Month: March 2021

Multnomah University A-Frame Demo

Multnomah University will demolish the structurally-compromised A-Frame building on the northeast portion of the campus. The damp wooded environment surrounding the structure’s all-wood construction caused its gradual decline over the last decade. Consequently, the building served as a storage space for the school during the previous nine years.

According to Gina Berquist, Vice President of Enrollment Management at the University, staff reluctantly chose to remove the building from a concern for students’ and employees’ wellbeing. “It was a difficult decision to make to demolish it, but we believe our campus will be safer because of it.” Demolition Permit 21-027906 is currently under review but is not subject the Portland’s 35-day delay period.

In 1974, one of the university’s founding presidents, Dr. Willard Aldrich, commissioned the A-Frame’s construction. It served as an event space, study hall and housed student government offices before becoming storage space. Multnomah University has not announced plans to replace this building after its demolition.


UPDATE – June 5th 2021 add image of site after A-Frame’s removal.

Curb Ramps at SE 87th and Lincoln

New curb ramps and pedestrian crossing improvements are planned near Harrison Park School. Funding from the Safe Routes to School project will bring a marked crosswalk and new ADA ramps to SE 87th Ave and Lincoln Street. Multiple curb ramps are coming to the sidewalk bordering the school, providing accessible access onto the school grounds. Initially planned for 2020, this project will begin soon, with traffic control devices already onsite.

Awkward Sidewalk Infill on SE Market

Crews recently installed new sidewalks on SE Market Street, creating a connected path for pedestrians. The project linked a patchwork of disconnected walkways from SE 92nd Ave to the I205 overpass. Many properties never had sidewalks, being constructed before that was required. Consequentially, the infill work often had to cut around fixed obstacles that were previously only in a yard.

On the south side of Market Street, a fire hydrant protrudes from the new sidewalk, creating an awkward path. A distracted pedestrian could easily collide with this cast iron pillar centered on the narrow walkway. A slight bulge in the pavement allows strollers and wheelchairs enough width to navigate around the hydrant. It is functional but not an ideal solution for the safe navigation of the street.

All other infill sidewalk sections carefully expanded the road’s edge, with modest intrusions onto residential poverties. Removal of a tree and shrubs occurred on a handful of properties to make room for the pavement. For the yards with a grade above the sidewalk level, crews created short retaining walls. 

Most pedestrians will appreciate these new sidewalks and the other improvements coming to Market Street. The slightly awkward path is better for pedestrians than being forced to walk on the street’s edge. Walking SE Market Street is significantly safer and accessible thanks to this work.

Hundreds Gather at Harrison Park to End Asian Hate

UPDATE – The event completed with an estimated one thousand participants. The Oregonian offers details from the March 26th gathering.


Hundreds of Portlanders have gathered at Harrison Park to speak out against violence targeting Asian people and Asian-owned businesses. Crowds began arriving before 4 PM and continue to flood the streets surrounding the public park located at 1931 SE 84th Ave. Notices for the gathering indicate Portland’s Asian community are the organizers of the event.

Local roads and street-side parking are nearing capacity. People wishing to join the even should prepare for a moderate walk to the park from where they leave their vehicle. The event will continue into the evening hours.

Crowds gathering

New Division Bus Station at 85th

Concrete work is complete on the new bus platform along SE Division Street, east of 85th Ave. It is one of several enhanced bus stations designed for faster public transportation between the outer Southeast and Downtown. TriMet’s Division Transit Project is underway at many points along the busy street, creating new infrastructure improvements. 

Image courtesy TriMet

Over the next year, upgrades to bus stops along this route will facilitate faster passenger loading and reduced bus merging times. This station’s platform design features a raised curb for better floor alignment with new longer buses. The platform’s curb extends out from the sidewalk through the bike lane to meet the travel lane. This design allows the bus to stop in traffic, eliminating the need to merge when the vehicle begins moving again. Integrated ramps on both edges of the platform allow bikes to pass through the bus stop. Bicyclists will briefly ride at sidewalk level to pass over the platform. However, to avoid collisions with TriMet riders, bikes will yield to pedestrians while buses load passengers.

