildings is available at Mapwith.us – it is a couple of years old but the map shows all the condos and apartments to include the OHSU Wellness Center.

Apartments in the South Waterfront

There are a number of apartment buildings in the South Waterfront.

  • The Ardea  The Ardea is a 30-story building that offers 323 apartment homes and 33 townhomes. It started out as the 3270 Condos but when the market for condos went sour, it converted to apartments.
  • The Emery  The seven floor 118-unit Emery apartments — the unusual rust-colored exterior to the south of the Ross Island bridge — represents the Zidell Company’s first stab at redeveloping about 33 of the acres attached to its barge-making plant on the Willamette River. Rents at the Emery start at $2.22 per square foot, or $999 a month for a 450-square-foot studio unit and rise to about $3,000 a month for the largest units, with two bedrooms and two baths. The first tenants moved into the Emery at the end of September 2013. The Emery has five retail spaces along Moody. Lovejoy Bakery leased a 1,495-square-foot corner spot facing to the south.
  • Gray’s Landing  This building was completed in late 2012. Gray’s Landing (previously known as “Block 49”) contains 209 housing units. Apartments are affordable to households earning 60% of Median Family Income ($30,660 for a single-person household). Forty two (42) of the apartments are targeted to low income veterans who have been homeless within the past two years. Cost of the building was $50.5 million. It open in late 2012.
  • Matisse  The building consists of two five-story apartment buildings at Southwest Lowell Street and Moody Avenue. The Matisse’s 272 rental units are the first of 700 market-rated apartments called for in the Portland Development Commission’s South Waterfront urban Central District Development agreement. It opened in the fall of 2010.
  • Riva on the Park  A 22-story apartment building offering studios, one and two bedrooms, and penthouses.
  • Block 37  The development team behind a 278-unit apartment building at South Waterfront presented its designs to the city’s Design Commission in May 2014 and construction began shortly after the design was approved. Completion is scheduled for October 2016. The building will be at a river-facing site at 3700 S.W. River Parkway. The six-story project includes 6,000 square feet of retail space and underground parking for 225 vehicles as well as more than 400 bicycle parking spots. 
  • Block 43 (Ella)  Construction begun on a 199-unit apartment development in May 2014 and completion is scheduled for early 2016. The six-story building at 3850 S.W. Moody Avenue. — on what’s known as Block 43 — is being developed by Dallas-based Alamo Manhattan. It will include 1,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space, as well as 196 underground parking spaces. The transit-oriented development is adjacent to two stops of the popular Portland Streetcar. The community will feature a wireless lounge, 24-hour fitness center, and rooftop terrace with views of the Willamette River, Mount Hood and the Portland skyline. The project is expected to be LEED Certified.

List of Condos in the Portland Metro Area

Skyscrape has a very complete list of condos in the metro area. You can view the list by clicking here. This site also has a list of condos in the metro area which you can access by clicking here.

SkyscraperPage.com’s forum has been one of the most active skyscraper enthusiast communities on the Web. The global membership discusses development news and construction activity on projects from around the world, alongside discussions on urban design, architecture, transportation and many other topics.

Homes for Sale in the South Waterfront

View homes currently for sale in South Waterfront by clicking here. To search for homes in downtown Portland, go to Quick Search. You can use several search parameters and select a specific location (neighborhood, city, zip code). 

Atwater Place Condos

Atwater Place In Block 34, a 22-story, rectangular tower features 212 condominium units, five of which are townhomes. Unit sizes range from 1,100 square feet to 3,700 square feet. Most of the units have views of the Willamette River and Mt. Hood. The building features 10,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. Its design of gardens and eco-roofs help the Atwater Place obtain a silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system.

Sustainable aspects of the building include storm water management to mitigate run-off, high-performance glazing to reduce heating and cooling needs, low-flow shower heads, faucets and dual-flush toilets, nontoxic finishes, and local sourced materials with high percentages of recycled content.

The building was designed by Thomas Hacker, principal of Thomas Hacker Architects. The design also includes work done by GBD Architects. The design for the tower’s sculptured faces is crafted in glass for a prismatic effect. Cut into the façade, the balconies are staggered recesses in the shear glass plane of the building’s face. It also has a raised courtyard and ground-level plaza.

Hoffman Construction crews begin excavating for the foundation and placing structural supports in late December 2005 and the building was completed in 2007.

Atwater Place Auction

Accelerated Marketing Partners auction on September 20, 2011 resulted in the sale of 40 units. In late September, the firm retained to dispose of unsold units at Atwater Place, listed nine additional units for sale. Accelerated Marketing Partners announced it has placed a series of mostly two-bedroom units on the market. In all, 100 of the 23-story project’s 212 units were sold by the fall of 2011.

View homes currently for sale in South Waterfront by clicking here. South Waterfront is  located in the South Portland neighborhood which includes Corbett, Lair Hill, and Johns Landing.

