Real Estate

Property Watch: Airy Loft Living in Inner Southeast

This Division Street design gem boasts custom wood and glass doors, a loft to die for, custom lighting, and other top design details.

By Melissa Dalton August 2, 2021

Editor’s Note: Welcome to Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column, where we take regular looks at interesting homes on the market in Portland’s super-competitive real estate scene (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: A one-of-a-kind loft on SE Division Street. Got a property you’d like to suggest for this feature? Get in touch at [email protected].

If you’ve been going on the annual AIA Portland Homes Tour for a while, you probably remember when this house was on the roster in 2014—its debut was buzzy. Emerick Architects hit it out of the park. The firm took a low-lying, defunct commercial building on the corner of SE 16th Ave and Division, drastically upgraded the entire structure, including seismic updates, then topped it with a loft of which Pinterest dreams are made. Profiles in The New York Times, our Design Annual, and Remodelista followed. Now, the entire 9,990-square-foot property is on the market for the first time.

Emerick Architects calls the project “the poster child for adaptive reuse” for how it rehabs the old and still fits in with the scale of the neighborhood. The client brief was to evoke a 1930s-era warehouse, and the firm proceeded to expertly merge old and new. The entry is through a classically tiled foyer. On the left, there are custom wood and glass doors that were modeled after a historic image of an engineering firm’s office, and behind which sits a 2000-square-foot flex space. To the left, a sizeable two-car garage, and on the same level, a 2 bed/2 bath “guest house” with its own entrance.

Upstairs, the high-ceilinged loft is wrapped in black-framed windows that convey an industrial feel, but are actually composed of more energy efficient, double-paned units. (A solar array on the roof and tankless hot water heater also adds environmental cred.) The open kitchen, living, and dining room flows out to a wraparound roof terrace, perfect for enjoying city views with a cup of coffee, or a cocktail. Behind the hand-troweled stucco fireplace column, a library outfitted with custom storage is a cozy spot for reading or TV.

Amenities abound, including a gym, steam shower, and dog-washing station in the mudroom, not to mention the sweet spot that is living in the close-in Division/Clinton neighborhood. What pictures can’t completely capture is how no detail was left unconsidered. (Check out the architects’ Sketchbook for a fun behind the scenes look at the process.)

For your consideration: cabinetry that looks like library card catalogs. Custom lighting crafted by Schoolhouse Electric that could double as a warehouse’s sprinkler system. A 400-pound, zinc fire door made by FluxDesign that slides smoothly into place to enclose the loft living area. The project team worked with a host of local craftspeople to create the home’s enduring look and finesse all those perfect old-meets-new touches.

Listing Fast Facts:

Address: 1600 SE Division St. 

Size:  9,990 square feet, 3 bed/4 bath (includes 2,000-square-foot flex space, 3,700-square-foot main level residence, 2,530-square-foot upstairs loft; the garage adds 890-square-feet to the total)

List Date:  7/23/2021 

Price:  $5,250,000 

Listing Agent: Deborah Thomas and Todd Peres, Debbie Thomas Real Estate, Inc

 Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer who has focused on Pacific Northwest design and lifestyle since 2008. She is based in Portland. Contact Dalton here.

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