Striking Fair Haired Dumbbell Building At Burnside Bridgehead Wins Design Approval

Dated: October 26 2015

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fair-haired dumbbell The exterior artwork is not yet finalized, but the design concept for the so-called "Fair-Haired Dumbbell" at the Burnside Bridgehead won approval.(Courtesy of Scott Baumberger.

More than a year after it was first proposed, the distinctive "Fair-Haired Dumbbell" building won approval from the Portland Design Commission last week, Guerrilla Development owner Kevin Cavenaugh said Thursday.


The proposed pair of six-story office buildings – whose exteriors, connected by open walkways, would display what Cavenaugh described as "vibrant, playful, whimsical, deeply colorful" artwork – is now one crucial step closer to taking shape at the Burnside Bridgehead.


Guerrilla Development hopes to break ground at 11 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd. in the spring and have the building complete by the end of 2016.


"We live in a gray city with gray skies and gray streets," Cavenaugh said. "I've done plenty of...muted-color buildings, and I wanted to shake it up a bit."


The exterior artwork is not yet final. Cavenaugh said he's searching now for artists and proposals for the design. The idea is to allow the building to be periodically re-painted and perhaps even re-designed, maybe every 15 to 20 years, Cavenaugh said.


The speculative buildings would have ground-floor retail space and more than 40,000 square feet of creative office space on the upper floors.


The Fair-Haired Dumbbell is just one of several high-rise projects at the east side of the Burnside Bridge. Other developments include the 21-story Yard residential building and the Block 75 mixed-use project.


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Mark Ross

For Mark Ross, founder of Ross NW Real Estate and professional real estate broker, real estate has always been the career of choice. During his 25+ years in the industry, Mark has gained experience in....

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