Month: September 2021

New Townhouses on Burnside

East Burnside Street could gain three new Townhouses just west of SE 75th Ave. Developers plan to raze a 70-year-old signal family dwelling at 7424 E Burnside Street, clearing the way for three new homes. An existing accessory building will remain on the property.

Work on the project could begin next month. On October 6th, the thirty-five-day demolition hold will elapse for the existing single-story building. Once cleared, the property will be ready for further development.

Permits submitted last Friday seek to build a trio of two-story townhouses on the lot. New residents of these homes will rely on street parking and other transportation options. The limited space on the lot does not allow for the construction of garages. In 2018, the property owners constructed an accessory structure on the western edge of the lot. That building will remain, adding a 4th unit to the property.

This proposed development is possible thanks to zoning changes made this summer by the Residential Infill Project (RIP). Portland planners believe these changes will create smaller homes that are more affordable for residents. Regardless of the final price of each townhouse, the lot will soon have space for two extra families. Many supporters of RIP hopped that buildings would be added to properties and not cause excessive demolition. However, as with this project, creating housing density will require the sacrifice of some older buildings. Expect to see demolition crews at the site later in the year.

BIKETOWN’s Free Ride Program

Last week, BIKETOWN announced an expansion to their discounted membership program for low-income riders. Called BIKETOWN for All, the program now offers free 60-minute rides and expands to include some college students with a free membership or subsidized rides. These changes should dramatically increase access to the electric assist bike-share for all Portland State University (PSU) students, people living on low incomes, and college students on financial aid.

Portland hosts a variety of colleges and universities, with students housed throughout the city. Most public transportation routes serve those schools. However, some students still need additional mobility options that will not burden their limited budgets. Now, students who receive federal financial aid will qualify for a free BIKETOWN membership. Additionally, PSU students not eligible for BIKETOWN for All will be eligible for a ride credit to cover up to $20 a month of casual user fees.

Previously the BIKETOWN for All program was limited to people using recognizes assistance programs, including the Oregon Trail card (SNAP), Oregon Health Plan, or affordable housing. Starting on September 16th, the program will now recognize Federal Student Aid as a qualifying determination for eligibility. However, only when received by students attending school on a Portland campus.

With the expanded eligibility, every BIKETOWN for All member will receive additional discounts. BIKETOWN now waives the $5 monthly membership fee and offers an unlimited number of 60-minute rides a month. Riders incur a $0.05 per minute charge after the first hour of the bike rental. Before this week’s changes, the per-minute change began instantly. The discounted program continues to offer free bike unlocks and $20 in ride credits every month.

Although these changes will make many trips free, a BIKETOWN for All members ridding less than an hour could still generate charges. Bikes not parked at a BIKETOWN station will generate a $1 fee, except in the East Portland SuperHub Zone east of 72nd Avenue. Additionally, bikes parked outside the 32 square mile service area would receive a $5 out-of-service-area fee.

Portlanders who qualify can sign up at BIKETOWNforAll.com. College students will upload a digital copy of their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) award letter. PSU students should sign up at the PSU BIKETOWN website. These changes are a significant expansion to the program that recognizes the financial struggle some college students endure and makes the BIKETOWN for All program practical for low-income riders. Expect to see more Portland residents using these bikes as people discover the updated subsidy program that creates an affordable and valuable tool to get around the city.

Metro Councilor Bob Stacey Resigns

Last Thursday, one of Portland’s representatives on the Metro Council announced his resignation. Effective October 15th, Metro Councilor Bob Stacey will step down from the position he has held since 2012. Not long after first being elected to the Council, Stacey was diagnosed with meningioma, which causes tumors to grow in and around the skull. Although his prognosis continues to be favorable, treatments for the tumors have begun to impact his ability to work full-time.

Bob Stacey represents Oregon Metro District 6, mainly covering Southeast and southwest Portland. Metro serves more than 1.5 million people in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. The agency’s boundary encompasses Portland and 23 other cities. They provide region-wide planning and coordination to manage growth, infrastructure, and development issues across jurisdictional boundaries.

Bob Stacey’s work with Metro touched many points within Montavilla. However, most residents will associate his local efforts with the TBN redevelopment project at 432 NE 74th Ave. Metro’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) program acquired this site for residential development in 2019. The 1.65-acre property will become low-income housing within a few years featuring commercial use on the ground floor. It will be a transformative project for that section of NE Glisan, bringing an active residential density to the street and removing a block-wide parking lot. As seen in other areas of Portland, constructing socially active street-side projects increases safety and prosperity along those roads.

