The largest project completed by SRI to date is Columbia Knoll, located at the intersection of Sandy Blvd and 82nd St in Northeast Portland. This 10-acre site was once home of the Shriner’s Hospital and was one of the last large multifamily zoned parcels in the city limits of Portland. This 326-unit project was designed by Otak Architects to be a mixed-use combination of work force family units (118) on the 10 acre site perimeter, and (208) affordable independent living senior apartments. Financed with tax-exempt bonds and Portland Development Commission below-market financing, the $45 million dollar project contributes significantly to this NE Portland neighborhood and provides multiple housing types to a large cross-section of the community.
Columbia Knoll is a highly innovative project that has affordable rents targeting seniors, yet also provides life and independence-sustaining services to the qualifying seniors of Northeast Portland. The combination of rent affordability coupled with a quality menu of life-enhancing senior services such as transportation, weekly housekeeping services, daily meals, and social activities is a difficult financing puzzle. SRI was able to combine a number of financing tools with affordable housing tax credits to affect such a product. Even so, to really address the great wave of seniors across the country needing such a housing alternative will take congressional legislative action, which we have been an active advocate for. Columbia Knoll serves as a first step towards encouraging our industry and government officials to seriously prepare for producing solutions to a demand for housing with supportive services for seniors of modest means.