Month: May 2022

Demolition on NE Holladay Street

In March, Riverside Carpentry purchased 8225 NE Holladay Street and now plans to demolish the 100-year-old single-family residence. A second demolition permit seeks to remove the detached garage and shed simultaneously. The property is adjacent to the Don Pedro Mexican Food restaurant on 82nd Avenue and outside the residential section of Portland’s Comprehensive Plan Map. Consequentially, the permits are not subject to a 35-Day Demolition Delay.

In the early 1900s, the property housed a small cottage on the land with an original address of 2049 Holladay Ave. Ivan Swift purchased that home sometime after 1911. According to the Sunday Oregonian, the Swift family celebrated the birth of their daughter at that home on September 5th, 1918. Sometime late in the 1920s, the Swifts updated the house, installing a sewer line and running water.

2049 East Holladay Ave Sanborn Maps 1924

The two-bedroom, one bathroom, 489-square-foot home’s real estate listing shows very few updates over its 100 years. However, it has received at least one addition at the back of the building, expanding the structure. The property is now zoned Commercial Mixed Use 2 and could support a variety of medium-scale redevelopment. Projects in this zone generally support four stories, except in locations where bonuses allow up to five levels and offer a mixed commercial and residential use.

Expect demolition crews onsite in the next few months. Workers will also remove the driveway’s curb cut, cap the sewer, and fill the basement cavity. Look for updates when the developer submits building permits for the replacement structure.

Three Townhouses on SE 93rd

This week Sunstone Homes submitted permit applications to construct three townhouses near SE Division Street and Interstate 205. The proposed townhouses will each contain four bedrooms and an attached single-car garage. Demolition crews will remove the existing 1944-era single-family home at 2421 SE 93rd Avenue to make room for the new two-story units.

The 63-by-75-foot lot has enough room to comfortably support the proposed homes, each with 1500 square feet of living space. The designers will provide two full bathrooms and one half-bath for each townhouse. 

SE 93rd Avenue ends in a cul-de-sac near SE Division street, but pedestrians have access to the adjacent Division TriMet FX bus line. That express transit system starts service in September. Additionally, the I205 Multi-use-path is across the street from this property, making these homes the ideal location for commuters regardless of their chosen mode of transportation.

Over the last five years, this block has seen substantial redevelopment. The pandemic delayed some of the larger projects. However, this recent proposal indicates that this area will continue to develop with denser housing options. If approved, expect work to begin at the end of the year or sometime in 2023.

Thai Me Drunken Noodle at Growler’s Taproom

Later this month, Thai Me Drunken Noodle will open a food cart connected to Growler’s Taproom at 803 SE 82nd Avenue. The new eatery fills the space left vacant by Erica’s Soul Food, which relocated to 120 NE Russell Street earlier this year. Unlike previous carts working from this location, the food and beer businesses will partner to offer a unified dining destination and operate as a single location.

Tyler Pathammavong has operated the original Thai Me Drunken Noodle cart at 2810 NE Glisan Street for the past six months. That location started after Pathammavong sold his other businesses to new owners and focused on a Northern Thai-style fried chicken and noodle-centric menu. He has seventeen years of experience cooking Thai and Laotian dishes, a passion that began after his younger brother immigrated from Laos and started working in the industry. A natural hard worker, Pathammavong’s food service career paralleled his 25 years at the United States Postal Service (USPS). Now retired from the USPS, Tyler Pathammavong and his wife Leng are refocusing all efforts on their food creations.

Thai Me Drunken Noodle at NE 28th Ave and Glisan Street

The Thai Me Drunken Noodle menu takes inspiration from the owner’s appetites and the foods his mother taught him to prepare. “I just cook whatever I [would] wanna eat at home,” explained Tyler Pathammavong. The cart’s specialty is a Laotian-style fried chicken served over sticky rice with a sauce made from a family recipe. Embracing the shared culinary history of Laos and Northern Thailand, Pathammavong transforms the traditional recipes with a personal adaptation that creates a one-of-a-kind menu. Outside of the chicken, most dishes forgo the traditional white rice and instead feature noodles. “My [dishes] might not be exactly like most Thai food, ’cause I use everything noodle, even in my Curry.” Said Pathammavong.

Although the Northeast Portland cart will remain open for a while, the partnership with Growler’s Taproom is the long-term focus for the cart operator. The taproom’s owner, Joe Rodgers, explained that the new cart is an extension of his business. “It’s more of a brick and mortar kind of feel, but we are adjusting it where the kitchen is in the cart.” The food and bar service will maintain the same hours and offer a combined food and beer menu. Currently, Growler’s is open Wednesday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to Midnight. Rodgers plans to expand the hours to feature an earlier 2 p.m. start and a seven-day-a-week schedule when the food service begins.

