Fremont Row prepares to go vertical in NorthWest Crossing

Owner: Fremont NWX LLC

General contractor: SunWest Builders

Architect: BLRB Architects

Details: Vertical construction is scheduled to begin this month on Fremont Row, a set of condominiums over storefronts plus a stand-alone restaurant on NW Crossing Drive.

The project will fill out the block between NW John Fremont Street and NW Fort Clatsop Street, across from The Sparrow Bakery.

“About every square inch of it’s going to be under construction,” said Jon Page, superintendent for general contractor SunWest Builders.

Co-owner John Gilbert of Pacific Crest Affordable Housing said the urban-style development is designed to maximize mountain views for condominium dwellers while providing a public-oriented space at street level. The 2,600-square-foot restaurant at the corner of NW Crossing Drive and NW John Fremont Street will have patio seating. The site plan leaves room for a small, public gathering space on the street corner, where people can meet up during Saturday farmer’s markets, eat an ice cream cone and people watch, he said.

No tenant has been identified for the stand-alone restaurant, Gilbert said.

The main building will have five two-story condominiums and one single-level unit over five retail spaces. The building is scheduled to be completed in March, though tenant improvements could be ongoing at that time, Page said.

Fremont Row is already seeing leasing and buying activity. Lilian Chu of 5 Fusion & Sushi Bar signed a lease for a retail space with plans to open a poke bowl restaurant, Poke Crossing, Gilbert said.

Two of the condominium units have been reserved at $669,900 and $679,000, according to Sandy Garner of Harcourts The Garner Group.

The residences feature large balcony spaces, 10 feet by 10 feet on the lower level and 14 feet by 15 feet on the upper level, Page said.

Each of the building’s upper stories will be set back from the one below, so it won’t look or feel like a 36-foot vertical wall to passersby on NW Crossing Drive, Page said. The stepped-back design should also cut down on the shadow cast by the north-facing building, he said.

SunWest, which broke ground in June, and its subcontractors will be working around two large juniper trees that the owner wanted to preserve on the half-acre site, Page said. The tree at the corner of Fort Clatsop and NW Crossing Drive will stand above the roof and could be as high as 50 feet, he said.

Oftentimes, property owners’ efforts to preserve trees fail because roots are damaged during construction, or the trees are deemed to be too close to the building after all, Page said, but BLRB Architects went to extraordinary lengths to preserve the old junipers.

— Kathleen McLaughlin, The Bulletin

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