Month: May 2020

New Business in Historic Building

KB Cabinets opened a new showroom in the historic building located at 206 NE 80th Ave. This new location represents an expansion of a 40-year-old family business. Carol Swanson-Petterson and her husband, Ross Petterson, operate KB Cabinets in the Bay Area of California. KB Cabinets’ new Portland location is run by their daughter-in-law, Maria Petterson.

KB Cabinets sells cabinetry and offers design services for custom kitchens and bathrooms. “It’s a comprehensive process. “Said Maria Petterson, in an interview at the newly completed showroom. KB Cabinets will work with an architect or the homeowner to create a plan for the room. A key goal is to use design to create flow within the function of the space. Some projects could begin and end with the design work. However, many projects have KB Cabinets staff onsite to check in deliveries and mark hardware placement on the cabinetry. They see the process as more than sales and design. By working with the client’s contractor, they can deliver a finished room that matches the customer’s goal.

Carol Swanson-Petterson is an NKBA Certified Kitchen Designer® (CKD). She travels to the region frequently to ensure that the Portland projects receive the same attention as her California clients. The new showroom features many varieties of cabinetry with different construction types and integrated organizers. Currently, they have just one kitchen style on display but will soon add display cabinetry that features a modern design.

Effective kitchen and bathroom design depend on custom cabinetry that fits into a remodel precisely as called for. KB Cabinets works with a variety of cabinet makers to deliver a custom fit solution. The challenge with older homes is navigating spatial constraints. “It can be more of a puzzle than a blank canvas,” said Maria Petterson. They take care to consider the home’s original influences while honoring what the client wants for the room.

Portland’s many older homes and a renovation culture was an attraction for opening here, explained Maria Petterson. Additionally, family ties to Portland also a factor in this decision. Carol Swanson-Petterson and Ross Petterson have two children. Both children started families and made homes in Portland. That shifted the family center to the region, and as the family business grew, Portland was the logical location.

When choosing a showroom, KB Cabinets was looking for a property to own instead of leasing. They wanted to make a long-term investment in the business. After seeing the property on NE 80th, Montavilla became the only choice. “This gem came on the market, and we all instantly fell in love with it. It was definitely a project.” Said Maria Petterson. “We did the best we could to honor the history of the building.”

Built in 1904 on what was once Hibbard Street, 206 NE 80th Ave is a prime example of western False Front commercial construction. A building style that has an artificially large squared front facade, hiding a pitched roof. The Montavilla Streetcar once ran along 80th Ave from NE Glisan to SE Stark. At the time of the streetcar, 80th was active with businesses. Consequently, little storefronts, like this one, can still be seen along 80th. After annexation to Portland, this part of Hibbard Street became East 80th Street North. The building’s street number was initially 66, but a 1933 renumbering effort in Portland changed it to 206. Patricia Sanders, a Montavilla historian, researched the history of the 1904 building. “According to Dianne Dickson, [of] Dickson Drug Store, this used to be a candy store; this would presumably be the late 1940s to late 1950s. In the 1930 Portland City Directory, the property is listed as vacant. The 1943 Portland City Directory listed this location as a grocery store owned or managed by Axel V. Anderson. “Wrote Sanders. Most recently, the building had been the office of A New Dimension In Denture Services.

Details about the storefront before 1930 are less definitive. A researcher with Montavilla News, Crossett Freilinger, has found some hints. In a photograph from the Oregon Historical Society (OHS), men pose inside a delivery wagon labeled G.W. Farrier Wood Co. The wagon is parked in front of what looks to be the building at 206 NE 80th. The Sanborn Fire Insurance Map from 1909 shows that building labeled as “Plumbing.” A Montavilla plumber named G.W. Farrier was involved in a 1905 lawsuit over an unpaid bill. His name on the wagon and the maps Plumbing designation, lending credibility that the OHS image was featuring 206 NE 80th Ave. This also affirms the store once functioned as a plumbers office or store. Details of the lawsuit appeared in the Morning Oregonian‘s October 25th, 1905 issue, just a year after the building’s construction. A 1914 article in the Morning Oregonian list G.W. Farrier as owning a Montavilla woodyard. That should set the OHS image’s date around 1914 and suggests that G.W. Farrier transitioned his business towards other building supplies beyond plumbing.

