Category: Construction

MAX Blue Line Revitalize at 102nd

TriMet repair crews will close the MAX Blue Line this weekend between Gateway Transit Center and East 122nd Avenue. Shuttle bus service will transport MAX riders around the closure as workers revitalize tracks between the two stations and a rail crossing at East 102nd Avenue and Burnside Street. Construction will begin on September 23rd and be complete on the 26th. However, the Blue Line disruption and shuttle service will only occur during the weekend on the 24th and 25th.

Operators will adjust the MAX system during the four-day project, running all trains every 20 minutes throughout most of the day. Riders are encouraged to plan their trip ahead of time and check the trains’ location in real-time on trimet.org. Drivers in the area may also anticipate some disruption due to construction on the tracks. During the rail line interruption, extra TriMet staff at select stations will assist riders in making connections. Additional information about this transit disruption is available on the TriMet website.

I84 Closure at I205 Starting Sept. 23rd

TriMet construction crews will close a 1.5-mile stretch of Interstate 84 in both directions near the Interstate 205 interchange this weekend. The closure will begin on Friday night at 10 p.m. and reopen at 4 a.m. Monday morning. Additionally, barricades will block access to the NE 102nd Avenue on-ramp to I-84 west and the I-84 east Exit 7 Halsey/99nd Avenue off-ramp. This work supports the A Better Red project currently underway near the Gateway Transit Center.

The closures of I-84 will facilitate the construction of the new MAX light rail track parallel to an existing single-track segment of the Red Line. During the weekend shutdown, crews will continue building a new light rail bridge over the freeway, connecting the northern section of Portland’s Gateway Green Park and the Gateway Transit Center. Once completed, the bridge’s tracks will allow simultaneous bidirectional MAX traffic through the Gateway area, helping to alleviate bottlenecks and improve reliability across the MAX system. Crews will also install a new multi-use path to the mountain bike park alongside the new tracks. This added access route will make the recreation area more accessible to a variety of users and increase amenities in the space.

Rendering of the new Red Line bridge crossing I-84. Image courtesy TriMet

Drivers expecting to use I-84 should plan an alternate route between the evening of September 23rd and the morning of September 26th. Commuters should also anticipate more congestion than usual on I-205 as people detour around the closure. Buses will run regular service while construction takes place and offer an effective alternate travel method during the closure. While the traffic disruption will not affect transit service, some trips may take longer due to other work on the MAX Blue Line in Gresham. Additional information is available on the TriMet website.

Affordable Housing Site Divides

On August 8th, Oregon Metro filed a Land Use Review application to re-plat the existing lots that currently comprise 432 NE 74th Avenue. This work will reshape the site to create distinct properties for each new low-income building planned for the site. Interested persons have until 5 p.m. on September 12th, 2022, to provide email comments to the Bureau of Development Services planner.

By early 2023, demolition crews will remove the former Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) building at the NE Glisan site. Once crews clear the old TV studio, the developer will begin constructing 137 units of affordable housing split between two four-story buildings. The development will contain a wide assortment of apartments ranging from studio to four-bedroom units. All housing created by this project will serve families and individuals earning 30% or 60% of Area Median Income (AMI).

Site Map from re-plat application LU 22-128996 RP

The smaller structure at the northwest corner of the site will offer 41 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) reserved for Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), seniors, and people experiencing homelessness. This structure will occupy Parcel 1 of the re-platted property and cover most of the 11,016 square foot lot. Catholic Charities will provide case management and services to PSH tenants.

Parcel 2 will contain the larger “U” shaped building that provides the remaining 96 units of family-focused housing. Additionally, the 45,469 square feet lot will hold all site parking and courtyard amenities for the development. Management will reserve residences in this building for BIPOC, immigrant, refugee, and intergenerational families. Homes will range in floor space from 400 square feet to 1,200 square feet, with rents ranging from $507 to $1,616 per month. Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) will provide resident services at the family housing property.

Glisan and 74th Affordable Housing project’s site plan

Although the site will function harmoniously to meet affordable housing goals, each building has a specific focus and management organization that needs autonomy from each other. Separating the site into multiple parcels allows each facility to operate as an individual organization. Parcel 1 will become 7450 NE Glisan, and Parcel 2 will have the address of 451 NE 75th Avenue. Construction of each building could begin independently once this property division is approved. Expect to see this Land Use Review application approved within the next few months, ahead of the anticipated project ground-breaking in early 2023. The City has a website for those interested in following the project’s progress, and public comments will remain open for another twelve days.

