Month: June 2021

Transitions Project Building For Lease

The prominent red-brick building on the corner of SE 81st Ave and E Burnside Street is available to lease. Most recently, the building housed the Transitions Project‘s Veteran Services team. The building contains two rentable office spaces that rent separately or as one continuous property.

Located at 8028 E Burnside Street, it also carries the address of 8032 E Burnside Street. Fronted along Burnside Street, this one-level building would support both retail or office use. The property includes an adjacent eight-stall parking lot accessible off SE 81st Ave, where a rear door provides additional entry to the building. A roll-up door accessed off the parking lot allows vehicle and freight entry to the building.

Since 2017, Transitions Project used the build to offer Veteran Services that support individuals who have served in the military and are experiencing houselessness or are in imminent danger of losing their residence. That group outgrew the building and has relocated to a larger office in the Mt. Scott area. Roma Peyser, the Director of Development at Transitions Project, explained the Montavilla location served the organization well over the years. “Our programs and services are always located in buildings that are easily accessible to public transportation and are often placed nearer to where our participants (clients) are finding permanent housing.”

Urban Works Real Estate is leasing the eighteen-year-old building. It is vacant and available for immediate occupancy. Within the leasing-flyer are interior images and a floor plan of the space in its current configuration. Interested renters should contact Tyler Bruss at 503-228-3274.

Apartment Complex on NE Hoyt

Developers will soon build twenty-four apartment units on NE Hoyt Street, creating greater housing density near a transit corridor. The proposal splits these homes between two multi-story buildings on a 100 foot-wide lot. A previous demolition permit seeks to remove the duplex currently at the site. The project is across a dead-end street from Gracelyn Commons, a fifteen-house development in phase two of construction.

A recent permit application reveals plans for a three-story building with twelve apartments. The application references another unannounced building next to it featuring an inverted layout. “New 12 unit 3-story apartment project at 9022 NE Hoyt st. Mirror image to apartment complex at 9032 NE Hoyt.” Provision Group bought this property in September of 2020 and has yet to demolish the existing homes on the property.

The design of the apartment complex is not yet public, and the issue of onsite parking is undetermined. The project’s designer, Bayard Mentrum Architecture, is currently working with the same developer on a nine-unit apartment near 8115 SE Yamhill StreetOther twin building developments in the area share a common center pathway between the two buildings. The designer may use a similar space-saving approach to this project. It is also possible to create tuck-under parking with a shared center driveway, although that sacrifices a considerable amount of habitable space. For this reason, many modern apartment projects reduce onsite parking capacity, particularly when near public transit options.

Located at 9022 NE Hoyt Street, these apartments are within walking distance from the Gateway Transit Center and joins other density-focused developments in the area. Up to now, Gateway area development has occurred east of I205. This northeast corner of Montavilla offers many of the same enticing transportation options that attract high-capacity housing across the freeway. This project on NE Hoyt Street is likely the first of many such apartment projects coming to the area.

NE 82nd Food Cart Pod Opens July 4th

Montavilla’s newest culinary destination opens next month. The Yard At Montavilla began development over a year ago, and now construction is nearing completion. Food carts will start arriving this week as electricians install the hookups necessary to power the mobile kitchens.

Last week crews paved the asphalt surface covering most of the corner lot at 8220 NE Davis Street. Workers will complete a shared trash enclosure and other finishing touches in the next few weeks. Several small changes to the infrastructure caused permitting delays that pushed back the original opening date. At this point, not too much more can delay the opening of this highly anticipated eating destination.

Co-owner of The Yard At Montavilla, Jeffrey Dennis, explained that they plan to host a trial run ahead of the official launch of the cart pod. “We’re hoping to open the weekend of June 25th for a soft opening and have July 4th be a Grand Opening weekend.” He went on to say that they have rented all but three of the 16 food carts spaces. Below is a listing of vendors at the cart pod, including Bai Yok Thai Food, who operated a restaurant in this same space before it burned down in 2016.

  • Guisados PDX – Mexican Food
  • East African Cuisine
  • Kings of Steak – Philly Cheese Steaks
  • Bai Yok Thai Food
  • Wood Fired Pizza
  • Shawarma Express – Mediterranean Food
  • Bobablastic – BobaTea, Poke Bowl, Hot Dog, Fries
  • Scout Beverages, Inc. – Beer & Wine
  • Taj Mahal Punjabi – Indian Cuisine
  • La Taquiza Vegana – All Vegan Mexican Street Food
  • Little Bear – Bingsu Tofu Popcorn Chx
  • Esan Thai Food Cart – Thai Food
  • Ricky’s Sushi – Sushi Rolls & Appetizers

Being located across 82nd Ave from Vestal Elementary, this is a prime location to serve a hungry community. Its launch date coincides with a national easing of COVID-19 restrictions and just in time for summer adventures. Expect new carts to start showing up soon and a buzz of activity as people ready for the imminent opening.


