Stephens Creek Crossing HOPE VI Redevelopment
(LEED Gold)

Portland, OR

Stephens Creek Crossing (SCC) is a mixed-use, affordable housing development that replaced 60 dilapidated apartments in southwest Portland. It provides 122 apartments, an 11,200-SF Opportunity Center (OC), and a 7,200-SF Children’s Center (CC) Head Start School.

The housing component includes a mix of one- to four-bedroom flats and townhouses. Apartments are oriented in the long direction to maximize daylight and feature triple glazed windows, adding thermal comfort. Large windows afford residents outside views that connect them to the landscape and enhance their sense of security.

The OC features management offices, public computers, a classroom, community room, and a modern teaching kitchen, which is linked to a community farm. The CC provides three classrooms, administration offices, and a family workshop, in addition to a covered area with an art screen that casts playful shadows—an integral part of the curriculum that encourages outdoor play throughout the seasons.

Challenged by steep slopes, the former development lacked physical and visual access on and surrounding the site, while the new design uses buildings as retaining walls and features pathways that connect residents to the neighborhood and public transit. The project owner, Home Forward, purchased additional property to build the CC on top of the hill at Capitol Highway, establishing SCC’s physical presence to the outside world. This approach resulted in residents’ engagement with the neighborhood and vice versa, helping foster a strong sense of belonging for residents and inclusion for neighbors.

Client: Home Forward
Cost: $33,800,000
Completion: 2014
Award: American Institute of Architects Portland, Mayor’s Award for Design Excellence

"It is inviting to the people that live there and the people that will visit. More importantly, they created a neighborhood there. This, to me, is one of the best examples of how you can create community in new projects."
- Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Photos: Thomas Harris
Watercolor Rendering: Richard Hoyen