Proposed Chick-fil-A on SE Stark

This month, the Chick-fil-A development team continued their preliminary work on redeveloping 9950 SE Stark Street. Designers have modified the project from the Early Assistance meeting last May. The current Early Assistance no longer seeks to demolish the approximately 7,012 square foot building or construct a drive-thru lane on the property. Instead, crews will rehabilitate the existing structure to host the fast food restaurant with 98 indoor seats. Plans still include some outdoor seating.

Currently zoned as Central Commercial (CX), City planners expect new developments on this property to maximize density and encourage urban activities. The CX zone allows projects with tall buildings placed close together. Developers working in this zone should create pedestrian-oriented structures with a strong emphasis on a safe and attractive streetscape. The proposed project on SE Stark Street will be a nonconforming use of the existing site. Portland allows noncomplying use within a zone when the building predates the new standards and only expects zone compliance to occur when property owners significantly redevelop the site. The status of nonconforming structures is not affected by changes in ownership or tenant. The project’s initial demolition and drive-thru-oriented redevelopment plan would need to adhere to the CX standards. This new renovation plan will create a different Chick-fil-A than most of the restaurant’s other locations but retain its nonconforming status and maintain the usage pattern of previous tenants.

The single-story structure, first built in 1984, hosted a wide range of restaurants and entertainment venues over the years. Rax Roast Beef owned the property until 1990. Recent tenets included Tony Roma’s restaurant, Hooters, Mystic Gentlemen’s Club, and Venue Gentlemen’s Club. If approved, Chick-fil-A will shift this location’s use back towards general fast food and away from adult-orientated services. The lack of a drive-thru window will limit some of the traffic impact experienced by the change in use. However, based on other Chick-fil-A locations, this could become one of the most popular destinations in the surrounding blocks and attract additional vehicles to the area. The project is likely months away from approval and may fail to move beyond the planning phase. Look for permit applications sometime next year if the City approves this site’s reuse.


Article originally published May 13th, 2022.

A recent land-use Early Assistance application indicates Chick-fil-A may soon open a new restaurant on SE Stark Street. If approved, developers will demolish the 1984-era building and construct a new fast food restaurant with a drive-thru window. Located at 9950 SE Stark Street, the 36,590 square-foot half-block property currently houses an adult entertainment club and bar.

The Chick-fil-A development team intends to construct a 4,991 square foot building with 98 indoor seats for guests. Outdoor canopies and an outdoor eating area with 12 patio seats would surround the new building. The property sits between SE Stark and SE Washington Streets, aligned at SE 99th Avenue near Mall 205. The site offers a variety of vehicle access points and is near the number 15 TriMet bus line. Other Chick-fil-A restaurants tend to attract many visitors, sometimes with lines spilling onto the neighboring street. However, this proposed Chick-fil-A is just six miles from the Clackamas restaurant and seven miles from the Gresham location. That density of stores may reduce peak demand for the proposed eatery and avoid traffic issues sometimes seen at other Chick-fil-A sites.

Developers use Early Assistance applications during the pre-planning phase of a project. Many proposals do not continue past this stage, and this Chick-fil-A may never materialize in this location. However, the addition of a popular destination restaurant in the area could draw in more visitors and improve business for neighboring stores. Expect to see updates regarding building permits if this project moves forward.

Washman Remodel Improves Facility and Sidewalks

Washman Car Wash in Montavilla will soon undergo a remodel designed to enhance the neighborhood’s walkability and expand the facility to meet demand. The auto spa company recently submitted a permit application to construct 31 new vacuum stations on the west side of the property. This expansion onto previously unused land allows for the decommissioning of thirteen vacuum units along NE 82nd Avenue, reducing the need for cars to cross the sidewalk for much of the block. Construction crews will also repair the worn sidewalk on NE 81st and 82nd Avenues.

Over the last 20 years, Washman purchased the adjacent lots west of its property at 315 NE 82nd Avenue. The cleared land has served as employee parking and storage in recent years. Now they will construct a new vacuum center on that undeveloped land and shift site operations west, away from the heavy traffic on NE 82nd Avenue and NE Glisan Street. The expanded area will eliminate the current congestion experienced on the property’s eastern edge, solving a long-standing annoyance for pedestrians walking around the business.

