Last year, Susan Moray, the owner of the PDX Eco Cottage in Ladd’s Addition, opened a second guesthouse for rent nearby. PDX Urban Barn, six blocks from the Eco Cottage in the Clinton neighborhood, promises the same efficient living with double the space at 800 square feet.
Designed by Jack Barnes Architect and built by Confluence Design and Radius Design/Build, the Urban Barn has two bedrooms, including a loft, and boasts 18-foot ceilings at its peak. It comes with a complete kitchen and gated patio and yard. Vertical cedar siding and triple-pane windows combine a rustic aesthetic with energy-saving practices.
Barnes’ design, along with its efficiency-first construction practices, attained Earth Advantage’s "Platinum" certification. Moray tapped Barnes for the project after they worked together on the Cottage, both having knowledge of the ADU building process and the proper permitting needed.
The Barn differs from the Cottage in one respect: privacy. Guests do not need to walk through Moray’s own backyard to reach the small living space. The Barn, built on a property owned by Moray and her daughter, has its own address and front door due to its location on a corner.
“This is real neighborhood living," Moray says. "People who visit Portland do not want to stay downtown.”
The hayloft-apex look—a metal roof forged for durability and easy rain shed—reincarnates the real-life barn, circa 1895, that stood on the property behind the house. All the interior design work is Moray’s own, and she made a conscious effort to let the Barn retain its urban farmhouse feel with Douglas fir plywood and concrete floors.
With the success of the Eco Cottage, which opened in 2013, Moray began thinking about a new development in 2015. For research, she attended a tiny house tour led by Kol Petersen, owner of the Tiny House Hotel just off Northeast Alberta. Peterson, who also does ADU consultations, taught an accessory dwelling strategies class that Moray took before beginning the Cottage.
While there are no "typical renters," Moray says her visitors are well-traveled and have a pulse on Portland’s hottest scenes for dining and shopping.
“They’ve investigated Portland and know this part of Portland, between Hawthorne and Division, is the mecca," she says.
The market for ADUs of all uses in Portland is ever-expanding. “It’s no secret they are coming on fast,” says Moray, “[Peterson's] tour this year had 24 units on it. The first one I went on a few years ago had 10.”
The starting rate is $200 per night, Sunday through Thursday, with a markup for weekends and occupants beyond two people.