Real Estate

Property Watch: A Smartly Designed, Mid-Aughts-Era Condo in the Alphabet District

Radiant underfloor heating, cork floors and views of the Montgomery Park sign

By Melissa Dalton February 7, 2022

Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s super-competitive real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: a nicely renovated condo in Northwest Portland. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

Last week, we contemplated a modern version of one of the oldest architectural styles in the United States, the log cabin. This week, we’re going to fast-forward a couple hundred years, to 2006, when Holst Architecture completed this building, called the Thurman Street Lofts, on the far end of NW 23rd Avenue.

The firm has frequently been heralded in the local press for ushering in “a bolder breed of Portland building” that, since the aughts, has popped up in every quadrant of the city: from the Gaudi-inspired curves of the One North in North Portland to the pop-out stucco boxes of the Sunrose Condominiums on 28th and East Burnside. The list goes on—including the Hotel Modera, Bud Clark Commons, and Slabtown Marketplace—so it’s highly likely that you’re familiar with the firm’s work, if not its name.

This building is an early and more modest project, perhaps fitting for a street like Thurman, where it’s nestled between 1990 rowhouses and 1895 bungalows. The firm mentions not wanting to “overwhelm the site’s surrounding context.” Exterior details include a wood screen wrapping the body, with the screen “subtracted away” at the ground level to denote the entry and garage, and large picture windows that punctuate the façade.

According to the listing, the building has five stories and 16 units, with two penthouses at the top, one of which is currently for rent at $7,000/month. The unit for sale is #302, at a nice height three floors up, overlooking the streetscape, trees, and, in the distance, the Montgomery Park sign.

The apartment is on the corner, so the large windows in the main living room cede into a sliding glass door on the other wall, which accesses a balcony and makes the whole place feel larger than its 1,072 square feet. Warm finishes, like cork floors and tall, wood-clad ceilings, are inviting and contrast nicely with the kitchen’s glossy white cabinets and granite counters.

The layout has two bedrooms and one and a half baths, and includes an office niche just off the main room, full-size washer and dryer, and lots of storage. Radiant underfloor heating throughout will be toasty in winter, while the mini-split ductless AC will let you sleep through the night during the next heat wave. The recent owners also installed concealed pull-out screens in the windows for when you want to feel the breeze without the bugs.

While there’re no community spaces in the building, that’s no bother, says the current owners, as the neighbors are friendly and helpful to one another. And besides, there’s much to enjoy in such a plum neighborhood known for being close to just about everything.

Listing Fast Facts:

Address: 2538 NW Thurman St #302
Size: 1072 square feet, 2 bed / 1.5 bath 
List Date: 1/27/2022 
List Price: $569,900, with $766/month HOA dues 
Listing Agents: Ross Seligman and Morgan Duran, Living Room Realty

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