Blue lines indicate site for new vacuum stations. Image from Portland Maps

The Washman Car Wash is a busy location located on the corner of two well-traveled roads. Consequently, cars trying to enter or leave the property must do so quickly to match the flow of traffic. Cars tend to ignore the marked curb cuts and drive over the sidewalk to enter the business wherever space is available. Vehicles use alternative entry points so frequently that the sidewalk’s edge has deteriorated along most of the property’s frontage. This behavior creates a dangerous condition where drivers and pedestrians mix in unpredictable places, frustrating both parties. Washman’s location next door to Vestal Elementary School and kitty-corner to the Montavilla Park Community Center further intensifies this problem.

The need to improve the pedestrian realm around the site is a key part of Washman’s goals for this project. Although vehicles will still drive along the 82nd Avenue edge of the building to enter the car wash, removing the vacuums will provide extra space for the cars to queue up. The fence along the eastern property line will extend north, limiting vehicle access to only one curb cut on NE 82nd Avenue. Further adjustments will impose a right-turn-only limit on cars exiting onto NE Glisan Street. David Tarlow, Chief Financial Officer of Washman, explained that these changes should improve the conditions around this location, focusing on student wellbeing. “We believe this will result in less traffic near the school than there is now, and the SE 82nd sidewalk that borders our site will be less congested and safer with the removal of the vacuums.”

The permit calls for clearing some trees on the property near where crews will install the vacuum units. The project includes landscaping along the property’s west edge and paving the gravel areas. Permits for large commercial projects can take six to eighteen months for City staff to approve. Expect to see construction begin in 2023 unless there are unexpected delays. When this work is complete, the site should be safer for pedestrians and more convenient for customers to navigate.

Gravel employee parking lot to be paved and used for vacuum stations

Stormwater and Sidewalk Enhancements on E Burnside at NE 92nd Place

This week, crews began roadwork replacing corners and upgrading stormwater inlets at E Burnside Street and NE 92nd Place. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will create a curb extension at the northeast corner when reconstructing the sidewalk, increasing pedestrian visibility and shortening the travel distance across E Burnside Street. That design change required the relocation of an existing rainwater collector and the addition of a second inlet further west.

Northeast corner at E Burnside Street and NE 92nd Place before changes

Across the T intersection, on the south edge of E Burnside, workers will add a new curb ramp in alignment with the eastern crossing. That addition and the two corner improvements will provide a much-needed crosswalk for E Burnside Street. This segment of roadway allows drivers to travel from 82nd Avenue to 99th without stopping, creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians trying to cross.

New extended corner on NE 92nd Pl & NE Glisan St

Last week crews completed a similar project on the other end of NE 92nd Place at NE Glisan Street. Together, these projects create an accessible path from E Burnside Street to NE Glisan Street. However, NE 92nd Place lacks sidewalks or curbs, and its degraded street surface is a challenging path to navigate for people with limited mobility. With this recent investment by the City, this street is an ideal location for a future Local Improvement District (LID) or a City-funded sidewalk infill project. Look for construction to continue over the next few weeks with an occasional crosswalk closure. 

Lane Closures at SE 92nd and Division

Today, road crews closed multiple lanes of traffic along SE 92nd Avenue and Division Street to repave the intersection. Over the last several weeks, workers have reconstructed corner curb ramps at this junction as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOTOuter Division Safety Project. This fresh layer of asphalt will smooth and level the roadway, erasing the rough seams caused by recent construction.

All users of this intersection should practice caution and patience while navigating this area. Drivers should expect delays as crews divert traffic around the worksite, and pedestrians may need to detour to other crossings. PBOT expects repaving work to continue through Friday, August 12th.

Crash Damaged McDonald’s Repaired

Three months after a car collided with the McDonald’s restaurant at 8149 SE Stark Street, workers have begun to repair the damages. On May 4th, a vehicle jumped the curb and collided with the SE 82nd Avenue facing dining-room windows. Witness reports indicate the driver “was doing donuts” before crashing into the building.

Video of the post crash scene

Portland Police received the hit-and-run call at 9:43 p.m. A video posted on Instagram shows the store manager making the call. The vehicle entered the restaurant, destroying the aluminum framed storefront windows and the short wall underneath them. Fortunately, the dining room was vacant, and no one suffered injuries inside the restaurant. Crews have reconstructed the support wall and brick exterior, making way for the glazers to install replacement windows next week.

