Otak, Inc. wins design committee approval for the Hyatt Place



Otak, Inc. wins design committee approval for the Hyatt Place


Otak, Inc. , an award-winning engineering, urban design, architecture, planning, and project management firm, announced that it received unanimous approval from the Portland Design Commission on January 16, 2020, to move forward with the development of the Hyatt Place and Lawson Residences located in Portland’s Pearl District. 

The project is one of the first in the Pearl to fall under the new vision and codes in the Central City 2035 (CC2035) Plan which was released in 2018 and based on a seven-year visioning process. Otak’s team collaborated with residents, the City of Portland, neighborhood association representatives and other building owners to solicit feedback on the design ultimately leading to the positive review by the Design Commission.

“To get to this point in the design, with no major concerns by the commission, is a huge win for the city, and our team,” said Mixed-Use Studio Leader Casey McKenna. “The level of scrutiny for a project of this nature was no surprise, but it is especially rewarding when a progressive community vision such as Portland’s Central City Plan begins to unfold.” 

The Hyatt Place and Lawson Residences combine lodging and amenities into a one-quarter block, 10,000 square-foot footprint. The 23-story building was developed using innovative and sustainable design of Green Globes and extensive energy modeling that considers incentives and rebates from Energy Trust of Oregon for efficiency elements. 

To address Portland’s need for greater density and more affordable housing, the City is allowing unlimited density, or floor-area ratio (FAR), and a new allowable maximum height of 250 feet provided the property includes affordable housing. The Hyatt Place and Lawson Residences project combines both market-rate and affordable housing bringing complexity to the design which requires items such as two separate entrances and that priority be given to pedestrian experience and community character.

Otak’s design and development team intend to transfer floor-area ratio (FAR) to the site from buildings within the broader downtown area, which will serve to protect those buildings from future development. The design of the new tower with a concrete base and metal panels is also a nod to the history of the Pearl District area while still retaining a modern look. 


The new building is set to open in 2022.