Month: April 2021

Spectator Sports in Montavilla

This summer, Multnomah University will begin work on a new athletics field that will host competitive men’s and women’s soccer matches. The project will create a regulation-sized synthetic turf soccer field with lights and a scoreboard. Beyond hosting games, the enhancements will support expanded student fitness and recreation opportunities.

Matches at the new field will be open to the public, and the University encourages neighborhood attendance. “We would love for community members to attend the games,” remarked Multnomah University representative Gina Berquist. Located at 8435 NE Glisan Street, the athletics field is accessible from NE Glisan Street, NE 87th Ave, and NE Pacific Street. However, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the upcoming fall schedule is unconfirmed and contingent on future guidance. The University’s Athletics site will post the fall soccer schedule when confirmed with other Cascade Collegiate Conference members.

The school hopes to wrap up the permitting process soon, allowing the completion of work by the end of summer and ahead of the upcoming season. When completed, this new field will provide residents with an opportunity to watch a favorite Portland sport played in the neighborhood. Keep an eye on gomulions.com for updates on the schedule and support the athletes by attending the games.

Rendering courtesy of Multnomah University

Cascade Collegiate Conference Schools

University of British Columbia
Bushnell University
Corban University
Eastern Oregon University
The Evergreen State College
The College of Idaho
Lewis-Clark State College

Multnomah University
Northwest University
Oregon Institute of Technology
Southern Oregon University
Walla Walla University
Warner Pacific University

New Self-Storage Facility on NE Halsey

UPDATE – This week, crews began work on a four-story storage facility located at 1530 NE 67th Ave. Heavy equipment is resurfacing the site, and a Pile Driver is inserting new steel posts into the property line along NE Halsey Street. The posts will stabilize the road’s edge as soil removal clears the way for the building’s foundation.


Original article posted March 29th, 2021.

A new four-story storage facility will break ground on a long-vacant lot along I84. Located at 1530 NE 67th AveWest Coast Self-Storage has obtained building permits for the new structure and associated site improvements. It will join other nearby storage providers Public Storage and Extra Space Storage.

The project is across the Halsey Street overpass from Montavilla in a location that has reminded vacant for over twenty years. With a value of over Six Million dollars, the project will deliver a substantial building to that corner. Look for construction to begin soon.

Site before construction
Pile Driver is inserting new steel posts
Completed retaining wall May 2021

Skateboarding at Berrydale Park

UPDATE – Portland Parks & Recreation created a Berrydale Park Skatepark Project page, featuring information about the proposed new amenities and a tentative schedule for community involvement with the planning process.

Yesterday Portland Parks & Recreation announced substantial investments in several neighborhood parks throughout the city. As part of that proposal, Montavilla’s Berrydale Park will gain a new skateboarding area with potentially more enhancements planned around the project. The new skatepark will join eight others in the Portland Parks system.

Last week, Early Assistance application 21-038776 outlined the potential upgrades coming to Berrydale Park beyond the approved skatepark. Mark Ross with Portland Parks & Recreation explained that the skateboarding area is the primary addition to the park, but other improvements could soon follow. “In the future, contingent on available funding, additional park amenities may include improved access, new site furnishings such as lighting, drinking fountains, benches, trash cans, and signage.”

With a total project budget of two million dollars ($2M), this work represents the most significant investment at this park within recent memory. Commissioner Carmen Rubio allocated one and a half million dollars ($1.5M) in System Development Charges (SDC) to this project, adding to the existing five-hundred-thousand dollars ($500K) in SDC funding. The added funds now allow for project planning to begin and ensures the completion of the skateboarding area.

Improvement to Portland parks is in line with city-wide efforts to curb a trend of violence and crime growing within the city. At a recent neighborhood meeting, Commissioner Mingus Mapps explained how after-school activities and the return of community programs outweigh increased policing in his plans to reduce crime. “If you are out doing something constructive, then you are not out doing something destructive.” Commissioner Mapps’ plan does not directly rely on park resources. However, these long-term investments by Parks & Recreation will create constructive outlets for the community, reinforcing other programs aimed at changing behavior.