  • Location:  Atwater Place is located on Southwest Gaines Street, directly south of the Meriwether condo towers. It is the third residential project in the central district of South Waterfront.
  • Developer:  Gerding/Edlen Development Company. They also developed the John Ross, the Ardea, and the Meriwether in South Waterfront as well as the Brewery Blocks in the Pearl District.
  • Construction:  New building.
  • Number of Units: A 22-story, rectangular tower features 212 condominium units, five of which are town homes.
  • Style:  Traditional style with multiple rooms. Size of units go from 1,100 to 3,700 square feet.
  • Pricing:  Prices for the listed units start at $339,000 for lower-level units in the podium section of the building and rise to $815,000 for a two-bedroom, two-bath unit on the 10th floor.
  • Parking:  Underground.
  • Sales Office:  Call (503) 953-8795.
  • Completion Date:  The Atwater was completed in late 2007.

John Ross Condos

The John Ross  The tower is the first building to reach a 325-foot height maximum allowed in the South Waterfront area. Architects from Thompson Vaivoda Architects and GBD, a second Portland firm, offered the elliptical design. The city changed its rules to allow expanding the size of tower floors from 10,000 to as much as 12,500 square feet.Most floors in the John Ross are 12,261 square feet, tapering to 8,252 square feet on the top few floors. It offers 286 units, 247 in the tower and 39 in a four-story podium. Plans called for 50 percent of the units to sell for less than $325,000. The roof of the podium is a green roof with a community garden.

The metallic blue building rises in an elliptical shape that looks wider or narrower from different vantage points from the west, along Interstate 5 and the Marquam Hill area. For one, it seems narrower than rectangular, so-called “slab,” buildings. The shape also reduces the surface area, or in architectural terms, the “skin,” by 10 percent. That means more budget was devoted to the materials and detailing of the skin.

Bob Thompson, a principal of Thompson Vaivoda Architects, reported: “the elliptical form helped preserve views around the building from Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard while allowing addition of a quarter-block public plaza at the corner of Southwest Gains Street and River Parkway.”

The tower lobby has an 18-foot wall of glass that Thompson said is intended to be a “highly lit beacon” at night. The plaza has trees and beds of perennials, in addition to a low-lying water feature and outdoor seating on a hard surface adjacent to the buildings.

In the height of the condo boom (2005), the developers of Portland’s South Waterfront area announced that they’re taking a tougher stand against buyers who want condominiums to rent out or quickly resell and they’re planning to require sworn promises that buyers intend to live in their units. The new policies, will apply to presales in the John Ross condo tower. These new policies were supposed to:

  • Hopefully strengthen the appeal for potential residents.
  • Limit market turmoil from speculation and lead to a vibrant neighborhood

Prudential Real Estate Investors, which has primary control of the tower, sold 47 condos in South Waterfront’s John Ross building in less than two hours on April 11, 2010. More than 750 people turned out for the auction, filling a basement conference room and then some at the downtown Hilton.

Compared with the prices at the height of the real estate boom, the auction bidders took home condos at an average 50 percent discount. The John Ross condos were listed for an average of $711,000 during the top of the housing market. They sold for about $316,000, according to winning bids announced at the auction. The auction will provide another benchmark for how far the downtown high-rise condo market has tumbled. In the fall of 2009, the more upscale Atwater Place, across the street from the John Ross, sold condos for about $300 a square foot, on average. The John Ross units sold on April 11 for about $230 a square foot.

View homes currently for sale in South Waterfront by clicking here. South Waterfront is  located in the South Portland neighborhood which includes Corbett, Lair Hill, and Johns Landing.

  • Location:  South Waterfront between Southwest Pennoyer and Gaines streets and between River Parkway and Bond Avenue.
  • Developer:  Gerding/Edlen Development Company along with Williams & Dame Development Inc. They also developed the Atwater, the Ardea (apartments), and the Meriwether in South Waterfront as well as the Brewery Blocks in the Pearl District.
  • Construction:  New building.
  • Number of Units:  31-story condominium tower with 303 units. Ground floor retail and underground parking.
  • Style:  Traditional style with multiple rooms.
  • Size:  The average is 1,200 square feet per unit – the smallest units are about 600 square feet.
  • Green:  Received gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
  • Pricing:  From $199,000 to $2,200,000. 
  • Parking:  Underground.
  • Sales Office:  The sales office opened in mid July 2005 at the Discovery Center located at 0680 SW Bancroft, Portland, Oregon 97239. Telephone: (503) 222-7788.
  • Completion Date:  Construction began in the summer of 2005 and the John Ross was completed in late 2007.

Meriwether Towers Condos

Located on the Willamette River’s edge, the two Meriwether towers were the first of the residential buildings to be completed in South Waterfront. These homes offer views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Portland’s skyline, the West Hills, and the river bend. The building is one of the few LEED Gold certified residential towers in the country.The 245 homes were sold out prior to completion.buildings (245-units in double tower stretching 21 and 23 stories tall).  Modeled after the slender towers of Vancouver, British Columbia, the $200 million Meriwether condos were completed in the summer of 2006.

