Month: February 2021

Smart Foodservice Renamed

A year after its acquisition by US Foods, Smart Foodservice stores are rebranding. The food cart and small commercial kitchen supply stores are now known as US Foods CHEF’STORE. The Montavilla location at 8250 SE Stark Street already features new signage reflecting the name change.

US Foods acquired all 70 Smart Foodservice stores in March of 2020. At the time, Smart Foodservice was expected to merge with existing CHEF’STORE locations. Despite the new signs, the CHEF’STORE website does not reflect the additional Oregon locations. However, Smart Foodservice posted information about the name change on the company’s website. Officially the branding swap begins on March 1st and will continue throughout 2021. Provided information indicates that much of the store’s pricing and policies will remain the same. As operations further integrate with the parent company, customers will eventually gain access to expanded US Foods brands and more integrated billing.

The name change is mostly inconsequential to neighborhood patrons of the store. However, it does signal the chain’s transformation to a nationwide foodservice supplier. Smart Foodservice was an Oregon-owned and managed company. Those stores now move inline with US markets and dietary trends. Look for additional changes inside the stores as the name change progresses.

Curb Ramps on SE Mill and 76th

Two new curb ramps are coming to the intersection of SE Mill Street and 76th Ave. The improvements will provide an accessible crossing of SE 76th Ave, near Bridger School’s rear-entrance. Each corner will gain two ramps making crossing points perpendicular to the roads they cross.

No previous ramps exist on these corners. However, there is an older single ramp on the southeast corner. It is not included in this project and will remain unaltered. Mill Street does not align perfectly through the intersection, forcing one ramp’s placement further back from the corner.

The painted street markings, indicating the planned changes, only appeared this week. Actual work often follows months after surveyors mark the street. Expect to see some sidewalk closures and curbside barricades when crews begin the project later this year.

Southwest corner

Northeast corner

82nd Food Cart Pod Construction

Demolition crews began work clearing the property that will soon become The Yard At Montavilla. Heavy equipment removed two foundations and other buried remnants from the two houses that once occupied this location. With the ground cleared, work can start on Montavilla’s newest food cart pod.

Located at 8220 NE Davis Street, the future food cart pod is across 82nd Ave from Vestal Elementary. When completed, the site will host 17 food carts. Owners Jeffrey and Kevin Dennis have many of those spaces leased already. The Dennis brothers faced an unexpected wait as the pandemic slowed the permitting process. However, those delays are behind the project, and work should complete within three to four months.

Montavilla lost a cluster of food carts with the demolition of Beets Auto BodyThe Yard At Montavilla is a welcomed return of food carts for residents looking to expand their food options. The Dennis brothers share that enthusiasm. “We’re very excited to be bringing this to the Montavilla neighborhood, providing a space for 17 other small businesses to operate and thrive.” Expect to see crews onsite for the next few months, building the new dining destination’s infrastructure.


Photographs by Weston Ruter. Rendering provided by The Yard at Montavilla

Curb Ramps on SE Morrison

New curb ramps are coming to the intersection of SE Morrison Street and SE 88th Ave. Sections of the sidewalk leading up to the corners will receive some repairs. Due to the larger furnishing zone on these streets, each corner will have two long ramps with a gradual slope.

This project is part of The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) continuing efforts to improve access to sidewalks for all people, regardless of their mobility needs. The white-painted markings are not indicative of imminent work. They can often proceed a project by several months. However, PBOT applied these street markings many weeks ago. Hopefully, crews will begin work here soon, making a more functional intersection.

Intersection looking north

Intersection looking west

Downed Power Lines Briefly Close Burnside

Around 7 AM this morning, a one-block section of East Burnside Street was closed due to downed power lines. Portland Police Officers barricaded both traffic lanes for the 7000 block of the roadway, allowing PGE crews to remove the energized cable safely. Traffic was allowed to pass by 7:50 AM.

Power lines feeding the duplex at 5 NE 71st Ave became dislodged from supporting mounts and fell across E Burnside Street. PGE cut power to several homes during the repairs, still underway. This latest incident is one of many infrastructure disruptions caused by the recent winter storm. Tree limbs damaged by heavy ice continue to fall, causing damage to suspended cables and property. Repair crews are only now catching up with work orders and restoring regular service.

Trendsetters Truck and Auto Relocating

Trendsetters Truck and Auto is relocating to a new service shop later this year. For ten years, the custom automotive tire and accessory specialist has operated out of the building at 145 SE 82nd Ave. Having outgrown the space years ago, the company wanted to secure a larger facility in a better location.

Within the next few months, vehicle repair and installation operations will move to the new site, located at 13018 SE Stark Street. Beyond gaining a larger space, the company is looking forward to moving out of the area. Citing problems with hypodermic needles and houseless people near the property, a Trendsetters Truck and Auto representative expressed disappointment in their current location. They described the 82nd Ave building as affordable but poorly maintained and the neighborhood as in-decline.