Image courtesy of Oregon Historical Society Research Library

With such a long history of housing Montavilla businesses, it is fitting that this building has been saved and will continue as a business location. KB Cabinets had hoped for a more public opening following the remodel, but the pandemic canceled those plans. The showroom is open by appointment only. However, they would welcome visits if they have the shades open and are not with another client. Because they will not keep regular hours, appointments remain the best way to work with KB Cabinets. Maria Petterson said they are considering a small opening event in the summer if they can safely hold an event.

Kitchens and bathrooms are some of the most heavily used rooms in a home. Consequently, when those rooms are old or poorly configured, the adverse effects become a big concern. Montavilla now has a local option to recreate the kitchen or bathroom you have always wanted but unsure how to achieve.

Businesses Band Together

Last night the Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) held the first in a series of online business owner meetups. METBA has held many in person meetups, however this is the first time taking it online. What has traditionally been a social gathering, these meetups have taken on a more serious tone. All the subjects for these events, are around keeping your business sustainable in the midst of a pandemic.

Over ten Montavilla business owners attended the May 26th Zoom event. The topic was focused on paying rent and working with your landlord during the shutdown. Many participants shared their own experiences, and sought advice from others.

During the evenings conversation, the group identified the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as needing its own hour of conversation. It is probable that PPP will become the topic of week 4.

There are still three more events scheduled. If you are a Montavilla or East Tabor business owner, you are encouraged to participate. Pleaser register to join one, or all, of the remaining meetups. Participation is free and open to all businesse owners. Meetups are Tuesdays from 7-8pm.

WEEK 1: May 26th  – Landlord communications (already occured)
WEEK 2: June 2nd  – Re-opening your business safely – current guidelines
WEEK 3: June 9th – Networking during COVID – Supporting one another’s biz
WEEK 4: June 16th – Topic TBA (Proposed: Paycheck Protection Program)

Everyone knows that the remainder of 2020 will be challenging to business owners all over the world. By banding together, our local businesses have much better chance of surviving this economic challenge.

Shipping Business Opening Near Hong Phat

UPDATE – New sign has been added to the building.

In the space formerly occupied by Tiem Vang Ngoc Vi Jeweler, in the shopping complex next to Hong Phat Market, is a new shipping business. Tich TAC Shipping & Services will be located at 8155 SE Ash Street.

This appears to be a second location for Tich Tac. Currently, their Facebook page only references the location inside the SF Supermarket, at 5253 SE 82nd Ave #21. This is impressive growth for a company incorporated less than nine month ago, in July 2019. Tich Tac specializes in transporting goods from the US to Vietnam. They provide a logistics service offering consolidation, customs clearance, packaging, and domestic freight.

No opening date has yet been announced. We have reached out to Tich Tac to get more information and will update this post when information becomes available.

Original article was published April 2nd, 2020.

SRO Housing Delayed when Needed Most

A development in Montavilla, could add 11 new Single Room Occupancy units to NE Glisan. This would be Guerrilla Development’s second project in the area. They are wrapping up construction on their first building named Rocket Empire Machine. The new two story building is called Jolene’s Second Cousin and is adjacent to Rocket Empire Machine, at 6935 NE Glisan Street. The property, that both projects currently share, will be split before construction begins.

Image courtesy of Brett Schulz Architect

Building permits for Jolene’s Second Cousin have already been approved. Guerrilla Development has lined up the same contractors that worked on Rocket Empire Machine, to start work on this new building. However, “the project is on hold due to uncertainty around Covid-19.” Said Anna Mackay, Director of Development at Guerrilla Development. The delay could be short, with construction starting in Summer or Fall. Unfortunately, the delay could be longer and no timetable has been decided.

Portland once had a healthy inventory of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) apartments. They served reduced income residents and kept many people in housing, that otherwise would have lived on the streets. Over the last fifty years, that inventory of affordable rental options has been in decline.

Single Room Occupancy housing is structured similarly to a dormitory. Each resident has a furnished one room apartments. Tenants share a common kitchen, shower, and toilet. Some variation on SRO layouts could have a toilet, sink, or mini-fridge in the room.

This type of affordable housing may soon be in high demand, due to the fallout from our statewide shutdown. Six months after the Eviction Moratorium order ends, people are expected to pay their back rent. That could start a wave of evictions for those that do not have savings to cover the unpaid rent.

