Developer Patrick Kessi responds to criticism with lower density, more commercial space and more parking

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - An artists rendering shows what the now-vacant Wizer Block will look like if developer Patrick Kessis revised plans are approved.Addressing complaints that its previous design was too big and too dense, Evergreen Group has submitted a new vision for the vacant Wizer Block that it hopes will be viewed as more compatible with downtown Lake Oswego.

Developer Patrick Kessi said this week that the new design reflects "the best suggestions" from feedback gathered at three public hearings and more than 100 meetings with neighborhood groups, business and community leaders and city officials.

Kessi said the new, "scaled down" design was submitted to city planners this week. It eliminates a planned fifth story, which would have required an exception to current city code. The redesign also includes multiple facades to reduce the projects's outsized feel and incorporates a more-traditional "village" architecture style — two elements that sparked intense opposition to the project's original design.

To reduce density, Kessi has reduced the number of residential units in the development from 228 apartments or condominiums to 207. At the same time, the design increases the amount of ground-floor commercial space by 30 percent, provides more bicycle parking and offers 24 percent more parking than city code requires.

To counter charges that the previous proposal was out of synch with Lake Oswego's downtown aesthetic, Kessi said the new design would reduce the development’s mass and maximize traditional "village" architecture and design characteristics.

“Many of the changes we made required difficult choices and added cost, but I and my team are committed to this project and look forward to continuing the creation of vibrancy and quality to the core that Lake View Village began," Kessi said.

For more information about the project and to see artist renderings of the plans, go to Look for in-depth coverage of the project, including comments from groups that opposed the original development, in the June 12 edition of The Review.

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