Daring designer Fritz Junker has a pad, tucked halfway up Portland Plaza’s iconic downtown tower, that is being promoted as perhaps the city’s sexiest condo for sale.
Forget the photos of mood lighting in the curving living room, the master suite’s mirrored ceiling or the bathrooms’ black tile double showers and oil-filled towel warmers.
It’s the teasing marketing video that publicizes that this “mid-level penthouse,” priced at $1,450,000, was designed to be like no other.
In five minutes, viewers can watch Junker and Bree Kemp dodge a spoofy villain type as they glide past the Portland Plaza residential tower’s amenities, from the round-the-clock concierge staff to the sophisticated lobby, before escaping to their high-tech home with darkening windows and a concealed safe room.
She changes outfits, from playful to pool to formal, while he remains in his tuxedo, even while working out in the gym with a dumbbell in one hand and martini in the other.
Junker’s script inspiration: After showing his friend the midcentury condo Junker gutted and rebuilt at 1500 S.W. 5th Ave. #1101, the friend had a one-word reaction to the experience: Illicit.
“There’s something going on here that’s sexy and sleek,” says Junker, who was an independent filmmaker before founding his design-build general contractor and interior design firm, Fritz Jünker Design & Remodeling, in 2007.
When Junker put his remodeled condo on the market, he and listing agent Jason Mendell of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty decided to produce a “fun little video with a James Bond vibe that would showcase the home,” he says.
The elevated home is unique. In 1973, the original owner — some longtime residents believe it was the developer — somehow acquired a custom, double unit. This meant more than extra space, but granted him a circular living, dining and lounge space with 180-degree glass panels that curve and capture a view of Mount Hood.
Single condos in the triangular tower have a wall dividing the round corners, making those living rooms a half moon shape. You can see that figuration in a condo Junker remodeled and sold on the sixth floor.
He has lived for 15 years in various units inside the 25-story, glass-and-aluminum tower designed by celebrated architect César Pelli and the Los Angeles firm DMJM (now AECOM).
Junker served on the homeowners’ association board while the property, which consumes the entire block across from Keller Park, underwent a $10-million modernization completed in 2017.
Junker said it was important for the changes to reflect the building’s heritage and original caliber of design, and to “reclaim its status as a premier Portland address.”
He has been hired by other Plaza homeowners to update their condos. High-end, well-crafted finishes play up the views from floor-to-ceiling windows. Upgrade can cost around $200,000.
For his home, he wanted to showcase 1970s finishes such as black glass and natural wood paneling. Here, gray-washed oak floors float on top of rubber underlayment.
Museum-quality oak display cases cling to concrete walls and columns, and LED lights outline curving soffits and coves.
He removed the galley kitchen to create an open kitchen with black leathered granite surfaces and a bar area with black glass cabinets.
And he installed $100,000 worth of audio-visual equipment, lighting and shades controlled by touchpads or apps.
The theater has an 82-inch Samsung ultra-high definition screen recessed into the custom cabinetry and Flagship Paradigm speakers and Anthem amplifiers. There is also a 4K LED TV in the bedroom.
“This condo is for someone who appreciates architecture and fine design,” says listing agent Mendell. “It’s a home built with precision and style and is a great example of the best of the best here in Portland.”
Mendell says he sees many spectacular luxury condos in the city, but nothing quite like this 2,436-square-foot unit.
“There is a level of creativity and craftsmanship at play here that isn’t typically available in our market,” he says.