Image courtesy TriMet

Some property owners at this location had expressed concern over the new platform design. Construction at this location removed a driveway that once provided off-street parking from the property at 8525 SE Division Street. Despite the removal of the curb-cut, the property still maintains two access points on SE Division Street. TriMet representative Roberta Altstadt explained that this “project will not completely eliminate any property’s access to a public right of way.” General community benefits brought by this work outweigh sidewalk reconfiguration concerns. This project not only improves transit but also rebuilds large sections of sidewalk and street corners.

One of two remaining driveways for 8525 SE Division Street

The Division Transit Project will complete in 2022. Although a year away from full use, SE Division Street improvements are already apparent, providing this worn roadway a needed refresh. Transit projects at this scale can attract further development to the area and draw in more commerce. Look for continued construction along SE Division Street over the next eighteen months.

View from the bike lane

Tich Tac Shipping Rebranded USG

Tich Tac Shipping & Services opened at 8155 SE Ash Street one year ago. Currently, the location is rebranding as US Express Global and features a new sign reading “USG.” The business will continue to offer freight transportation services to Vietnam.

The shipping company provides full-package logistics and customs clearance services for items traveling from the US to Vietnam. Despite the name change, people using his location should not see a disruption to the services provided. Tich Tac customers have a dedicated login on the US Express Global website for managing their accounts.

For more information on this business or to arrange for a shipment to Vietnam, reach out to them via Facebook or phone at (503) 208-3420

Construction Update on Twin Houses

As expected, both 1430 NE 72nd Ave and 285 SE 90th Ave are nearing completion simultaneously. Property owner Scot Harger chose to build identical houses in different sections of Montavilla. Each uses plan sets from Thogerson Designs, with minor adjustments for the specific lots.

Building duplicate houses is standard practice in subdivisions and newer neighborhoods, but they are often near each other. Being nearly two miles apart, the sale of these buildings could yield information regarding area real-estate. SE 90th Ave is an unimproved road and east of 82nd Ave. NE 72nd Ave is in an older road with sidewalks and paved streets but further from Montavilla’s core. Both locations have benefits and detractors. What is not know is how those combinations of attributes will affect the sale price for the homes.

Keep an eye on the listings for both houses. Their list price and subsequent sale price could provide interesting data on Portland’s housing market and more information on what homebuyers value.

Garage Demolished on SE 88th

Earlier this month, crews demolished the detached garage at 8739 SE Washington Street to make way for a new home. Only a concrete slab remains from the original structure. The existing 1947 era home will stay on the property, unaltered by this work.

Demolition permit 20-180023 allowed for the deconstruction of the detached garage. Land Use 19-267610 will separate the property into two lots. The scale and amenities of the future house are not yet known. However, with the demolition completed, progress on this development can now progress.

Garage before demolition

Current empty lot

Riverview Bank Closing Branch

The Montavilla branch of Riverview Community Bank will close permanently on May 20th. Having commissioned the building in 2003, Riverview owns the property and has not announced plans to sell the location. This closure is the third bank to leave Montavilla within a year. Both US Bank and Chase Bank closed their Glisan Street branches.

The Riverview Montavilla branch, located at 9415 SE Stark Street, is near the I205 off-ramp and Multi-Use path. After May 20th, the bank’s members can use the Gateway branch, located 1.6 miles away at 10401 NE Halsey Street. Only one other bank exists within Montavilla’s boundary, Bank of the West, at the corner of SE 82nd Ave and Division Street. As the banking world continues to evolve, physical locations are in decline. However, the lack of banking services within the area will likely impact small businesses that rely on teller services.

New Max Platform at Gateway Station

Last week, planners submitted Design Review request 21-022957 for upgrades at Gateway Transit Center. TriMet will construct a new station platform for the Max Red Line as part of the A Better Red project. The new platform will serve trains traveling from the Portland International Airport towards Portland’s City Center.

Aside from faster travel times for Red Line passengers, this project will bring improvements to the area. The new Max track over the Freeway will include a pedestrian and bicycle bridge to the Gateway Green park. The new platform will be two blocks away from the other stops at the station, requiring a connecting sidewalk along the back edge to the Park and Ride property. With improved lighting, increased activity, and fencing, the security at that parking lot could improve.

Pedestrian and bicycle bridge to the Gateway Green

Construction will begin this year and run through 2023. This transit project should be an exciting upgrade to local infrastructure with improved access to an isolated bike park. A more detailed timeline will take shape later this year as construction permits are submitted.

Looking from current Max platforms towards new Red Line stop

Renderings courtesy of TriMet