Unity Village has attracted a steady stream of acclaim from national press and government agencies since it opened to residents in 2001. The Village consists of four three-story buildings that blend in scale with the surrounding neighborhood’s mix of triple-decker apartments and small single-family homes, and it is located in the heart of downtown Portland, just one block away from City Hall.
The site of Unity Village consisted of three city-owned lots, which government and planning officials offered up to developers as a way to kick-start the city’s new vision for redevelopment in the Bayside neighborhood. Developers Jim Hatch and Richard Berman won the city’s competitive request for proposals with their smart-growth, mixed-income vision for the site.
Apartments at Unity Village have stoops, porches, and entrances that face the street, encouraging neighborly interaction. The project includes space for community gardens and is adjacent to a small neighborhood playground, which is well used all year round. One of the buildings also includes an indoor community room.
Seven apartments at Unity Village are reserved for households that can afford market-rate rents. Seven other apartments are dedicated as transitional housing for individuals moving out of shelters. The remaining 19 apartments are subsidized for working families and singles, with some units designed to accommodate large families. This mixture promotes an economically diverse and supportive community that encourages upward mobility.