The Berrydale Park project is scheduled to complete construction sometime in spring 2024. Within the coming months and years, Parks & Recreation staff will create proposed designs and engage with the community around this project. Look for opportunities to get involved when that phase of planning begins.

Skatepark at Glenhaven Park

Flipside Hats Moving to Stark Street

Portland-based hat manufacture Flipside Hats is relocating to Montavilla later this year. In late February, the company purchased 7850 SE Stark Street to become the new production hub and retail showroom for the nineteen-year-old clothing maker. Upgrades to the company’s future location are in the planning phase, with a tentative opening date in the fall.

Although the hat maker sells most of its products through wholesale channels, the showroom will offer direct-to-consumer sales. Flipside Hats owner Jacob Wollner expressed his enthusiasm for the new location, “We are super excited to move to Stark Street and the Montavilla area.” The showroom’s placement at the center of Montavilla Town will increase walk-in traffic, spotlighting the American-made and sustainably produced work from this apparel manufacturer.

Efforts to restore the former home of Electronic Claims Services into a retail location are already underway. Issued April 8th, permit 20-227665 changes occupancy for the building from Business to Mercantile and proposes a reconfiguration of interior walls. Demolition of two front rooms will create an open area street-side, eventually becoming the showroom. Crews will remove the drop grid ceiling above the front area and expos the entire vertical space to the retail floor below. New LED track lighting replaces the older fixtures to create commerce-friendly lighting. Other alterations are likely as the new owners begin the redesign process.

People interested in a preview of Flipside Hats’ showroom should visit their current location at 4438 SE Belmont Street. They are open seven days a week, from 11 AM to 6 PM on weekdays and weekends from 11 AM to 4 PM. That location will stay in operation until the business and its eight staff relocate to the renovated building on Stark Street.

Mixed manufacturing and retail historically perform well in the area. Located just a block away from Flipside Hats’ building, Union Rose successfully combined clothing production with an existing storefront business. Montavilla retail is known to favor locally created products, and this latest addition strengthens that reputation. Look for activity at the site to increase over the summer as staff prepares the space for opening.

Crossing Beacon Destroyed (Again)

For the second time this year, an automobile collision has destroyed the center pedestrian crossing beacon on NE Glisan Street at NE 78th Ave. The curbside flashing indicators continue to function at the crosswalk, alerting motorists of the need to stop. The number of crashes involving this highly visible sign indicates the necessity for pedestrian protections on Glisan.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) plans to repair the broken beacon soon. However, city engineers have no design changes pending for this intersection. Hannah Schafer, a Communications Coordinator with PBOT, explained, “there are no substantive changes planned to the existing rapid flashing beacon equipment. This type of damage is unfortunate but not uncommon.”

PBOT changed the design for newer beacons in certain conditions similar to this intersection. Up the street from this crossing, at NE 87th Ave, crews installed overhead beacons that extend out above the traffic lanes. This design avoids installing an electrified center column in the median, reducing the repair costs for damages but does not prevent vehicles from colliding with the standard sign poles used instead.

Crossing at NE 87th Ave with overhead beacons that extend out above the traffic lanes

Despite continued damage at this intersection, the effect of visible crossings is still positive. Designers of crossing infrastructure seek to protect people, not PBOT property. The attention pedestrians receive from flashing lights likely saves lives. Unquestionably more work is needed to reduce the impact of distracted and impaired drivers. However, these repeated crashes are not proof of design failure. They instead indicate that PBOT has more work to do in keeping Portlanders safe on the streets.

NE Glisan and 78th Ave before collision
NE Glisan and 78th Ave after collision

Glisan Street Church Fenced In

UPDATE – The new fence is complete and currently protecting the Portland City Blessing Church property. Over the past two months, crews installed a black metal picket fence with two rolling gates and one swing door gate. Church staff hope this barrier will curb the dumping of abandoned vehicles and trash on their property.


Update posted February 11th, 2021.

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.

