Courtesy MWA Architects
St. Francis Park Apartments’ design allows sunlight to be maximized in the plaza and community garden, which will provide fresh vegetables for residents and neighboring St. Francis Dining Hall.

Courtesy MWA Architects

St. Francis Park Apartments’ design allows sunlight to be maximized in the plaza and community garden, which will provide fresh vegetables for residents and neighboring St. Francis Dining Hall.

Neighbors are optimistic about the new St. Francis Park Apartments in Southeast Portland. “The mission is great, basing it around low-income housing and transitional shelter for those who need it,” says Matthew Kirkpatrick, a former member of the Buckman Neighborhood Board. 

The 106-unit apartment building, a $14.6 million project of Catholic Charities and Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland), is expected to be completed this May. It’s rising on the block that was once St. Francis Park, adjacent to St. Francis of Assisi Church and St. Francis Dining Hall. 

Ian Flood, a designer with MWA Architects, worked with lead architects Bill Lanning and Diana Moosman on the apartments. “It’s a unique project, a site that had history for the community and we tried to honor that history,” Flood says. 

He adds that being part of an effort that would provide affordable housing — especially for women escaping abusive relationships — has proved uniquely satisfying.