Councilor Stacey won reelection in 2020 for a four-year term. The Metro Council has until January 13th to appoint Stacey’s successor. According to the Metro Charter, that appointed person will serve until an election for the remainder of the term is held at the next primary or general election. This next election cycle, candidates will run for the remaining two years of the Metro District 6 Council seat.

Bob Stacey’s contributions to Oregon predate his work with Metro and will likely continue for many years after he vacates his elected position. Colleagues of Stacey were quick to celebrate his career up to this point and thank him for his decades of service. “Bob is a titan of Oregon’s land conservation movement,” said Metro Council President Lynn Peterson. “His service and vision are obvious in all corners of our state, and his wisdom and nearly 50 years of experience is going to be missed on the council.”


Images in this article are provided by Oregon Metro

Two Vehicle Crash on 78th And Burnside

UPDATE – 3:35 All roads are clear of large debris and open to traffic again.

E Burnside Street is closed at 78th Ave after a two-vehicle crash. At 2:45 PM, a car and pickup collided in the intersection, flipping the truck and its two passengers completely over. The truck landed upright on SE 78th Ave, where it caught fire. Portland Fire & Rescue responded by 2:53 PM, extinguishing the fire and providing medical aid to the injured.

All people involved in the crash were able to walk away from the accident. Expect traffic delays on E Burnside Street and 78th Ave while crews clear the crash debris and tow the disabled vehicles.

Dual Storefront Remodel on SE Stark

Yesterday, construction crews began installing the new aluminum and glass storefront at 7850 SE Stark Street. The owners of Flipside Hats bought this building at the beginning of the year to become the new headquarters and factory for their apparel company. When completed, two new shops will occupy this space.

The majority of the building will support hat production, retail, and other business operations for the company. However, Flipside Hat owner Jacob Wollner thought the showroom did not need to occupy the entirety of the storefront. There was an opportunity to split the space and create a second 609 square-foot shop for another tenant. That second storefront will have a separate main entrance and restroom. Wollner explained that it would be an ideal space for a small flower shop or jewelry store. Although prospective tenants have shown interest, none have committed to opening there.

Image courtesy Flipside Hats

The buildout was delayed by a slower than expected city permitting process and a personal matter that took Wollner out of the country. Until recently, the installation of six gooseneck barn lights above the windows was the only outward sign of construction at the site. Now work has ramped up again, and progress is visible. Wollner’s full vision of the building has taken form now that the new aluminum and glass storefront is in place.

Image courtesy Flipside Hats

The building began its existence in 1946, housing the Hook Cycle Shop. Later, Mt. Tabor Schwinn Cyclery took over the space until the mid-1980s. In 1998 a group bought the building for their business, Electronic Claims Services. At that time, the owners removed the storefront and transformed the structure into an office building. This current renovation work is restorative, bring back the shopfront appearance lost in the last century’s remodel.

Image courtesy Flipside Hats

Soon, Flipside hat staff will relocate from their current store at 4438 SE Belmont Street to this new Montavilla location. For twenty years, the building has had its shades drawn and doors shut to the neighborhood. However, even before the store opens on Stark Street, this refacing project will reconnect the continuous retail on the block. Once again, the inviting light of shops will shine out onto the sidewalk and guide shoppers along Montavilla’s historic main street.

Image courtesy Flipside Hats

New Adult Entertainment on Glisan

This month, a new adult entertainment venue appeared on NE Glisan near I205. PDX Peaches opened to the public on September 10th in the former Northern Pediatrics building at 9243 NE Glisan Street. The woman-owned business offers lingerie modeling services for men and couples.

Lexi, the manager at the location, explained that PDX Peaches strives to deliver a better class of lingerie-shop. “I [designed] it to have an upscale, clean, comfortable, and safe location for our models as well as our customers.” Lexie lives in the area and appreciates the opportunity to create a uniquely premier Adult entertainment club in the neighborhood.

The shop’s manager went on to describe the specific entertainment niche they fill. “We specialize in fetish and fantasy shows… [for] men and couples, but anyone is more than welcome to come get a show.” Soon they plan to offer a bachelor party and event-space room.

This section on NE Glisan is a mix of residential and commercial properties. The Top of the Hill Tavern sits across the street from PDX Peaches, but most properties on its block are homes. This area’s proximity to the freeway makes it a highly accessible location for businesses. Many of the houses along NE Glisan converted to commercial use over the decades, and the Commercial Mixed Use zoning in this area allows for that use.