A similar crash occurred at this same restaurant last year. In both incidences, Police identified unsafe driving as the cause of the wrecks. The reoccurrence of damage at this location has not deterred the franchise owner from rebuilding. With luck, this will be the last restoration work at this location for a while.

Photo from May 5th 2022

Update August 18th: Glazers installed new windows in the repaired wall.

NE 97th Avenue LID Grid Restoration

Next summer, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will begin a multi-year project to reconnect portions of the City’s street grid east of Interstate 205. This work will slice up several long blocks, opening the way for new housing developments emphasizing walking, Biking, and public transportation. The project will span from NE 94th Avenue to NE 100th Avenue, with work occurring in two phases.

PBOT intends to begin Phase 1 work in mid-2023, completing sidewalk infill on NE 97th Avenue. Previous developments and public works projects added modern road infrastructure to NE 97th from NE Glisan Street to NE Davis Street. Crews will continue that work south to E Burnside Street. That area currently lacks curbs and sidewalks. This phase will also improve conditions on E Burnside Street from 94th Avenue to 97th Avenue. Portions of the sidewalk and road surface have deteriorated, particularly near the TriMet Max tracks that cross the westbound lane.

E Burnside Street at 94th Avenue Looking east

Planned for the Summer of 2024, Phase 2 of the project has a greater impact on the local streetscape. This work will create new streets and require significant private land dedication to complete. PBOT crews will build new segments of NE Couch Street from NE 97th to 99th avenues and NE Davis Street from NE 97th to 100th avenues. The project’s scope includes new streets, sidewalks, and stormwater improvements.

NE 97th Avenue and NE Couch / Davis LIDs from Portland Maps

As a Local Improvement District (LID), property owners will supply funding for this $15 million project with tax increment financing (TIF) from the Gateway Urban Renewal Area and a transportation system development charge (TSDC). PBOT will cover overhead costs incurred by managing this project.

Developer Joe Westerman and his companies own the majority of the affected properties in the LID. That concentrated ownership likely helped drive the City’s efforts to reconnect streets and will allow a significant change in road use. Although near the I205 Multi-use Path, this section of Portland is challenging to navigate outside of a car. Long blocks force pedestrians onto busy roadways and extend walking distances as people double back to reach a destination. Walkable and bike-able streets near public transit reduce the number of parking spaces needed, allowing for larger developments that maximize land usage and housing density.

NE 97th Avenue at NE Davis Street looking towards E Burnside

In 2019, this area received a surge in development interest, with one project at the corner of E Burnside Street and NE 97th Avenue receiving design approval. Other projects stalled in the Early Assistance phase of development, including a six-story building with 77 units. These planned improvements could help reignite developer interest in this area and spur a new wave of housing construction. Look for road crews to begin work next summer and prepare for new streets in 2024.

East Montavilla Sanborn Map 1928

Large Mixed-use Development on NE 102nd

Tomorrow, Portland’s Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will conduct a Pre-Application Conference to discuss a mixed-use development at 811 NE 102nd Avenue. The developer’s proposal includes 199 housing units and approximately 22,000 square feet of ground floor commercial and residential amenity space. The eighteen proposed buildings at the site are up to three stores tall and offer a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom units. 

The development’s commercial spaces are concentrated along NE 102nd Avenue, wrapping around the corner of NE Pacific Street. Developers will locate residential amenity space along the remaining street frontage of NE Pacific Street. Perpendicular parking spaces line the private streets throughout the complex, hidden behind the mixed-use buildings along the property’s edge. 

Residents will access parking from NE 102nd Avenue. However, the project has a 32-foot-wide dedication on the property’s southern edge in alignment with NE Oregon Street. That indicates a forthcoming road extension connecting NE Oregon Street with NE 100th Avenue after the David Douglas School District redevelops its adjacent property to the west. That would allow additional vehicle access to the site.

This large project would trigger sidewalk improvements, creating a fifteen-foot-wide pedestrian zone along NE 102nd Avenue and NE Pacific Street. This project is within walking distance of the Gateway Transit center and across the street from Fred Meyer Grocery. Although this location has sufficient bus and Max service, the project includes 148 parking spaces.

This mixed-use project is in early development, and the design will likely change before the developers submit permit applications. However, this long-vacant lot could soon become the home for many people seeking housing in this area. Expect to hear more about this site in 2023 as plans begin to take shape.