City approves permit for ‘bike hub’ at First & Main building

City approves permit for ‘bike hub’ at First & Main building

First & Main Bldg

A rider rolls down the bike lane on SW Main at 1st Ave.
The building in the background is set to become
the location of a new “bike hub.”
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A “bike hub” is set to be built in the ground floor of the First & Main Building at the foot of the Hawthorne Bridge in downtown Portland. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this project was first talked about way back in May 2006, before the building was even constructed. However, even though the building was completed in spring of 2010 and is currently occupied by several tenants, the bike hub has yet to materialize.

Now, according to permit documents recently approved by the City of Portland, the bike hub looks to be moving forward.

On October 29th, the City’s Bureau of Development Services approved a land-use application for 100 SW Main Street (PDF here). The proposal, being made by Cornerstone Architectural Group based in Kenmore, Washington, says the entrance to the bike hub would be placed mid-block on SW 1st Avenue between Main and Madison streets (where the orange dumpster is in the image above). With 1st Ave being a one-way street in the southbound direction, this would make bike access relatively easy from the busy bike lane that heads off the Hawthorne Bridge onto Main Street.

Here’s how the project applicant describes the location (emphasis mine):

“The site is well served by public transit with major bus stops inbound on the north side of SW Main at Second Avenue, and outbound on the south side of SW Madison at First Avenue. The site is three blocks to the Downtown Transit Mall, and three blocks to a MAX stop. The Hawthorne Bridge is also major bicycle corridor from the East Side. As such, First & Main intends to create a Bike Hub (bike storage, showering and changing facilities) within the ground floor retail space to accommodate and encourage bicycling as a viable transportation alternative.

Previously, the developer planned to situate the entrance to the bike hub on SW 2nd Ave., but that location would have made entry by bike difficult (and this change in plans could be part of the reason the bike hub has been delayed).

We haven’t been able to get updated specs on details such as how many bike spaces it will have; but given its location, it would be perfectly situated for Portland’s first “Bikestation” type parking facility. The bike racks outside the building are often at capacity. One of the building’s existing tenants, green energy firm PECI, says they already provide 130 secure bike parking spaces for their employees, of which 50% get to work by bike.

We’ve got a request for more information in with building managers and will update this post when we hear back.

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