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Yet because of Oregon’s unique land-use laws limiting sprawl, the Rose City has long pursued increased density, with progressively taller buildings in new downtown-adjacent districts like the Pearl District and South Waterfront and along major neighborhood thoroughfares. That’s part of what makes Yard’s view over the freeway so compelling: it’s a view that has hardly ever existed.
Yard, for example, has publicly accessible retail going up five floors as well as two floors of offices, while Slate is a 50/50 split of commercial and residential, with a co-working space as its anchor tenant.“It’s a vertical neighborhood instead of a horizontal one,” says Fabian Andre, a former television executive now working in real estate.He sold his Northwest Portland house and moved into Yard last fall. That’s one of the big reasons I was drawn here.”Yet Burnside Bridgehead and the act of high-density placemaking there also may bring to mind what Portland’s not doing.It’s a rainy Friday afternoon at the east edge of Portland’s Burnside Bridge, where commuter traffic is inching from downtown across the Willamette River.