Zoning Map around the property

This location supported a dentist’s office and pediatric clinic before its current use. There is no onsite parking for the building, and a number 19 bus stop prevents street-side parking on Glisan in front of the property. However, there is ample street parking on NE 92nd Ave.

9243 NE Glisan Street when it opened as Northern Pediatrics in June of 2020

PDX Peaches is a 24 hour a day business, and the staff is hoping it will quickly succeed in this location. They are open now and will respond to customer inquires through their website’s contact form.

Letter of Thanks from Family of Mel and Errol

This summer, Montavilla said goodby to Mel Hafsos, a beloved member of the community. His death profoundly impacted neighbors and the many customers of Taylor Court Grocery. As the pandemic continued to prevent large memorial services, people instead took to decorating his place of business with messages of appreciation for his contributions and support for Mel’s partner Errol Carlson. In recognition of the public’s admiration for Mel, his family wrote a letter to the community and asked Montavilla News to share it below.


Letter to the Community:

On behalf of the family of Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson I would like to thank this community for the many years of love and support you have shown to Mel and Errol and Taylor Court Grocery.

As Mel’s youngest Sister, I speak for our whole family and Mel and Errol as well. Mel Hafsos and Errol Carlson owned and operated Taylor Court Grocery on SE 80th Avenue for 25 years. During those many years they rarely took days off or time away from the store. The community and neighbors became their family. They took joy in all the births, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, move in days and so many other memorable events the neighborhood celebrated. They loved the children who visited the store for that “after school” treat or the cold soda or ice cream in the summer months.

I often visited and sometimes worked in the store during the years I lived in Beaverton. It was very evident the members of the community were woven in Mel and Errol’s lives. I loved attending the summer Block Party when hundreds turned out for the parade and festivities. The annual Halloween Event was one of a kind.

Mel passed away on June 18, 2021 after a brief illness. Mel grew up in a family of 8 children. We had 4 girls and 4 boys. He was probably the hardest worker of us all. He began at a young age in the orchards of our farming community near Yakima, Wa. Up until the day Mel left us, he had that mental list of one more shelf to stock, product to search for, or customer to take care of. We know now, Mel can check all those items off his “to do” list.

Upon Mel’s death, our family witnessed a huge outpouring of support and love for Mel and Errol. We want to THANK YOU ALL FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS. We understand they were loved by so many…we want you to know they loved everyone back. Thank you for those expressions of support and love during this difficult time of losing our brother. It is appreciated more than we can say.

Errol is still living in the community, just a few blocks from what he knew as home…in the community where he belongs.

Warmest thank you,
The family of Mel Hafsos & Errol Carlson—Owner/Operators of Taylor Court Grocery
Diane Dufault (Sister to Mel)


Three Residences on Washington St

Over the last month, framing crews erected the primary structure for the three-residence project at 8635 SE Washington Street. Work is occurring simultaneously on both structures, allowing observers to take-in the scale of this development. The staggered height of the buildings respects the south facing exposure to natural light for each home. If successful, this could become a model of housing density where one structure does not overshadow the others on the shared property.

Construction on both structures progressing simultaneously

Original article posted June 18th, 2021.

After nearly a year, city staff have approved the three-residence project at 8635 SE Washington Street. The project includes two structures built on a currently vacant lot. The homes will sell as condominiums linked by a small Home Owners Association.

The front house is detached from the other residences and offers three bedrooms split between two levels. The home’s design maximizes living space on the ground floor and only has a partial second story. The master suite sits under the footprint of the top floor. A doorway accessed off the living room closes off the sleeping area from the rest of the house. The ground floor bedroom area features many separated spaces created by sliding doors. The ensuite is configured as a half-bath and serves as the first-floor guest power room. When sliding doors are closed, they make a short hallway that also contains the laundry closet. A shower room with an extra sink is adjacent to the bathroom and provides passthrough access to a large walk-in closet. The main bedroom is opposite the shower room and faces the back of the property.

Patrick Donaldson, Principal Architect for Harka Architecture, described the front building as an ideal aging-in-place design. Although the second story features two bedrooms and a full bathroom, all living activities can occur in the ground floor portion of the home. In addition, the front and back of the structure have large floor-level decks that extend the living space outside while not requiring stairs to transition between the two environments.

2nd story carriage house and back residence

The back building contains two more homes, a shared storage room, and onsite parking. Three single-car garages offer parking for each residence. The majority of the first floor serves as storage and parking. The alleyway behind the property provides access to the garages. 

