Property Watch: A Modern Townhouse in North Tabor
Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: a townhouse in North Tabor. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].
In 2019, on the final day of the session, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2001, to end zoning that allows nothing but single-family homes in most cities statewide. The goal of it, as well as Portland’s own Residential Infill Project, is to create more “missing middle housing”—a diverse range of housing types that bridge the gap between an apartment (multiple units in a large-scale single building with a shared entry) and a single-family house. Think duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses.
Interestingly, Portland was no stranger to much of this type of housing before 1959. That year, the Portland City Council expanded single-family zoning across most of the city’s residential zones. Before that, there were plenty of plexes of all sizes built, wrapping courtyards or tucked in among the houses on their street, often given architectural features that helped them fit in with their neighbors.
This townhouse, built in 2017 on East Burnside in the North Tabor neighborhood, is a much more modern take, with exteriors by the acclaimed, female-owned firm Works Progress Architecture and interiors from Weedman Design Partners. It’s one of five, each with shou sugi ban siding, black metal detailing around the windows, and an ever-so-slightly asymmetrical roofline. Entry at the sidewalk is marked by paler wood, inset with subtly angled side walls.
There 1,091 square feet dispersed over three floors, with the bottom occupied by an oversize garage, light-filled foyer, and half bath. Up the steps, find the middle level with the main living spaces, and, up top, the primary suite and a second bedroom and full hall bath.
The custom details make the footprint live larger and feel quite luxe. The kitchen is at the center of the plan, anchored by a sizeable, quartz-topped island, with solid oak cabinetry there and framing the stove niche for warm contrast. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the dining room reveal sightlines toward the streetscape, with alternating panes of glass overlaid with metal ribbed screens to let in lots of natural light and still foster privacy.
At the other end of the floor, the living room sits beside more large glass panels, this time with views into the leafy canopy of a mature evergreen tree and with a private balcony wrapped in black metal mesh.
The upper level is accessed via a staircase with floating wood tread. It has the same smooth walls, hardwood flooring, and large windows as below, now joined by chic tile picks in the bathroom, vaulted ceilings, and plenty of storage. All of which makes this a well-appointed townhouse from top to bottom, and perhaps setting an example for the new wave to come.
Listing Fast Facts
- Address: 5745 E Burnside St, Portland, OR 97215
- Size: 1,091 square feet, 2 bed/2.5 bath
- List Date: 2/16/2023
- List Price: $500,000, with $250/month HOA dues
- Listing Agent: Calle Holmgren, Friday and Company
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.