Developer Noel Johnson has been trying to build the Wilson Forest Park Townhomes for nearly four years. That's when he made a move for the property, a half-block between Forest Park and the Northwest Industrial Zone, forming an LLC and bringing in four accredited investors. They raised money from First Republic Bank when banks were shying away from making loans on new homes for sale in Portland. He then started work on a design that would bring 19th century-style, east-coast brownstones to Portland.

Architect Joe McNeill's design is for 14 townhomes or "rowhomes," ranging from four bedrooms at 2,100 square feet to five bedrooms at 3,400 square feet. They have stoops, generous decks and EV-friendly double garages connected by a back alley. They would be condos if they weren't spaced four-and-a-half inches apart to avoid the legal complications of homeowner associations. Johnson believes owners want control over their homes, and if they're going to add another floor, as brownstone residents did over the 20th century, then let them.