Work is underway at the Fred Meyer parking lot at 6615 NE Glisan Street. Crews are creating four EV charging stations located near the eastern entrance along NE Glisan Street. Removal of eleven standard parking spaces and one planter island will make way for four EV charging spots. Workers will also create a new fenced equipment island to support charging infrastructure.
Designers submitted permit applications for the charging station at the beginning of the year. However, their permit 21-002507 was approved just last week. As part of this project, landscapers will plant additional shrubbery to conceal the equipment area. The new island is near equal in size to the four EV parking spaces. Fencing around the utility zone will use 8 foot high Trex fencing.
An excavator worked most of Tuesday on preparing the area for the substantial electrical work that will take place. Charging station dispensers stand to the side of the vehicle instead of at the front of the parking spot. This positioning allows for two side-by-side hookups facing opposite directions, concentrating the user-accessible equipment into two clusters. PGE will connect to the charging station via an underground electrical conduit feeding a 750 KVA transformer.
Electrify America manages these new charging spots and bills customers between $0.31 per kWh to $0.43 per kWh. The spaces are reserved for people charging their vehicles. Ten minutes after charging completes, an idle fee of $0.40 per minute is added to the customer’s bill. EV charging maps already show the EV charges at Fred Meyer as “Coming Soon,” indicating that this project will complete quickly.
The addition of EV charges in the area is encouraging for those who own an electric vehicle and nearby businesses that will welcome customers killing time during their charging session. Look for the parking lot at Fred Meyer to be a bit congested as work continues. However, based on current progress, the disruptions should clear up within a few weeks.
UPDATE – Corrected link to electrifyamerica.com July 6th, 2021.
According to documents filed with the city last week, the owners of 235 SE 80th Ave intend to construct an apartment building on the property. The proposed development would replace the one-story residence with a twelve-unit apartment building. In addition, the complex would include seven onsite parking spaces for residents.
The California company, Eleay Properties, bought the 1949 era house in June of 2019. It’s currently a rental property and occupied by tenants. The site sits across SE 80th Ave from Montavilla United Methodist Church and next door to The Barn apartments. Several other apartment buildings are in the area, and this property is one block from Montavilla Town, making it an attractive place for housing density.
Developers of the project submitted Early Assistance 21-059086 seeking advice for the project from City staff. The process takes place ahead of submitting design proposals and plans for review. This portion of the process is one of the earliest stages and may not result in an actual project. If moving forward, the beginning of construction would be over a year away.
Apartment projects around Montavilla Town are becoming more common. Due to its strong commerce and cultural center, this neighborhood will attract projects that prioritize density within a hyperlocal community. A move away from single-family housing can cause concern for some residents. However, this apartment could create an appropriately sized multi-family building that provides enough parking to avoid overburdening the neighborhood. Look for more details about this project to surface over the coming year.
The Academy Theater will reopen to the public next month, 68 weeks after it closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. The opening date appeared last week alongside a detailed accounting of the movie theater’s history. As the 1948 era move house prepares for the July 16th reopening, staff also ready for a busy summer season.
Located at 7818 SE Stark Street, The Academy Theater closed its doors in March 2020. After the last show on Friday the 13th, the staff locked up for a several-week-long intermission while the country tried to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, over a year later, the theater remained dark, even as other surrounding businesses reopened in phases.
After so much time shuttered, extensive work is needed to ready the business for an eager audience. Co-Owner, Heyward Stewart barely has time to prepare everything and has dedicated all his efforts towards that goal. “I am super busy at the moment trying to get things together for our reopening.” However, Stewart is excited that this day is finally approaching and what reopening could mean for the neighborhood. “[We] look forward to being a part of the revitalization of Montavilla.”
The Academy Theater is often seen as the symbolic heart of Montavilla and is an iconic representation of the Stark Street business district. Its reopening will signify the actual end of restrictions and the beginning of returning to normalcy for many. Keep an eye on the movie theater’s marquee for coming attractions and showtimes but regardless of what’s playing, consider a visit to make up for the lost time.
As Portland braces for the expected heatwave, groups adjust their schedule to keep people out of the sun during the hottest hours. Starting this Saturday, forecasters predict several consecutive days of above 100-degree heat. Consequently, people should make a plan to avoid heat-related disruptions.