Images courtesy The Yard At Montavilla

PGF Arsonist Apprehended

The same week that demolition crews finished tearing down the fire-damaged building at 408 SE 79th Ave, Portland Police apprehended the person they believe set that building ablaze. The early morning fire from April 19th consumed the two-story building that housed the Portland Garment Factory, forcing that business to close until they can relocate. The arrest of the accused arsonist should alleviate community concern over a repeated incident.

On June 9th, Portland Police took a 48-year-old woman into custody on charges of second-degree arson and reckless burning related to the April 19th incident. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) said an executed search warrant yielded evidence connecting the suspect to the fire. According to a June 10th Willamette Week story, investigators received a tip from a community member who had witnessed the accused’s activity near the fire. In addition, that same witness identified the person in the surveillance video of the incident by her clothing and gait.

Although authorities have found a suspect in the incident, the damage caused by that fire is significant. Montavilla now has a vacant lot where a historic building once stood, and a business lost everything overnight. Fortunately, Portland Garment Factory will reopen in a new location, thanks in part to a GoFundMe campaign that collected over $118,000. Eventually, a new building will replace the one lost, and the damage suffered in the community will fade from memory. Until then, residents can consider the incident resolved and look to better events in the future.

UPDATE – Earlier today, the editor took this article offline while investigating a reported error. A reader said that the accused person was no longer a suspect and released. However, an official confirmed that the person arrested for this crime was released on pretrial supervision. The DA is proceeding with the grand jury.

Montavilla News will not publish the accused person’s name until convicted.

Expanding BIKETOWN Survey

The iconic orange BIKETOWN bike-share program is poised to expand its service area and place new docking stations in underserved areas. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is conducting a survey to evaluate service area boundaries and analyze where new stations are needed. Participation in this outreach program can influence the availability of short-term bicycle rentals within Montavilla and the outer Eastside.

Last September, BIKETOWN’s service area expanded by 13 square miles to include Montavilla. Launched in July 2016, the original program made 1,000 bikes available in Central Portlands. Recent changes to the program electrified the fleet of bikes, making them more accessible to riders of all skill levels. There are now 1,500 electric pedal-assist bikes serving a larger area. When combined with TriMet’s transportation network, the e-bikes from Lyft allow Portlanders to travel throughout the city without the need to own a vehicle.

PBOT anticipates expanding the program 25 percent by the end of the year, taking the current 32 square mile service area up to 40 square miles. Private funding for the program primarily comes from Nike. Its initial $10 million investment sponsored the system’s first five years of operation. An additional $8 million sponsorship from Nike will fund the program through September 2025.

Availability of BIKETOWN docking stations increases visitors to commerce corridors in the city. They make car-free travel to an area easy to plan and alleviate parking congestion. Tourists often use short-term bicycle rentals to explore the city, making the placement of docking stations essential to identifying areas of interest. In addition to the survey, PBOT will engage local organizations seeking their input on where docking stations could best support communities.

Since September 2020, BIKETOWN has installed nearly 30 new stations across the city, with the majority being in North and East Portland. The survey results should help place new stations in areas currently underserved by bike infrastructure and services. Even if you have not used the program, participation in the survey could augment the service to better fit your future needs. Sharing your regional knowledge of streets and activity centers will support the effective placement of docking stations in the neighborhood.

Survey Link: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/04abba44617f49a9b496fc507962fdec

Threshold’s Must-Try Food Menu

This weekend, Threshold Brewing & Blending launched their Polish-inspired Zapiekanka menu. This debut marks the beginning of full food service at the taproom with a savory and unique offering. For the past two years, staff mainly served craft beer and appetizers. Expanding into cooked meals is their way to welcome the post lockdown crowds who are already exploring the streets of Montavilla in significant numbers.

Foodservice is a natural fit for the brewery. Their wide selection of beers and other local drinks ensures an extended visit for customers interested in tasting all they offer. However, guests need something to eat between drinks, so growing the menu was an obvious need. “Since day one, people have been asking ‘do you have food?'” Explained Threshold’s co-owner Sara Szymanski. Threshold’s owners wanted to add food that would match their brewed beverages distinctive flavors. 

Co-Owner and brewmaster Jarek Szymanski reached into his past to find inspiration for the new dish. When eating out during his formative years in Poland, the zapiekanka was his go-to food. The traditional Polish street food is a perfect rich flavored dish to serve alongside the brewed selections, and it is not a food found elsewhere in the neighborhood. The classic meatless recipe starts with a white-bread baguette topped in a richly spiced mushroom base. Staff melt the Polish Morski style cheese over the top and then add a serpentine stripe of Polish ketchup down the center. A light dusting of smoked paprika completes the dish. Threshold Serves their zapiekanka in a traditional foot-long paper sleeve, allowing customers to eat it like a hotdog or cut it into sharable segments.

