Category: Construction

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.

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

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

SE Division Turn-Lane Reconfigured

This month, construction crews began lane reconfiguration work on SE Division Street near SE 92nd Ave. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will replace a continuous painted center turn-lane with physical separation and left turn controls. Portions of the center divider will transform into a raised median with street trees and pedestrian islands. This work is part of the Outer Division Safety Project and the Division Transit Project.

Out past 82nd Ave, SE Division Street features five lanes dedicated to automobiles traffic. Two lanes accommodate vehicles traveling westbound, and two are for eastbound traffic. The fifth lane is a multi-directional turn-lane used for short distances while executing a turn. PBOT determined that a significant number of crashes occurred to vehicles using the turn-lane. By adding a raised center median to SE Division, PBOT expects to reduce collisions between cars and produce safer pedestrian crosswalks.

Example of marked left turn space. Image courtesy of PBOT

Creating a raised median will change how drivers access businesses and side streets. The continuous divider will restrict left turns along the road except for designated areas. Drivers needing to access a location on the left side of the road may need to drive past their destination and execute a U-Turn at a marked left turn space. This configuration confines cross-traffic to specific locations and eliminates head-on collisions by cars using the turn-lane simultaneously.

Image courtesy of TriMet

Non-motorists will also benefit from the raised median. A lane-width divider will provide a mid-crossing island for pedestrians to safely wait for cars to stop. This protective space allows two shorter crossings and reduces the length of time both directions of traffic need to stop when yielding to foot traffic. Additionally, bicycle commuters will be less vulnerable to unexpected cross-traffic with the new configuration. The raised median does not resolve all bicycle collision issues. However, it will reduce those interactions to marked intersections where there should be better visibility.

Work on SE Division will continue until the Summer of 2022. Look for disruptions to normal traffic flow over the coming months as crews install the permeant median. Drivers and pedestrians should use extra caution in this area as people adjust to the new configuration.

Glisan EV Chargers Near Completion

Electrify America recently installed four Electric Vehicle (EV) recharge spaces in Fred Meyer’s parking lot as part of their nationwide network. Electricians have nearly completed the work required to electrify the new charging stations at 6615 NE Glisan Street. At the current pace of construction, chargers should become available for use this month or soon after.

This project includes landscaper shrubbery to conceal the equipment area that feeds power to the customer accessible equipment. A barrier around the utility zone will use 8 foot high Trex fencing, shielding the large equipment bank from view and protecting people from the high-voltage equipment.

Future EV customers will pay between $0.31 per kWh and $0.43 per kWh when this location opens. The four spaces are reserved for people charging their vehicles, and turnover on the space will be encouraged. Ten minutes after a charging session completes, an idle fee of $0.40 per minute is added to the customer’s bill. 

Completing this project should encourage more visitors to the area, building on the already increased foot traffic seen on NE Glisan. EV customers have hours of free time during the charge session and look to local businesses to fill that gap in their schedule. Expect to see vehicles charging at one of these spaces soon.

July 1st – Crews installed electrical conduit
July 25th – Crews completed underground work and resurfaced the parking lot
July 25th – Electrical pad surrounded by new landscaping and posts are placed for fencing
August 2nd – Electricians wire chargers

New Fire Hydrants on SE 82nd Ave

Beginning last week, crews with the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) opened up portions of 82nd Ave to repair damage to the water main and install two new fire hydrants. Over the weekend, open trench construction diverted all traffic onto the southbound lanes, reducing five lanes down to two. Work focused on a short section of SE 82nd Ave from E Burnside Street to SE Pine Street.

Installation of the fire hydrants is part of the PWB Hydrant Asset Management Plan. However, the project’s timeline moved up to coincide with unplanned maintenance to damaged pipes. “This was an emergency repair to a leaking two-inch galvanized water main,” explained Jaymee Cuti, Public Information Officer with the Portland Water Bureau. With the street opened for leak repair, crews could accomplish both projects simultaneously.

New fire hydrant east side of SE 82nd Ave at 110 SE 82nd Ave.