To protect the health and safety of waste collection drivers, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) announced a schedule shift for trash collection. Sanitation crews will begin routes at 5 AM on Friday, June 25, and Monday, June 28. This adjustment allows drivers to start during cooler morning hours, reducing exposure to extreme temperatures and potential health risks. Residential customers should move their garbage, recycling, and compost bins to the curb the night before their collection day. Early pickup may continue if extreme temperatures persist. Check the BPS website for updated information.
SOLVE Oregon’s Pick It Up, Portland! event is adjusting the start time for some cleanups to make sure participants complete work by noon. In some cases, organizers canceled afternoon events altogether. Volunteers should check the SOLVE website for any changes to their event and come prepared for high heat while cleaning. Event organizers will have shaded areas and access to water for attendees.
Some businesses without air-conditioning are electing to stay closed during the heatwave, particularly food cart vendors that have difficulty staying cool during typical summer weather. Other locations are taking advantage of indoor seating and AC to draw in customers that have, until recently, been unable to eat indoors. When planning to eat out, make sure the location is open, and that shaded seating is available.
Much like snow, Portland can grind to a halt in extreme heat. People will need extra patience and understanding as businesses make adjustments to schedules to keep everyone safe. Make a cooling plan for yourself and look out for others who may not have the ability to stay cool on their own.
Today, a presentation at Portland City Council revealed a potential new tenant at 8037 SE Stark Street. The presenter explained that a group of veterinarians intended to create an urgent-care veterinary clinic in the corner shopfront. However, required site improvements could diminish or cancel their plans. This project served as one example in the presentation to support a temporary suspension of nonconforming upgrade requirements.
In the City Council AM Session on Wednesday, June 23rd, Matt Wickstrom with the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) shared a slide deck endorsing the temporary regulatory changes. The proposal seeks to remove the nonconforming upgrade burden on tenants during a post-COVID-19 recovery timeframe. Currently, on projects costing over $306,000, the applicant must spend up to ten percent of the project’s valuation on improving the property to current zoning requirements. Nonconforming upgrades trigger on existing developments where a tenant proposes an alteration or renovations, but site features no longer comply with city standards. These fees can sometimes stifle businesses attempting to fill empty commercial properties as the project costs can increase beyond what their budget will allow. Older buildings are most susceptible to this type of hidden development cost due to the number of regulatory changes made over time.
The proposal would exempt projects from being evaluated for nonconforming improvements until March 21st, 2023. After that date, city staff expects Portland’s economy will have recovered. However, the proposal doesn’t consider project size or the applicant’s ability to pay for the upgrades. As a result, larger projects could slip through without meeting site standards, denying overlooked communities the neighborhood enhancements these rules were designed to provide. Example improvements include tree planting, landscaping, and bicycle parking around the site. Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty expressed reservations over passing this moratorium, fearing that large developers would take the opportunity to shirk their social responsibility to provide projects that meet the cities livability standards.
Nonconforming Upgrades include:
Landscaping – particularly parking lot landscaping
Screening – separation between differently zoned sites
On-site pedestrian circulation
An amendment to this proposal delayed the final vote until next week. However, it is likely to pass when it next comes to City Council. The passing of this proposal will clear the way for the urgent-care veterinary clinic to proceed unencumbered by the costs of providing parking lot landscaping. Look for updates to this project in the coming months after next week’s vote.
UPDATE – Due to projected high temperatures, SOLVE Oregon canceled this afternoon event. All Pick it Up, Portland! morning events will continue as planned.
In one week, volunteers across Portland will make a group effort to clean the city. The coordinated events are part of an annual SOLVE OregonPick it Up, Portland! program, celebrating its fifth year. On Saturday, June 26th, Montavilla residents can participate in the cleanup efforts and help remove the ample amounts of trash in the area.
Pick it Up, Portland! in Montavilla will run from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM, with participants gathering in Montavilla Park’s parking lot. SOLVE prefers participants signup in advance on the group’s website, although drop-in volunteers will be accommodated while cleaning supplies last. Participants receive trash gabbers, gloves, Trash bags, and safety vests to use during the two-hour cleanup.
SOLVE cleanups occur year-round, and there are always opportunities to help clean. The Pick it Up, Portland! cleanup weekend seeks to jump-start the cleaning season and help make Portland a cleaner, healthier place for all.
Disclosure: the author of this article organizes SOLVE cleanups and is leading this event.
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.
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 Street. Other 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.
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.
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.
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