Joe Rodgers and Tyler Pathammavong are actively working on an updated menu to pair with the beer selections. The partners are also working to integrate food service into Growler’s popular Star Trek trivia, live music, movies, and comedy nights. Look for schedules and updates at the Growler’s Taproom website. For those who want to preview some of the creations coming later this May, consider stopping by the Thai Me Drunken Noodle cart at 2810 NE Glisan Street.

Deconstruction of 1900 Era House on NE 75th

The new owners of 319 NE 75th Avenue recently filed for a demolition permit to deconstruct the 122-year-old home. The dwelling retained some of its original design through several remodels but has suffered from neglect more recently. 

In March of this year, Everett Custom Homes bought the property and requested permission to clear the land the following month. The permit application seeks to demolish the single-family residence and attached garage. Crews will fill in the basement cavity, break up the driveway, and remove the curb cut leading onto NE 75th Avenue. The developer’s post-demolition plans for the site are not yet public. However, removing the curb cut and driveway could indicate a planned multifamily use of the property that does not support onsite parking.

This property resides on the same block as the 137 unit 74th and Glisan affordable housing project, scheduled to begin construction next year. The area already supports many multi-unit buildings, and redevelopment of smaller homes is likely to continue in this vicinity. 

87 (formally 411) East 75th Street North, Sanborn Map from 1924.

When constructed in 1900, the original dwelling was a modest single-story home with a basement. Over its first three decades, the City changed the house’s address two times. The building’s first address of 411 East 75th Street North was updated sometime after Portland annexed Montavilla in 1906. The house number changed from 411 to 87. Then Portland’s Great Renumbering of 1931-1933 changes the address again to its current designation. The Sunday Oregonian for May 27, 1917, notes that an early owner of the home, Mrs. E. A. Beals, was active within the community. As a Daughters of the American Revolution member, she was the featured speaker for the Memorial Day (originally known as Decoration Day) event held at the Montavilla School.

Although this bungalow has many admirable characteristics, the listing photos for the property indicate previous owners had not updated the house over the years. If the new owners had opted to restore the house, it would likely have taken a significant investment and required reducing the habitable space. The demolition permit is pending the completion of a 35-day appeal period. That delay window ends at 4:30 p.m. on May 31. Starting next month, demolition crews can begin removing the structures and preparing the land for a new project.

SE 78th Closed for Watermain Work

Today the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) closed one block of SE 78th Avenue between SE Alder and Morrison Streets. Crews installed a new watermain to provide expanded service to the area. A four townhome development is underway on this street and should benefit from this water system upgrade.

The project, listed as ID W02815, only covers one block. PWB staff should complete work within a few days and will have the road open to through traffic soon. Patching the pavement may happen at a later date. Users of this street should use caution in the vicinity of the trench until the crews fully restore the road surface.

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Paitong Thai Cuisine Closes

Paitong Thai Cuisine at 8000 NE Glisan Street recently closed its doors permanently after a challenging few years. Bounnam (Nancy) Somvong opened the family-run business in 2006 and dedicated herself to making it a well-reviewed neighborhood destination. The space is currently empty, awaiting a new tenant. However, the restaurant’s exterior signs remain on the building, and the distinctive interior murals are still visible through the windows.

Paitong has anchored the corner retail space at NE 80th Avenue and Glisan Street for sixteen years. For many Montavilla residents, this inviting space provided a reliably tasty meal. At its height of exposure, Paitong appeared on TV when 90 Day Fiancé stars Kyle and Noon Huck dined at the restaurant during an episode. The restaurant owner and chef, Bounnam (Nancy) Somvong, grew up in Laos and Thailand before moving to the United States at age 17. As a lifelong cook and fruit carving artist, this restaurant fulfilled a dream for Somvong.

The pandemic hurt Paitong’s business, just as it has many other restaurants, and in June of 2021, an illness forced the family to limit operating hours. Last year the Somvongs asked for the community’s help through a GoFundMe campaign. On the fundraising page, the owner’s daughter Alyssa Somvong expressed her hesitancy in seeking financial support from the community but explained its importance to her mother. “This has been the hardest thing to ask for, but I want to see my mom return to the restaurant where she belongs.” Although the restaurant continued operation after the GoFundMe campaign, the family ultimately needed to shut down this location.

Montavilla fans of Paitong Thai Cuisine will miss the food and friendly atmosphere created by Bounnam (Nancy) Somvong. The community appreciates the investments made by the Somvong family in the neighborhood and wishes them well in the years ahead.

Obscured 11 Townhouse Development

A planned development at 2321 SE 89th Avenue will add eleven new townhouses behind an existing single-family residence. The Land Use Review application indicates the property could soon support twelve homes with the new two-story units tucked behind the original single-story house built-in 1927. A five-food-wide paved walkway would lead to the townhouses from the street.

Additional onsite parking does not appear to be part of the application. However, the property is located 500 feet from SE Division Street, where the new TriMet FX 2-Division bus service will offer fast and frequent transportation. SE 89th Avenue is also a bike-friendly street with speed bumps to maintain slower automotive traffic.