One new hydrant is on the southeast corner of SE 82nd Ave and SE Ash Street. The second unit is positioned mid-block in front of 110 SE 82nd Ave. The added fire hydrants shorten the distance between fire-engine connection points on 82nd Ave, safeguarding the growing number of businesses in the area by providing continuous water to firefighters.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) assisted the PWB in restoring the roadway to a drivable condition. Construction has disrupted traffic in the area, but the confined work site prevented wide-reaching congestion. All traffic disruptions should clear by Tuesday.

New hydrants shown as red dots, existing hydrants are blue dots
New fire hydrant east side of SE 82nd Ave on the southeast corner of Ash Street
PBOT owned LeeBoy Asphalt Paver
Crews repairing roadway

Skatepark Meeting and Survey

Last Thursday, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) held the first public engagement session for the Berrydale Park Skatepark Project. Staff invited community members to share their desires for the Park and participate in an online survey. The survey questions focus on the skatepark attributes and style. Other questions gather demographic information and gauge interest in general Park improvements that could become part of this project.

The event featured poster boards displaying four panels that included a multitude of skatepark design options. The same images appear in the survey to guide specific questions. The chosen images do not represent any particular plans for this Park but instead, provide general examples of various skatepark designs. The survey will remain open until Thursday, July 30.

Last week’s meeting was the first of three events that will take place ahead of construction. The following public engagement sessions will take place in Fall 2021 and Winter 2022. Crews will begin work in Spring of 2023, with a targeted completion date of Fall 2024. Much of the design work is months away. However, PP&R planers have determined the placement of the skatepark and committed to frontage improvements around the Park.

As part of this project, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will require sidewalks, curbs, and curb ramps around Berrydale Park’s parameters. Currently, SE Talyor Street and SE 89th Ave do not have sidewalks. Improvements may also come to the existing sidewalk on SE 92nd Ave. The park improvement presentation in the Fall will include some design details around this frontage work.

Image from Google Maps

PP&R coordinated with the neighboring Creative Science School to place the skatepark within the Park’s southeast corner. School administrators requested that its position allow school staff to see into the area from the school parking lot. Additionally, PP&R planners wanted to avoid any tree removal or demolition of existing park amenities. A small clearing near the school meets both conditions and provides a clear choice for placement.

Participate in the online survey within the next few days and look for a notice regarding the next phase of planning in the Fall. Outside of the survey, direct questions and comments about this project to Ken Rumbaugh, PP&R Community Engagement Coordinator, at 971-269-9042 or ken.rumbaugh@portlandoregon.gov

Berrydale Skatepark Design Outreach

Today, July 15th, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) will hold its first community outreach event ahead of building a new Skatepark at Berrydale Park. The in-person meeting will begin at 5:30 PM and run until 7:30 PM. Presenters will share vision boards and discuss the Berrydale Park Skatepark Project with attendees. To attend, gather at the corner of SE 92nd Ave and Salmon Street at 5:30 PM. 

The second community meeting will occur sometime in the Fall of 2021. More information is available on the project’s website.


Original Story published May 12th, 2021

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) recently created a Berrydale Park Skatepark Project page, featuring information about the proposed new amenities and a tentative schedule for community involvement with the planning process. The first community engagement meeting will occur this summer and is the best opportunity for residents to shape this development.

Funding for the new skatepark will come from System Development Charges (SDC) and not the City’s general budget, currently in negation. These enhancements are made possible thanks in part to voters approving Measure 26-213 last year. With additional funding, the park may gain improved pathways, updated playground equipment, and new site furnishings. Those furnishings could include lighting, drinking fountains, benches, trash cans, and signage.

When announced last month, there was substantial community interest in this project. PP&R quickly mobilized a Community Engagement Coordinator to lead this part of the development and start the outreach process. Below is the rough schedule for project milestones, of which the first four involve public communication. For the firm date of this summer’s listening session, keep an eye on the Berrydale Park Skatepark Project page and make time to express your vision for the park’s future.


