Once known as an area scattered with lumber mills, the Slabtown neighborhood in Northwest Portland, Oregon, received its coined name from the mills selling slabs of log edges as a cheap source of fuel. The district eventually became an industrial area with massive surface parking lots until the city of Portland and the former Con-way trucking company joined forces to create a master plan for the 20-acre site in 2012. They envisioned a highly walkable, vibrant mixed-use community featuring housing, office, open space, and ground-level retail.
Today, the neighborhood is still seeing new development and is home to the 2023 Gold Nugget Awards’ Multifamily Community of the Year: Saltwood. The two-block, mixed-use project was designed by SERA Architects for developers Prometheus Real Estate Group and Cairn Pacific.
Combined, the north and south apartment buildings provide 354 new units located above ground-floor retail spaces featuring bars and eateries with outdoor seating. The project also features ground-level courtyards as well as pedestrian paseos that are activated by two-story townhouses.
Saltwood’s design features brick façades reminiscent of the warehouse buildings prevalent in historic Slabtown and is balanced with wood and metal accents and biophilic details. The project’s amenities include rooftop decks, garden areas, co-working spaces, lounges, a fitness center, and an extensive spa with dipping pools.