This project provides near maximum density to the property while retaining the nearly 100-year-old home. Although the new construction is not invisible from the street, the design works to obscure the new townhomes from sight and maintain the visual continuity for the neighbors. If the land use is approved, the developers will need to secure building permits. The permitting process can take months to complete. Consequentially, work may wait until winter or sometime in 2023.

SE Stark Commercial Building for Sale

The owner of 8502-8504 SE Stark Street recently listed the property for sale. The multi-story building currently houses Unicorn Jiu JitsuSanctuary Tattoo & Piercing, and one other tenant. Businesses in the building likely will remain at the location beyond the building’s sale.

The property contains two attached structures. A previous owner completed construction on the street-facing two-story building in 2004, while the original building dates back to 1922. First built as a two-and-a-half-story home, the property later featured a single-story office addition, constructed in 1962. All structures now interconnect to offer 4,128 square feet of office and retail space.

1962 plumbing permit showing new one-story office building

The current owner of the building, Base Line Properties, bought the location from Forbidden Body Art in 2018. Prior to that, the building housed DMS Electric and Dynamic Lighting. The site contains a paved parking lot with alley and street access. Other financial benefits to the property are listed in the real estate flyer.

1924 Sanborn map showing 2110 E Stark Street, the original address of the property

Commercial properties often take longer to sell than residential properties. However, this property could attract interested investors as a fully occupied building and find a new owner within a few months. Contact Cole Peterson with Windermere Community Commercial Realty at 503-319-4267 or GrahamColePeterson@gmail.com to learn more or make an offer.

Residents Invited to May 26th Vestal Event

Later this month, Montavilla’s Vestal Elementary School will host its annual Social Justice Night. Starting at 4:30 p.m. on May 26th, Students and professional artists will showcase their work featuring collaborative artistic creations focused on community diversity and family identity. These themes represent two of Vestal’s five pillars of social justice. Organizers anticipate that this evening full of art, food, music, and community will strengthen the school’s role as a hub within this diverse neighborhood.

Funded in 2022 by a Metro’s Community Placemaking grant, with collaboration from PSU’s Artist as Citizen Initiative and arts nonprofit Montavilla Jazz, Vestal Elementary expects to expand programming for the yearly event. A welcoming dinner will occur before the performance at The Yard food carts, located directly across from the school, with complimentary meals coordinated with support from Samira Mohamed, owner of Mira’s East African Cuisine.

Before the event, the Artist as Citizen Initiative will lead PSU Capstone students and Vestal 4th graders in projects designed to build artistic skills in storytelling, interviewing, and creativity. All works center on community diversity and family identity, using information gathered in interviews with fellow students and community members. The artists will display their student-led social justice exhibits at the May event.

Located outdoors on the playground and inside the gymnasium at 161 NE 82nd Avenue, the Social Justice Night will include performances by renowned jazz musicians, including Grammy award-winning trombonist Denzel Mendoza. He is joined by Machado Mijiga, saxophonist Mary-Sue Tobin, and other performers and educators from the community.

For those who can not attend in person, PSU students will create a multipart podcast documentary featuring themes from the evening. PSU’s Sonic Arts and Music Production (SAMP) students and Friends of Noise will utilize field recordings captured during the creative phase of the project and at the May 26th event. Montavilla Jazz will distribute the podcast on montavillajazz.org, in addition to broadcasts on local radio stations.

Vestal community members, partners, and neighborhood residents are all invited to attend. Come hungry for food, music, and artistic expression.

NE 78th Eight Unit Row House Project

The new owner of 37 NE 78th Avenue is seeking Early Assistance ahead of constructing eight row houses. The developer intends to build four units on each of the property’s two lots. Demolition crews will need to remove the existing 1890-built structure to make way for the new homes.

The original building was a one-and-a-half-story small home, first addressed as 325 E. 78th Street North. In 1896, six years after its construction, the family added a second home to the large parcel. Records indicate that the Burke family owned the second home until the 1950s. By 1924, the two houses existed on separate lots, with the older one featuring a new address of 39 E. 78th Street North. In the 1930s renumbering of Portland, the home changed its address to 37 NE 78th Avenue.

325 E. 78th Street North Sanborn Map 1909

Over the years, previous owners of the 1890-era building added onto the house, erasing all signs of its original structure. Despite its age, it lost any historic architectural significance due to the additions and poor maintenance. The home’s 2021 real estate listing informed potential buyers that it would require a complete remodel or site redevelopment.

39 E. 78th Street North Sanborn Map 1924

If the City approves the site’s transformation, it will feature a 20-foot-long driveway between the two row-house buildings, possibly allowing for onsite parking. At 10,000 square feet, the combined property has suitable space to handle the eight planned units. A similar development on SE Washington Street fit ten row houses on a lot with comparable demotions. This project is in the pre-planning phase and could change before the developer submits building permits. With current permitting delays in Portland, construction will likely occur in 2023.