  • Community Meeting 1 (Summer 2021) – Primarily a listening session. What’s important to the community?
  • Community Meeting 2 (Fall 2021) – Present skate park and park improvement design options based on what we heard in the first meeting.
  • Community Meeting 3 – (Winter 2022) – Refinements to designs we heard during meeting #2. We aim to cultivate community support. 
  • Community Meeting 4 (TBD) – (If necessary)
  • Conceptual Design and Analysis – August 2021 to January 2022
  • Construction Documentation – February 2022 to June 2022
  • Permitting and Bidding – July 2022 to July 2023
  • Construction – July 2023 to April 2024
  • Grand Opening – Summer 2024

Officials Tour 82nd Ave Ahead of Improvements

Today, three elected officials toured SE 82nd Ave to highlight proposed safety investments coming to the roadway. Thanks to United States Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the recently passed US House infrastructure package contains $5 million for 82nd Ave safety improvements. These federal dollars will join $185 million in State and City funds previously committed to 82nd Ave improvements as part of the jurisdictional transfer of the State-owned highway to the City of Portland.

State Representative Khanh Pham and Portland City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty joined Rep. Blumenauer on the July 9th walk from SE Hawthorne Blvd to the APANO offices on SE Division Street. Positioned on the sidewalks of 82nd Ave, members of the procession observed the failing infrastructure and talked about future repairs.

Along the journey, Comm. Hardesty and others address the concern that gentrification often follows transit improvement projects. The group agreed that 82nd Ave projects need to consider their impact on existing residents and businesses to minimize displacement. Preventing community upheaval was a concern echoed later by Rep. Blumenauer at the press conference that followed today’s tour. “There is a significant amount of wealth to be generated by doing it right, but we have to do it… so it doesn’t displace and drive people away.” He called for projects to “reinforce the elements of community” and kickstart developments that serve all income levels.

At the press conference, the speakers celebrated the infrastructure improvements coming to the roadway. Better lighting and enhanced crosswalks will provide residents near this street the same safety other Portlanders have within their neighborhoods. These upgrades join public transportation developments designed to make living along 82nd Ave feasible.

These infrastructure improvements make the area suitable for more density housing projects that use the untaped real estate above commercial spaces. Rep. Pham expressed dismay at the number of “Mega Storage Units” being created along the roadway. Rep. Blumenauer agreed that those facilities negatively affect community-building efforts. He explained that Self Storage businesses allow companies to hold onto land and generate some profit while they wait for the value of the property to rise, creating “black holes in the community.”

Rep. Blumenauer is a longtime believer in East Portland’s potential. Years ago, he aggressively pressed for PCC’s to expand into the Southeast, with the desire to create social destinations. Much of 82nd Ave’s transportation move people through the area instead of bringing people in. “82nd Ave is the highest volume of transit in the city [and] it has been a lost opportunity for as long as I remember,” Rep. Blumenauer recalled. Fortunately, investments coming to the highway will create the safe spaces people need to live, walk, and build their community. 

Early next year, 82nd Ave will become part of Portland’s network of roads and begin receiving upgrades to make the street safe and modern. Last month, the Oregon legislature approved $80 million in funds that will partially pay for 82nd Ave’s transfer to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. It was one of the last obstacles to overcome ahead of next year’s jurisdictional transfer.

Rep. Blumenauer praised the work of Rep. Pham and Comm. Hardesty on their efforts to move the decades-long transfer process near completion. It required countless hours of negotiations before State and City staff agreed to the terms of transfer. However, the agreement would have stalled if not for an influx of federal recovery funding. Years of work needed to coincide with the right timing for infrastructure investments. Today’s events represented an acknowledgment that supporters won the fight for change on 82nd Ave. Now, efforts will shift to enacting projects that build up the community without pushing people out.

Glisan EV Charging Under Construction

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.

July 1st – Crews installed electrical conduit
July 1st – Crews installed electrical conduit

UPDATE – Corrected link to electrifyamerica.com July 6th, 2021.