Portland is a city rapidly filling with new housing and multi-family units, contrary to the prevailing trend towards the suburbs in many other metropolitan areas. As a result, pressure is rising to build typologies other than the single-family home within the city. The occasional open lot remaining within the city is thus often subdivided and developed with multiple units. Lots in outer southeast Portland are nearly twice as large—typically 95 ft by 180 ft—as the typical inner city lot.
From an urban design perspective, the Old Town Recovery Center anchors a prominent half-block lot in downtown Portland (at West Burnside and Broadway) which for many years had been occupied by a vacant, decrepit Burger King. The Recovery Center replaces the suburban-style Burger King design with a much more appropriate and active urban edge along Burnside, Broadway, and NW Couch Street. Additionally, the design of the building allows for future construction of an additional eight stories of housing above the Recovery Center, with a separate access from the less active NW Couch Street, as budgets permit.