METBA District Clean Up

Yesterday, volunteers cleaned litter from SE Stark Street and NE Glisan Street as part of a Montavilla and East Tabor Business Association (METBA) event. Half of the group began work at 9:00 AM, starting on Stark Street by I205 and working towards Montavilla Town. The second crew started an hour later at the Fred Meyer Grocery Store and moved east along NE Glisan, ending at 82nd Ave. Over twenty-five business owners and community members participated in the three-hour-long clean-up effort.

METBA received sponsorship for the event from Montavilla Sewing Centers and coordination support from the Montavilla Neighborhood Association. Participants received complimentary pizza provided by Flying Pie Pizzeria after the event. The group removed two dozen bags worth of trash from Montavilla streets in a community effort to revitalize the area. METBA plans to host future clean-up events in the coming month. Businesses interested in assisting with future events can reach METBA at montavilla.biz@gmail.com or through their website.


Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the NMA Board and participated in this event.

Public Trash Cans Coming to SE

This fall, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is installing 182 new public trash cans throughout Southeast Portland. The cans are emptied twice a week, paid for by the City. From now until August 1st, city staff requests that residents and people working in the area complete a can placement survey.

Last year, Montavilla News and the Montavilla Neighborhood Association conducted a similar survey. The results from that initiative are already submitted to BPS and do not require resubmittal. Data collected now will include areas beyond the neighborhood boundaries to encompass E Burnside Street to SE Clatsop Street and the Willamette River to I205.

Area receiving trash cans this fall

Within the brief survey, participants can drop multiple pins where they think BPS should place new cans. There is also an opportunity to ask for specific areas to be exempt from trash can placement and provide additional comments. When completing the survey, participants can choose to subscribe to a project-updates email list.

With a limited number of trash receptacles available for the Southeast, it’s essential to use local knowledge to place cans where they will receive the most use. Northeast Portland is slated as the next trash can expansion area, rolling out just a few months after Southeast. Look for a similar survey for that area later this summer.

Montavilla Neighborhood Association’s submitted can placement map

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the NMA Board

McDonalds Post Crash Repairs

Masonry workers are actively repairing the damaged wall of the McDonalds located at 8149 SE Stark Street. On March 2nd, a silver 2003 Infiniti attempted to turn onto Stark Street from northbound 82nd Ave at an unsafe speed. The car lost control and collided with the fast-food restaurant, causing damage to a fence and the building. Last week, crews broke up the damaged concrete deck and replaced it.

Building repairs will restore the broken brick and tile on the building’s exterior. Portions of the wall shifted inwards in the collision, and crews must move it back into a vertical position. A new fence around the outdoor seating area is expected within the next few weeks, fully restoring the damage caused by the crash.

Damage the day after crash
Crews remove damaged concrete pad. Image by Weston Ruter
Repaired concrete pad
Completed building repairs

PCC’s Twenty Year Facilities Plan

Today Portland Community College (PCC) launched a survey seeking input from students, staff, faculty, and the community regarding the college’s four campuses. The survey results, coupled with feedback received from online workshops, will help shape the facilities plan, guiding the future investment and priorities over the next ten to twenty years.

James Hill, the PCC Public Relations Manager, explained that they are interested in hearing from all people who interact with the campus, including neighbors. “In addition to ensuring the physical space supports the communities we serve, we are also interested in input to help PCC provide a more welcoming and inclusive place to learn, teach, work, and visit.”

The online Visioning Workshop for Montavilla’s Southeast Campus is scheduled for Thursday, April 22. It begins at 9:00 AM and runs through 10:30 AM. You can Register on Zoom for the meeting. However, Hill encourages residents of the neighborhood to participate via the online survey, which is available at the project website www.pcc.edu/fp2. Questions will ask for priorities regarding buildings and the outdoor areas with a focus on increased accessibility.

When all the data is collected, PCC will share the results via the project website, providing a summary of what they gathered at the campus workshops and through the survey. Participant’s input will inform the planning team while they draft recommendations for future development at each campus. Later this year, PCC will seek community input again on draft recommendations and ideas through another online survey. The team will refine the proposed plans based on community input and publish a final report at the end of 2021.