Luxury penthouse in 1879 Portland building with river views, ground floor retail space for sale at $4 million

Written by Desmond

December 18, 2021

An indomitable, 142-year-old brick building overlooking downtown Portland’s riverfront was transformed into a luxury penthouse worthy of its significant location at the heart and early history of the city.

The structure, erected in 1879 at 727 S.W. Naito Parkway, has survived fires, floods, economic downturns and civic improvements.

The address of the old warehouse has changed, along with its street name – originally Front Street and since 1996, honoring the late investor, philanthropist and civic leader Bill Naito.

Naito Parkway encompasses the spot where city founder William P. Overton built his home in 1841, the first Oregon school opened in 1845 and influential banker and entrepreneur William S. Ladd launched his first enterprise, a liquor and wine store, in the early 1850s. His building soon became the first Ladd and Tilton Bank.

The waterfront area was once the center of Portland’s thriving commerce district, as ships lined wooden docks and newcomers opened businesses, some of which continue to provide generational wealth.

Over the decades, progress and flooding moved the financial action inland and many of the old buildings were abandoned or torn down to create asphalt lanes for the WWII-era Harbor Drive thoroughfare alongside the Willamette River.

Through it all, however, this masonry building has stood tall, its windows always framing the river and since 1978, Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which replaced the freeway-funneling Harbor Drive.

Today, everything between the four-level building’s seismically upgraded brick walls is upscale and stylish, and the entire property, with a 1,875-square-foot, rentable retail space on the ground floor, is for sale at $4 million by Natali Marmion of RE/MAX Equity Group.

“People who love and invest in unique properties will go crazy over the jaw-dropping transformation of this historic building, and all it has to offer, including possibly a live-work opportunity,” said Marmion.

Café Ponte with a welcoming glass front wall sits at the sidewalk level of the building. To the left of the coffee shop is a separate entrance to the 5,750-square-foot home.

Look up, past the massive crystal chandelier illuminating the foyer, to the hoisting ropes of the original freight elevator made by the Kieckhefer Elevator Mfg. Co. of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Take the new commercial elevator or the floating wood stairs with black railings to the second floor, where a large seating area is fronted by four towering arched windows.

A built-in desk area also has views of the mountains, park and river, while the library behind it is concealed by custom bookshelves.

Beyond the library on the second level is a guest suite and home theater. The original, character-laden brick is exposed in almost every room.

The third level has an elevated living room in which to bask in natural light streaming through four more arched windows. The dining table, which seats up to 20 people, was made in place and stays with the home as does other custom furniture.

The showcase kitchen has built-in stainless-steel appliances and counters topped with granite.

Take the elevator or the stairs to see the primary suite, which consumes the entire top floor. French doors open to a deck with an al fresco kitchen, gas fireplace and the river in the background, offering a king-of-the-world point of view.

This property is truly a unique opportunity, said Marmion, “for someone who loves to entertain, enjoys being in the heart of the energy of our city, the walkability that brings, and, of course, iconic riverfront living with incredible views.”

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman

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