Before our current economic troubles, Portland had identified SRO housing as a way to keep people housed as rental rates climb. However the number of SRO apartments in Portland has not yet satisfied the pre-pandemic housing needs. Six months from now we may have less SRO options, not more. The Westwind Apartments project, downtown, is a seven story building offering 72 SRO units and 28 studio apartments. All units will support low income residents or people transitioning off the streets. It is replacing a three story building that currently offers affordable housing. When completed, this project should help many Potlanders gain access to housing. However, when the building is demolished to make way for its replacement, there will be even less affordable units to rent in Portland.

There is a an established need for projects like Jolene’s Second Cousin, and we need them built in the next six months, to meet the predicted demand. We also need more of them, spread throughout the city. Jolene’s Second Cousin picked an ideal scale for the project, insuring it fits in the neighborhood without dominating the area. Large towers like the Westwind Apartments do not always work out well for the residents. Historically, housing many low income people together has not been successful for other cities. Low income housing, mixed within the community, has worked well in the past and could do so again.

Montavilla once had SRO housing right in the center of town. In an interview of Dianne Dixon-Lawrence, she talks about the history of Dickson Drugs and the SRO units on the second floor. Dickson Drugs was located on the corner of 80th and SE Stark. The same space that once housed the Country Cat and will soon be the home of Lazy Susan restaurant. In the interview, she tells the story of the 1961 remodel that ultimately removed the SRO units. Those SRO units had occupied all of the second floor above Dickson Drugs. She said that in the 1960’s, the city had begun to require parking for each apartment. That change made it difficult to creat low cost housing in many places, and impossible for the space above Dickson Drugs. Dixon-Lawrence went on to say that the city later reversed that decision but by then, it no longer was cost effective to add the SRO units back.

It would be helpful to Portland, and Montavilla, if Jolene’s Second Cousin can start construction soon. The housing will be desperately needed and perhaps that can help alleviate some of the uncertainty around building it. However, 11 SRO units are not enough. We will need more, and a community that will be accepting of SRO housing near them. Any hesitation for allowing low income housing in the area, needs to be balance by the notion that people are not going away. A person can live in an SRO next to our house or on the street in front of our house, but they are going to be our neighbor, one way or another. Let’s encourage attainable housing for all of our neighbors.

House with ADU on Flag Lot

A new Single Family home, with attached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), is proposed for NE 78th Ave. The building permit application seeks to build on a recently created flag lot. The new property was created by dividing 338 NE 78th Ave, prior to its most recent sale.

Image from Portland Maps

There is no garage planed for the new two story building. Possibly because of the mature trees that are blocking a clear path to where the structure will be constructed. The lot and house have not yet received a street number. The application only lists NE 78th Ave as the address.

Dez Development is the Applicant on the permit application. Slavik Dezhnyuk, Managing Member of Dez Development, wrote in to clarify his company’s involvement. “DEZ Development is only assisting the owner with the permitting and is not involved in the development or construction of the project.”

More should be known when the building permit application is approved and construction begins. Flag lot construction is a good method to add housing density without crowding the existing houses. It should be a welcomed addition of single family housing and an apartment.

UPDATEDThis article was updated with the email response from Dez Development, correcting an earlier version, stating they were involved in the future construction on the property.

Construction Underway at Pacific Plaza on 82nd Ave

Active construction is well underway at Pacific Plaza, on the corner of SE Division and 82nd Ave. Much of the steel frame has been constructed and the metal studwork is filling in the gaps. Near 80% of the roof work has also been constructed.

The building at 2464 SE 82nd Ave was little more than early foundation work back in February, when Montavilla News first reported on the project. Now the size and impact of the project is apparent to all that pass through the busy intersection. The project will pick up momentum quickly from here on out, until the building is ready for tenant buildout.

No new tenants are yet known, but this prominent location should attract interest for one of the ten storefronts being built. Below are several pictures documenting the progress.

Front July 2020.

North side looking towards Division Street. July 2020.

Division Street sidewalk. July 2020.

Back Parking lot entrance. July 2020.

South half behind bus stop at the corner of SE Division and 82nd. May 2020.

Front looking towards SE Division.May 2020.

South half, front Overhang.May 2020.

Center hallway joining both halves, roof not yet installed.May 2020.

Inside North half.May 2020.

Outside North half.May 2020.

Sebastiano’s Opening June 3rd

One of Montavilla’s newest foodie destinations is set to open next month, with some constraints. Sebastiano’s had been scheduled to open two months ago but was delayed due to Oregon’s shutdown. Now they plan to open with a limited schedule, that will expand over time.