Above the garage is a single-level two-bedroom home with one full bathroom. In addition to an open floorplan living area, it features ample storage and a stacked laundry closet. Access to this unit is via an exterior staircase that leads to a front deck on the second level. 

Front and Back structures as seen from SE Washington Street

Attached to the west side of the rear structure is a three-story residence with access to the first floor through the front door or a side door that leads to one of the single-car garages. The first floor contains a bonus room in the front. The back portion of the main floor has a half-bath, utility room, and coat closet. The kitchen, living room, and another half-bath occupy the second floor. Finally, the third floor contains two bedrooms and a full bathroom next to a stackable washer and dryer closet.

Each of these homes features unique layouts that will appeal to different-sized families in different stages of life. The site layout will foster a micro-community through shared spaces while maintaining individuality through the distinct design of each residence. Look for crews to break ground soon and construction to complete within ten months.

Heavy equipment is onsite ahead of foundation work

Architectural perspective drawings courtesy Harka Architecture

Demo of 1910 House on 74th

UPDATE – Demolition crews are finished deconstructing the 1910 era house at 524 NE 74th Ave. All that remains is filling in the basement and leveling the lot. No active building permits exist for this property.

House partially deconstructed
House taken down to foundation

Original article posted June 22nd, 2021

The owners of 524 NE 74th Ave plan to clear the property of all structures. Permits 21-054340 and 21-054334 seek to remove the hundred-year-old house and detached garage from the site. As of yet, there are no public plans to replace the building.

Located behind the Hour Glass Pub & Eatery, the single-story building is near the corner of NE 74th Ave and Glisan Street. Although still habitable, the house looks neglected and needing substantial repairs. Blue tarps are covering holes in the sagging roof. Chipped paint has given way to rot in the siding.

The building completed construction in 1910 with an address of 142 E 74th Street North. In the early 1930s, Portland renumbered its streets, changing most addresses in the area. This house still displays the city-provided black text on white tiles given out during that program. The house appears in the 1924 Sanborn map with a smaller garage positioned closer to NE 74th Ave. Around this time, an advertisement in The Oregon daily journal listed this property for sale at a value of $2600. “SALE — Furnished 5-room house near carline, $2600: terms. 142 E. 74th st. N.”

Digital Sanborn map 1924 74th and E Glisan streets

The house has seen only minor changes in its hundred years. Previous owners filled in the cutout front porch at some point. Otherwise, its form is close to what the builders created in 1910. It is an example of a midrange home for its time. Its hipped roof with a gabled dormer adds craftsman detail to the house. However, the front windows feature an architectural cheat. The large center window flanked by two skinny windows imitates the look of a bay window without the complicated framing to create the threedimensional characteristic. Although historic by age, it does not feature unique architectural elements and is not a great candidate for restoration.

After demolition crews raze the above-ground buildings, they will fill in the basement and cap water and sewer lines. The property is not subject to the 35-day demolition delay, allowing removal of both structures as soon as the permits are approved. Redevelopment of the site should begin sometime after the lot is free of buildings.

PGF Resurrected Across I205

After months closed due to fire damage at their previous location, Portland Garment Factory (PFG) staff will move into a new home. This formerly downtown Montavilla business will now produce zero-waste apparel outside the neighborhood boundary in the Forge Parkour building. This week electricians are on site preparing the recently purchased building for the clothing manufacturer’s equipment.

Located at 311 SE 97th Ave, the PGF staff will work across the I205 Freeway from Montavilla. The building became available after Forge Parkour shutdown permanently amid pandemic restrictions. The unique structure was purpose-built for its last occupant three years ago. Designers of the corrugated metal-clad building created distinct angles along the entire facade of the building, hiding its warehouse-sized interior. The building’s unusual shape is visible from the I205 Freeway and is eye-catching even when driving past the building at 60MPH. The property is located between SE Stark Street and E Burnside Street, allowing easy access from major streets.

PFG owner Britt Howard and staff recently posted a montage video chronicling their preparatory work on the company’s Instagram. The building is practically new and appears only to require minor alterations. Designed to hold a gym, the interior of the building is open with high ceilings. That configuration should accommodate the long bolts of fabric and large machinery used in the company’s manufacturing business.

After the fire on April 19th, the community mobilized to support this beloved Montavilla business. People expressed their support for PGF’s rebuilding efforts through a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $118,000. Many of the supporters have already voiced their excitement over the new building through social media. Britt Howard has maintained grace and perseverance when speaking publicly about the tragedy of losing a business, always working toward the goal of reopening. Keep an eye on the companies website and Instagram for updates on the official opening date.