by: VERN UYETAKE, Living rooms within the Oswego Terraces have plenty of wall space to display artwork and arrange furniture. Living rooms are connected to remodeled and opened kitchens. A small hallway connects adjoining bedrooms and bathrooms.

Hugging the west bank of the Willamette River and on the edge of downtown Lake Oswego, the Oswego Terraces are urban, yet secluded. The 40 year old former apartment complex is nearing the end of a condominium conversion - but hasn't lost its retro flair and simplistic style.

Some units stare directly at the amphitheater at George Rogers Park and the historic iron smelter. Many units within the four buildings on the property share views of the river.

'These aren't so-so, peek-a-boo views. I'm talking about straight on dynamite views,' said Barbara Sue Seal, principal broker at Coldwell Banker Barbara Sue Seal Properties, marketing the condos.

Oswego Terraces consists of four buildings - The Allison, The Shannon and two Rivers buildings. MK Development, located in Portland, purchased the 120-unit project and sought to keep the original retro 60s design - incorporating large rooms, open space and clean lines. The project underwent interior and exterior renovations.

'We saved the original architectural integrity of it, which is a classic, mid-century modern style,' said Marty Kehoe, president of MK Development. 'I've always been a fan of the (architect) Richard Neutra. He was one of those predominant post WWII architects. His designs are so wide open. You never feel penned in.'

Some aspects of Oswego Terraces are very similar to Neutra's designs. Neutra's modern designs in Southern California were dramatic, flat-surfaced industrialized-looking buildings constructed on light metal frames. Wide glass expanses and balconies seem signature to Neutra style.

Terrace units range in size from 900 to 2,100 square feet and remain spacious, spare and simple. All condos with either one-two or three-bedrooms - have floor to ceiling windows.

'The windows seem so big because they're all sliding glass doors,' said Amy Grauel, associate broker with Coldwell Banker Barbara Sue Seal Properties. 'There's just so much natural light.'

An oversized terrace off each dwelling connects bedrooms and living rooms. Inside, chocolate and caramel color schemes compliment stainless steel appliances, modern light fixtures, built-in bookshelves and original brick, wood-burning fireplaces.

Expansive wall space leaves room for the imagination through artwork.

'Condo living is all about a simple lifestyle - before you've a pack rat or after you've downsized,' said Grauel.

Kehoe said a variety of people have shown interest in the project or purchased units already - ranging from twenty-somethings purchasing their first home to retirees.

On-site amenities include two swimming pools, a workout facility, gated car ports and a patrolled parking lot.

Soderberg Laman - a Portland-based interior design firm - chose textures, colors and designs for the condos.

'The terraces are designed for people who want all the amenities and privacy of a stand-alone home,' said Kehoe. 'The property had several things that you just don't find in new construction and other conversions - enormous living spaces. I could easily envision myself living in one of those units.'

Both Kehoe and Seal said the Terraces offer versatility for an urban lifestyle, with enough elbow room to entertain and live comfortably.

'The (Lake Oswego) condo lifestyle is overdue,' said Seal. '(The Terraces) are close enough to walk to everything you would like. Yet, a little removed so you can come home to a tranquil setting.'

Oswego Terraces are located at 16250 S. Pacific Highway (Hwy. 43). Model units are open to view, contact Timm and Amy Grauel at 503-675-4623 or Barbara Sue Seal at 503-699-3955. For more information visit the Web site at

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