Last weekend, the long-dormant parking lot at 7601 SE Division Street reopened its gates, officially welcoming vehicle storage again. Universal Parking operates this unstaffed location, charging $5 per day for parking. The Lot is open 24 hours a day, and customers provide payment through a mobile webpage accessed by scanning an advertised QR code. Outside a few new signs and a security camera, the site’s operator has done little to clean up the property. The parking facility still appears abandoned, as it has since 2015.
For decades, Kaiser Permanente owned this nearly full-acre corner parcel, most recently using it for staff parking. Nicholas Diamond of Capacity Commercial bought the property in 2015 and has since explored several development opportunities. However, those did not materialize into permitted projects. Now he is interested in earning revenue from the parking lot while considering development plans. “This is not leased nor owned by Universal Parking. Universal Parking was approached to operate this location by the owner and is currently operating this location in an exploratory manner,” explained Dimitri Moustakas, a Universal Parking representative. “We are monitoring this location closely for revenue, use, and any security incidents such as crime or homelessness, which may lead the owner to close this location again. If all goes well without incident, we intend to continue operating until the owner decides to do something else with the property.”
An enforcement patrol randomly monitors the site for parking compliance. However, Universal Parking cautions customers to secure their vehicles. “There is no security, no staff, and parking is always at the parker’s own risk and expense,” said Moustakas. Despite the lack of security, it is a fenced and secluded parking lot that could prove useful to some people, including those relying on street parking. This location is within walking distance of Portland Community College’s SE Campus, where the full-day parking fee is also $5. The success of this location has yet to be determined, and its current appearance could detract from its popularity. However, more frequent use of this property should deter abuse and further decline while it waits for redevelopment.
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