Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What's Going On With the Old Waverly School?

 We walk the dogs by this place most every weekend.  It is a beautiful old building on a large piece of ground in a nice residential neighborhood in close-in Southeast Portland.  The grounds are a haven for squirrels, and thus remain quite popular with our dogs. 

Originally a Portland Public School, the property has had a variety of social service uses over the past 20 years.    Vacant for about the past two years, the property's highest and best use clearly no longer includes a large dated brick building.  Yes, we all bemoan the loss of these old buildings, but really now, how many can be made in brew pubs, condominiums and community centers.  The McMenamins can't restore every old building.

So in comes some pretty cool plans for a residential community.  It looks like co-housing, only everyone has their own house.  The plat shows about 10,000 square feet of common space including a fire pit and community gardens; all surrounded by single family homes ranging from 1600 to 2600 square feet.  Waverly Commons, as the project is called, is brought to us by developer Mark Desbrow and his development team. Also incorporated into the project will be sustainable architecture, options for solar or geothermal heating, and a  tool lending library.  You can see proposed plans and more about the project here.

I don't see prices posted yet, but the "How this Works" tab lays out some deposit and financing guidelines that bode for some pretty pricey homes.  This neighborhood easily supports home prices in the high $400,000's.  I'd expect new construction, with high end and sustainable features and the luxury of the "commons" will be priced upwards of there, perhaps considerably.

The Southeast Examiner's November issue reports that demolition of the old building will begin in December, with construction expected to start in February 2012.  While the dogs won't appreciate the construction and will mourn the loss of "squirrel haven" as we call it, I'm sure Don and I will look forward to dog walks allowing us to keep an eye on the project.

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