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|On the Scene|
|Tuesday, August 31, 2010|
BY EMMA HALL
Portland’s high-profile Street of Dreams celebrated its 35th anniversary with a showcase of luxury houses in all shapes and sizes, ranging from a 1,250 sq. ft. pre-fab of the future from Ideabox that sells for about $150,000, to a 6,000 sq. ft. three-story mansion hidden in the forest. But in these trying times when Portland’s home sales are plummeting (the newest report from the National Association of Realtors shows that overall home sales in Portland were down 28.1% from last year), just how necessary is a show that touts the merits of expansive home gyms and large separate guest quarters?
Operations manager Eric Stride said he was happy with the way the 2010 show turned out, and was “glad to be back” from the penthouse condos in the Pearl District featured last year, none of which pre-sold.
This year, Northwest Natural Street of Dreams returned to the west side of Portland, and ran July 31-Aug 29 at Cresap Summit, a new development off Skyline Boulevard. The featured houses were scaled back in size and price, and the aim of the show definitely wasn’t to sell multimillion-dollar houses as in years past.
“The show is geared towards generating ideas for people renovating or buying houses,” Stride said. “Street of Dreams showcases the latest trends.”
The obvious trend this year is sustainability. The largest house—Forest Edge, built by Elite Development Northwest, LLC—utilized repurposed trees removed from the property as everything from counters to doors to the huge dining table.
The Graduate, built by Renaissance Homes, featured a tankless gas water heater that uses 40% less energy by shutting itself down when the demand for heated water ceases. It is the first LEED certified Gold home showcased in the Street of Dreams.
“We showcased more affordable dream homes with a smaller feel this year,” Stride said. “As people scale back their houses due to the economy, we wanted to reflect that.”
When it comes to a smaller feel, the show lived up to that goal with “Fortino” by Ideabox. The 1,250 square feet house is built in a factory and then delivered and assembled in a week, with bamboo floors and Energy Star windows and lighting. It sells for only about $150,000, land not included.
Despite a few hiccups along the way (like on August 23, when an improperly installed fire pit caused a deck fire at one of the houses), this year’s Street of Dreams showed that perhaps there is hope for Portland’s housing market yet.
Both houses by Hearth and Home Residential Construction, Inc.—“Transitions” and “Refinement”—sold as a result of the show. Forest Edge was presold, as was The Graduate.
"I was sold on the idea of preserving resources and using things we used to throw away," Yoes said. "I just had no idea so many other people would be interested in reuse as well."
Emma Hall is web editor for Oregon Business.
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Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.