The dish expands from the classic form with several toppings, including house-brined cucumbers and several meat options. The cucumbers are reminiscent of pickles without the overbearing vinegary flavor and can be added to the zapiekanka or served on the side. Smoked Brisket or Polish Sausage toppings round out the menu. Jarek Szymanski has a passion for smoked meats and takes pride in the Brisket’s preparation. He plans to offer spareribs, beef ribs, and pulled pork versions of the dish on select occasions.

The Smoked Brisket melts in your mouth and would a popular item if it was on the menu by itself. The cheese has a mozzarella-like flavor that covers the lightly toasted but still soft bread. The ketchup is based on a traditional Polish recipe, common in that country but difficult to buy on this continent. Szymanski creates his version with tomatoes, carrots, parsnips, sugar, and vinegar. It is more reminiscent of barbecue sauce than ketchup and also unlike most condiments you have experienced. It, too, could be a popular product if they bottled it for people to take home.

The drinks are an essential part of a zapiekanka meal. Jarek Szymanski recommends the smokey all wheat Grodziskie ale titled The Cruise. This historical style of beer from Poland has a clear, light golden color and a strong smoke flavor. Its low alcohol content and distinctive aroma mix well with the meal and won’t overpower the dish’s flavors. After eating, the Rebel Razzle Gose beer will reset the palate. This blackberries and raspberries infused beer is the equivalent of an after-dinner wine with a sweet and robust flavor.

At first glance, the Zapiekanka menu appears uncomplicated and straightforward. Only through eating the dish in its varied forms will you appreciate the complex flavors it creates through each topping. Threshold’s expanded menu will attract non-drinkers looking for a memorable meal and further enamor the breweries’ regular fans.

Threshold Brewing & Blending is located in downtown Montavilla at 403 SE 79th Ave. They are open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 PM to 8 PM. Fridays, they operate from 4 PM to 9 PM and Saturday from 3 PM to 9 PM. Sundays, they are open for lunch and dinner from Noon to 6 PM.


Disclosure – Threshold Brewing & Blending provided complimentary food and drinks to Montavilla News staff during a special tasting event.

82nd Ave Changing Hands in 2022

Yesterday, The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reached an agreement to transfer jurisdictional responsibility of 82nd Ave by January 2022. This State Highway running through the geographic center of Portland is in poor condition and requires significant investments. The roadway’s deferred maintenance costs were the primary blocker to Portlands adoption of 82nd Ave into PBOT’s portfolio of streets. This new agreement establishes a price for those repairs and an outline for funding that work.

After years of negotiation, both parties assessed 82nd Avenue’s transfer cost at $185 million. Included in that sum are enhanced signals, lighting, ADA-compliant curb ramps, pavement repairs, and stormwater management. The total also contains money for urgent sidewalk and pedestrian crossing upgrades already approved last month. Three budgetary sources will provide the funds needed. A commitment from the legislature dedicated to fixing the most pressing safety and maintenance needs will supply $80 million. Another $70 million comes from an investment from ODOT and a $35 million commitment from PBOT.

This agreement is a significant achievement for a process that has taken over ten years to negotiate. It follows a deadly year for pedestrians crossing 82nd Ave. Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has focused her recent effort on fixing this roadway and placing its responsibility into her department. “The pedestrian deaths that have occurred recently are unacceptable but preventable with proper investment in safety infrastructure improvements. Portland is ready to take ownership of 82nd but will need adequate State funding to get it into a state of good repair. I’m appreciative of ODOT and the Portland Metro area legislators that have agreed these deaths are unacceptable, and am hopeful we can get the State funding needed to bring change to one of the most important streets in our City.” 

Legislative approval needs to be in place before this agreement can move forward. Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and Oregon Representative Khanh Pham championed the deal between City and State. With their endorsement and growing support within the legislature, this plan seems likely to succeed.

Despite the substantial investment coming to 82nd Ave, work will only tackle projects ignored over years of neglect. To fully modernize the roadway, additional funds are required. That investment is far more likely to occur under PBOT’s ownership, making this jurisdictional transfer an essential first step to revitalizing the area served by 82nd Ave. Within a year, 82nd Ave could transform from a forgotten State Highway to a future community corridor of Portland.

Nine Unit Apartment on Yamhill

Last week developers proposed a nine-unit apartment building on SE Yamhill street. The new three-story development will fill the recently created lot located west of 8115 SE Yamhill StreetWillamette Carpentry owns the property and will serve as the general contractor on the project.

Provision Investments sold the property to Willamette Investments at the end of 2020, having just bought it months before. The Provision sign is still on the property. However, their involvement with the apartment project is unknown. Willamette Carpentry recently worked on the NOTA apartment building on NE Glisan Street, located on the outside edge of Montavilla.

Details about the apartment building are not yet public. The project’s designer, Bayard Mentrum Architecture, has worked on several similar apartment projects over the years. If their past apartment designs influence this project, it should provide attractive housing density that will not dominate the nearby single-family homes.