Commodore II History

The Commodore II is a mixed use, four story, multi-tenant commercial and residential building located in The Dalles, Oregon. Outlined below is a recap and explanation of the project. 

The Location: 

The city of The Dalles, Oregon is located 90 miles east of Portland on the Columbia River off Interstate 84. The city and county have a long history as a cross roads of development. In the mid-1800’s Wasco County stretched from Wyoming to Oregon and Northern California to the Canadian border, the largest ever recorded county in the United States. The city of The Dalles was the county seat. The most prominent feature in the city is The Dalles Dam constructed in the 1930’s. This is the longest cement damn in the United States stretching almost a mile in length. The city population is 12,400 (24th largest city in Oregon). Within the Wasco country service area the population is 24,500. With the availability of electricity adjacent to the damn, a number of aluminum smelters and related factories have been long time employers. 

The claim to fame for The Dalles is its rich historic nature and an active Urban Renewal District. There is an excellent web site for The Dalles at There is a complete historical tour of the area and 48 photos of historic buildings, most of these in the downtown area. The Commodore is photo 26. 

The building is located on Court Street across from City Hall, with pictures of the rehabilitation found on the following pages. When the Commodore was built in 1906, it served as a Masonic Lodge. 

The area along the Columbia River, which runs adjacent to the city, is a strong attraction for tourism. Approximately 20 minutes to the west is Hood River, the wind surfing capital of the United States. The advantage of The Dalles is its semiarid weather, without the rains experienced in Portland. Across the river in Dallesport, Washington a 500 acre industrial project on the Columbia is beginning construction. 

The Building: 

The Commodore is a has four stories, 48,800 total square footage and is located at 312 Court Street on a 12,800 square foot site. The building has an 11,700 square foot fully unfinished basement and an interior atrium/light well accessible from the second through fourth floors. 

The building is the largest remaining commercial/residential structure in The Dalles. It has had been vacant since May 1, 1995 due to a number of building code violations and deficiencies in fire and life safety. The building also incurred approximately $150,000 in fire damage on May 21, 1995. It is listed on the National Historic Register. 

The Development Concept: 
The concept for the building is one of mixed-use components. The first floor will consists of rehabilitated retail spaces, with approximately 8,250 square feet of commercial lease space. The entire fourth floor is commercial office space. 

The second and third floors are designed as affordable housing units. And are targeted to individuals and couples earning 60% MFI or less and includes one transitional apartment for victims of domestic abuse. All of the residential units are built with energy efficient appliances and fixtures, designed in compliance with all ADA, HUD and applicable local planning and building codes. All units are served by a hot water boiler system for heat and a water-based cooling tower for air conditioning. 

The basement, which has not been functional in the past, has been restored to include individual lockers for private property, an exercise facility for residents, meeting rooms for tenants and community groups and limited office space. The meeting room is intended in part, to provide classroom space for the service agencies to conduct training, counseling and other services for the residential tenants. 

Important elements in the Commodore II project: 
Rehabilitation vs. New Construction- The Commodore project is a historic rehabilitation building. This project involved cleanup and removal of over 1,200 pigeons that called Commodore home and the disposal of over 1.2 tons of pigeon guana before reconstruction could begin. Exterior brick siding was thoroughly washed and repointed to restore it to near original condition. Evidence of multiple fires were detected as improvements were made to the interior and entire floors had to be rebuilt to level a 3” discrepancy in elevations due to extensions added to the original building over succeeding years.   

This was a substantial historic rehabilitation to restore the building to its original dignity. It has been recognized by the National Park Service which administers the historic landmarks program, as one of the best examples of successful historic rehab in the country. The Commodore has again taken its rightful place as an important historical and architectural facility in the city and will continue to represent the best of repurposing efforts in Oregon.  

For commercial leasing information please contact Brian Lauterbach with Windemere Realty in The Dalles 503-858-5010. 

For residential leasing information please contact Viridian Management at 541-298-7600.