The buyers paid more than $350 per square foot for units 600 square feet and up at prices going from $169,000 to $1.9 million. The draw was being on the river as well as proximity to the new wellness center being built by Oregon Health & Science University.

Resale of Meriwether Homes

View homes currently for sale in South Waterfront by clicking here. South Waterfront is  located in the South Portland neighborhood which includes Corbett, Lair Hill, and Johns Landing.

  • Location:  South waterfront. Just south of the Ross Island bridge.
  • Developer:  Gerding/Edlen Development Company along with Williams & Dame Development Inc. They also developed the Brewery Blocks in the Pearl District.
  • Construction:  New building.
  • Number of Units:  245 units in two high-rise condominium towers and 17 street-level town homes. 
  • Style:  Traditional style with multiple rooms.
  • Pricing:  From $189,000 studios to a $1.88 million penthouse.  They are taking refundable deposits to hold a unit.  As of March 2005, 85 percent of the units have been reserved.
  • Parking:  Underground.
  • Preconstruction Reservations:  The 245 homes were sold out prior to completion. This was the period of the condo boom in Portland as well as other parts of the country.
  • Completion Date:  Construction is underway as of late 2004 and completion is expected in the May/June of 2006.

The Ardea (now apartments)

The Ardea  A Corus Bank, a subsidiary of Corus Bankshares Inc., announced in April 2007 that they had closed a $113 million loan to Block 30 Investors L.L.C. for the development of The Ardea (formerly called the 3720 Condos), a residential high-rise development in Portland South Waterfront district. The developer is an affiliate of Williams & Dame Development and Gerding Edlen Development. The Ardea consists of a 30-story tower and a five-story “side-car” structure, which together contain 323 units, for a total of 350,000 square feet of condominium space. In addition, the development also has 17,000 square feet of retail and 380 parking spaces.

The project is the third in the South Waterfront area for developer Block 30. The firm’s Meriwether condo development is located adjacent to 3720.

May 2009 Sales Update: Converting to Apartments

Developer Mark Edlen announced that The Ardea will be converted to an apartment building and they replace the original rename of 3720 to The Andrea. Edlen said three factors drove the switch on the nearly finished building: the slowing housing market, a tighter mortgage market, and the strengthening rental market. South Waterfront has condos for sale in two other towers: Atwater and John Ross.

  • Location:  South Waterfront. It is just to the south of the Meriwether twin towers and John Ross at Block 38. The address is 3720 SW Bond Street.
  • Developer:  Block 30 Investors L.L.C. – an affiliate of Williams & Dame Development and Gerding Edlen Development.
  • Construction Type: New building.
  • Number of Units:  30-story condominium tower with 323 units. Ground floor retail and underground parking.
  • Style:  Traditional style with multiple rooms.
  • Size:  30 stories, 325 feet with 323 units.
  • Pricing:  N/A as converted to apartments in 2009.
  • Parking: Underground.
  • Sales Office:  Call (503) 445-0990 for leasing.
  • Completion Date:  Construction began in the spring of 2007 and completed in 2009.

Mirabella Continuing Care Retirement Community

Mirabella  OHSU launched a partnership in January, 2007, to build a senior living community that will put hundreds of prospective residents at its South Waterfront doorstep.This 30-story Continuing Care Retirement Center (CCRC) will offer fine senior living that supports successful aging, including spacious view apartments and suites, Penthouse dining, world-class amenities and services, various levels of health care, and convenient underground parking.

Residents will enjoy spectacular views of the Willamette River, Mt. Hood, the Portland cityscape, and a park, which spans two blocks in front of Mirabella.

The university sold a block in the new neighborhood to Medford-based Pacific Retirement Services Inc., which is building a 30-story senior housing building that would offer a range of retirement living options, from apartments to nursing home level care. The arrangement will strengthen OHSU’s relationship with Intel, OHSU officials said, as the two can work to develop devices and techniques aimed at making aging easier.

  • Location:  The Mirabella is located on the 1.16-acre Block 31 of The River Blocks, bordered by S.W. Curry, S.W. River Parkway, S.W. Pennoyer, and S.W. Bond. This is just west of the Meriwether condo towers and facing a planned 2-block park.
  • Developer:  Pacific Retirement Services, Inc is located in Medford, Oregon. They also developed a number of other Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) to include the Mirabella in Seattle.
  • Construction: New building.
  • Number of Units: 30-story tower features 224 apartments.
  • Style:  Traditional style with a large open area for the living and kitchen areas. Size of units go from 800 to close to 2,000 square feet. One and two bedroom apartments with penthouses at the top floors.
  • Pricing:  A number of different options are available. Unlike most CCRCs, the heirs of residents can receive part or all of the cost of the apartment. The same is true if the resident decides to move out of the Mirabella.
  • Parking:  Underground with valet service.
  • Sales Office: Call (503) 245-4742. 
  • Reservations:  There are units available or you can place your name on the reservation list.
  • Completion Date:  Construction began in spring 2008 and the building was completed in the fall of 2010.