Sebastiano’s will be open starting in June, Wednesday Thursday and Friday. Wednesday June 3rd being the first day they are open. Their tentative hours will be 11 AM to 5 PM. However, they may increase those hours by opening earlier in the day. Starting in July, they expect to add Saturdays to their schedule.

In addition to a limited schedule, they will have to modify the customer experience. They will not have in-house seating or allow walk-in customers. Everything will be available for phone or online ordering. Customers can picked up orders at the store, shortly after the order is placed. To facilitate the modified shopping process, a condensed menu will be offered. The menu will be available on Sebastiano’s website or over the phone (503) 841-5905.

Modifying the offerings was a hard choice for the co-owners of Sebastiano’s, Elise and Daniel Gold. “We had looked forward to hosting daily afternoon Aperitivo Hour with wines by the glass, charcuterie and cheese boards, etc. That won’t be happening. ” Wrote Daniel Gold in an email to Montavilla News. However, they are adjusting to the restrictions and exploring new ideas. “We’re now considering developing an Italian wine club exploring unique wines beyond the island of Sicily. We are also going to be stocking more pantry and snack items, coffees, teas, chocolates so the neighborhood can access some of these items without the full Covid supermarket experience.”

Gold went on to explain they are going to repackage some of their canceled offerings for takeout. What they are calling Picnic Packs, will offer charcuterie and cheese boards for take-out or take-home. They hope this will offer customer options to get outside with a readymade picnic, or stay home and enjoy a “social distancing happy hour gathering.”

The Golds have been fortunate to receive some support. Sebastiano’s landlord allowed 60 days rent deferral and added the obligation to the end of the lease term. This “provides some breathing room for May and June.” wrote Daniel Gold. Additionally, Gold was appreciative of his family’s help. “We’ve been relying a lot on very supportive grandparents for childcare to free us up to make progress on the build-out and all the opening preparation.”

All this support has been needed, as there hasn’t been any financial assistance from any government programs, unemployment, or insurance claims for Sebastiano’s. The next wave of support for this new business will need to come from the community, shopping with them when they open.

Summertime looks favorable for Sebastiano’s. They hope to offer outdoor seating, to serve customers who are well distance from one another. Daniel Gold cousin is going to spend her summer in Portland to help around the shop, in the true family business fashion. His cousin may also help launch another of their expansion plans, local deliveries to customers.

Many readers have asked about what is happening with the unopened new businesses in Montavilla. This is just one of those positive stories. Let’s hope Sebastiano’s is just the first of many to open, delayed but still strong.

Smoke Shop on Burnside

Sandy Smoke Shop is opening a second location on Burnside street, and the building is starting to look more inviting. The once steal doors at 8021 E Burnside Street, are now replaced with aluminum and glass. New vinyl signs, displaying the shops name, have been hung on multiple sides of the building.

The store opening date is not yet decided. The store owner said he is waiting for the State to open up again. With some government offices closed, he is currently unable to apply for the licenses needed to open. He went on to say, they are having trouble finding new employees to work at their stores.

Entry level positions have become difficult to fill for Sandy Smoke Shop. They start at minimum wage for new employees and interest has been low. “People are making more money staying at home on unemployment and with stimulus money.” Said the owner of Sandy Smoke Shop. He is hoping that there may be interest from Montavilla residents looking for work. Sandy Smoke Shop can be reached at (503) 849-4819.

This location has housed many businesses over the years, but few have been open to the public. This is an interesting change for this part of Burnside. If this retail location is successful, we could soon see more shops on Burnside.

Wix Insurance Opening on Glisan

Wix Insurance is moving off of SE Stark and into their own building at 7300 NE Glisan Street. The once red brick building on the corner of NE 73rd and Glisan, now features a fresh coat of paint. Inside only cosmetic updates are being worked on.

Already a Montavilla business, Wix Insurance Agency plans to vacate their current Montavilla location at 8037 SE Stark Street. Gabe Kieselhorst, an owner of Wix Insurance, said they hope to have the new location open by the end of June. That timeline is not firm, due to the unknown reopening date for businesses in Oregon. With their lease expiring in August for the Stark Street location, they had to find a new office space. Kieselhorst said that they were excited to find this building for sale, just at the right time.

Kieselhorst lives within walking distance of the building on Glisan. They were looking for an ADA compliant building with parking. This building met all the requirements he could think of.