The building at 145 SE 82nd Ave should be available for lease by another automotive business when vacated. However, that day is months away. Until then, Trendsetters Truck and Auto will continue to work from their current shop. Keep an eye on the company’s website for information on the official move date.

Affordable Housing Survey

This week Metro published a survey seeking input on the affordable housing planned for NE 74th Ave and NE Glisan Street. The development will create up to 150 new apartments for people with 30-60% area median income. The survey is part of early engagement focused on supporting future tenant’s wellbeing and neighborhood benefit.

This project’s design phase is months away and scheduled for after developer selection occurs. For the purposes of this survey, participants need to imagine the development in its general form. The development is a multilevel apartment complex containing 120 to 150 units and on-site parking. Residences offer a mix of floor-plans supporting one or two adults and some larger households.

The questions in this survey do not relate to any design aspects of the site. Instead, it focuses on four primary areas of early project planning. Each section of the survey looks at draft value statements related to outdoor spaces, ground floor uses, services and programming, and future engagement to be done by the developer. Metro staff will work with the stakeholder group to create a clear vision statement based on this survey’s results. The developer awarded the project will have responded to the final value statement as part of their larger proposal.

Metro is looking to hear from specific groups in the survey process. Primarily they would like responses from people with similar experiences to those who will live in this new building, including people who have been houseless or lived in low-income housing. Black, Indigenous, and other people of color from around Portland are encouraged to participate in the process. Additionally, neighbors who live, work, or own a business near the site can submit responses.

This building will supply a substantial number of homes to low-income residents. However, Metro would like it to become an asset to the neighborhood. If you are the type of participant Metro is seeking for this survey, they ask that you complete the online form by March 1st, 2021. Metro’s affordable housing website will publish results a few weeks after the survey closes.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/M9FS3ZW

Field Lighting at Multnomah University

Last week Multnomah University applied for a Pre-Application Conference regarding new LED lighting around the existing sports field. This type of land use review shapes the actual permit application to conform with Portland City guidelines. The lighting project is the University’s second enhancement to the athletic field this year.

Located at 8435 NE Glisan Street, the project will install Musco Sports Lighting around the field in the center of the campus. The application states that additional lighting “will allow the university to accommodate class schedules, expand student access to athletics and minimize travel time.”

Recently the University removed a maintenance building to expand the field size. With the additional space and nighttime lighting, the school can improve its athletics programs and offer modern sports facilities. 

Clearing Frozen Roads

Freezing rain, snow, and ice have shut down most of Portland this holiday weekend. Saturday saw near-empty streets and completely halted TriMet routes. However, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) crew are out today clearing roads, and TriMet is back to limited service.

To inform travelers about street clearing and de-icing efforts, PBOT created a live map of their activities. It displays the location of plows, salt trucks, and deicer vehicles on a map of Portland. The map also indicates what roads are a priority to treat or clear. This information will help drivers plan a trip that uses those priority roads. Knowing the last time a plow truck came through will help people select the safest travel window to venture out. Regardless of PBOT efforts, only drive if you have to, as the treated roads are not entirely safe.

Trimet Buses are moving along their snow routes, although a bit slower than usual. The winter weather enabled TriMet to use one of its newest addition to some Montavilla bus stops. The 13-inch ePaper display installed at select bus shelters informed riders of Saturday’s suspension of service. Now they are displaying updated schedules. If you plan to use TriMet to get where you are going, it is best to visit their website for the most accurate information about schedules and routes. Not too many bus shelters have ePaper digital displays yet.

The weather will warm by mid-week, melting the snow before too long. Many residents ventured out and enjoyed the winter weather, but not everyone appreciated the disruption. If possible, show some extra support to local businesses that had to close for the storm. They will need to make up for lost days of revenue during an already lean time.

Glisan Street Church Fenced In

UPDATE – Metal picket fence material now sits behind the church awaiting insulation. Unlike other styles used on the property, this project will not use a chain-link fence. That design choice will likely improve the outward appearance of the barrier. The pending winter storm may delay further work until next week.


Original article posted February 10th, 2021.

Yesterday, crews began installing a new fence and several gates around the Portland City Blessing Church on NE Glisan. The expanded fence line will wrap around the full front entrance and close-off the parking lot. Much of the new barrier runs along the property line on NE 78th Ave.

Located at 450 NE 78th Ave, the church occupies a corner lot with parking access on NE Glisan Street and NE 78th Ave. The new fence joins an existing gate and six-foot-tall galvanized chain-link fence installed along NE Glisan. Based on post mounting holes, a swing-door gate in front of the ADA will be the primary entrance. A potential of two roll-door gates could provide occasional access to the main steps and parking lot entrance.

Barriers along sidewalks are controversial. Fences protect the property from the passive intruder and discourage the uninvited. However, it can be unfriendly to others using the street. It signals some hostility to the public realm on a building’s frontage and makes the sidewalk more challenging to navigate. Hopefully, the new fence will employ an attractive design and complement the building without detracting from the communal spaces.