Kieselhorst bought the building on Glisan Street using the newly formed company, Wix Building Portland LLC. Ronald Laughlin Jr. originally owned the building and used it for his law practice until 2011. That year he started the installment sale of the building, often called a real estate contract sale. The buyer of the building has shifted over time. Recently the buyer was 1st Choice Tax Service, Inc.

7300 NE Glisan Street before painting

Because Wix Insurance does most of its business by appointment, there will not be much opportunity for the public to visit the new office. However they are putting considerable effort into upgrading the exterior appearance of the building. Kieselhorst said they are just happy to stay in the neighborhood and continue to be part of this community.

Updatedthis article was updated with confirmation from the owners about the move. The Original article is below.

Wix Insurance may be moving off of SE Stark and onto NE Glisan. There is good indication that Wix has entered into an agreement to buy the building at 7300 NE Glisan Street.

Ronald Laughlin Jr. owns the building on NE Glisan and used it for his law practice until 2011. That year he started the installment sale of the building, often called a real estate contract sale. The buyer of the building has shifted over time. Recently the buyer was 1st Choice Tax Service, Inc. When called for comment, Laughlin said he had sold the building and the new owner was Wix Insurance.

A Multnomah County property records search shows an amendment for the property, stating the new buyer is Wix Building Portland LLC.

Wix Building Portland LLC is listed the City of Portland Revenue Division new business list, for January 2020. Sean Mcguire is listed as the principal party in the LLC. Mcguire is the Chief Executive Officer at Wix Insurance Agency.

7300 NE Glisan Street back of building with new paint

The distinct, all brick building, is placed tight on the corner of NE 73rd and Glisan. It now features a fresh coat of paint, covering its once natural red color.

What is not know is, if Wix Insurance Agency is going to vacate its current location at 8037 SE Stark Street. It is possible, 7300 NE Glisan Street will become a second Montavilla location or act as an investment property for the company. When reached for comment, by email and phone, Wix Insurance Agency didn’t reply.

Rocket Ready for Launch

Rocket Empire Machine is moving ahead with its planned opening at 6935 NE Glisan Street. Four of the five available restaurant spaces are rented, and the fifth space has two prospective tenants looking at it. Exterior construction is near completion, with only the outdoor seating area reamining. Next week, they will turn over the spaces to the tenants and they can start their individual buildouts.

The scheduled opening of this project was uncertain. The effect of Oregon’s stay at home order has slowed down or canceled many retail developments across Portland. However, Rocket Empire Machine looks to have stayed on track. It achieved this by making a few key compromises with the tenants. As well as having an advantage due to the type of affordable retail spaces they offer. Restaurants within Rocket Empire Machine are “designed for takeout and delivery” said Anna Mackay, Director of Development at Guerrilla Development.

Mackay went on to explain that the design of the building should lend itself exceptionally well to post pandemic dining, even before the restrictions are lifted. The building is designed with separate kitchens that share common seating. Although the shared amenities are will remain available, takeout customers will likely be the most common patrons in the near future.

Image courtesy Guerrilla Development

Advantageous design alone was not enough to open this project. Three weeks ago Mackay met with the signed tenants to reaffirm their commitment to opening and seek ways to assist them. At that meeting, they agreed on lower rental rates and adopt a moratorium on collecting full rent, until Oregon’s restaurant restrictions have been lifted. Mackay said that the business owners knew the neighborhood was looking forward to their opening, and that influenced the commitment to continue with their plans.

Van Havig and Ben Love, of Gigantic Brewing Company, had already announced the opening of their Gigantic Satellite taproom at this location. In addition, Jessica Woods will be opening a second location of her Pie Spot bakery and cafe. Tierra Del Sol, by Amalia Sierra, is opening up this location to compliment their existing catering business. Khadro Abdi’s Alle Amin is relocating, from further up Glisan.

Alle Amin relocation, highlights the unique element of Rocket Empire Machine’s model. One space in the building is reserved for a recipient of a “non-displacement” benefit. The goal of this benefit is to ensure that local businesses are not forced out, as our area continues to improve. Recipient businesses will receive fixed rental rates that will allow for the business to grow. Khadro Abdi faced rent increases that jeopardized the viability of the restaurant. Relocating here, will ensure Alle Amin can continue to server the neighborhood, even as other rents increase.

With the Common spaces at Rocket Empire Machine nearing completion and tenants starting work on their space, expect to see increased activity at the site. If the tenants have smooth buildouts “we could see soft opening as soon as June.” Mackay said. That will still allow for many good weather days to drop in and pick up something from our new eatery options.