Category: Construction

4 New Townhomes on NE 74th

The new owners of a single-family residence at 423 NE 74th Avenue will soon remove the 100-year-old building. In its place, the developers will create four new townhomes in an area of NE Montavilla seeing substantial development. This 5,000 square foot lot sits next door to a recently completed apartment building and across NE 74th Avenue from the proposed affordable housing complex breaking ground next year.

Riverside Carpentry bought the 900-square-foot home in April of 2022. A month later, they applied to demolish the house and detached garage. In mid-September, the developer submitted building permit applications for a project consisting of four two-story townhomes. Each residence will reside on its own lot. Plans do not call for onsite parking for this project.

Image from Portland Maps

This infill development joins other recent high-density housing centered around NE Glisan street west of NE 82nd Avenue. Similar projects are underway at 432 NE 73rd Avenue and 319 NE 75th Avenue. Although the Mt Tabor Villas building on NE 74th Avenue predates Metro’s purchase of the former Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) location, other recent developments seem centered around the future low-income housing complex. Even before the construction began at the TBN site, the message from officials was clear. Density housing is the future for this area.

Within a few years, many more people will reside off NE Glisan Street. The added residents should boost nearby businesses, and the late-night activity could deter some malicious activities in the area. Eventually, other properties on the surrounding blocks will have economic pressure to convert to residential or mixed-use, bringing in even more people and businesses to the area. NE Glisan will take years to mature, but current building trends indicate that change is already underway.

423 NE 74th Avenue after it sold in April 2022

New Townhome addresses

  • 451 NE 74th Avenue
  • 453 NE 74th Avenue
  • 455 NE 74th Avenue
  • 457 NE 74th Avenue

191 Apartments Proposed on SE Division

The new owners of a large warehouse at 8301 SE Division Street recently proposed a transformation to the 30,000-square-foot property. Last month, Diamond Plaza LLC applied for Early Assistance with the creation of 191 apartment units over 4,390 square feet of ground-floor retail space. A veteran of similar projects, Hoff Construction Group, will manage the site’s development.

Only 50 feet of the property exists on SE Division Street. Most site access occurs along SE 83rd Avenue. The lot is in a Commercial Mixed Use 2 (CM2) zone with a Centers Main Street (m) overlay. That will allow buildings with four stories, except in locations where bonuses allow up to five levels. The M overly requires active ground floor commercial uses with windows and a minimum building footprint covering a large portion of the site. This overlay also limits certain auto-oriented uses and favors compact, walkable design.

Image from Portland Maps

Division Street has seen many recent high-density mixed-use development in the last decade. However, few of those projects extend east past 82nd Avenue. In 2019, Hoff Construction Group completed a similarly sized complex to what designers proposed at SE 83rd and Division. That project at 2595 SE 50th Avenue created the Division Street Station apartment building with a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units. If both developments are indeed comparable, it could indicate a significant change for this section of East Portland, with the influx of new residents helping fill retail vacancies in adjacent properties like the Pacific Plaza.

Tran’s Auto Body last occupied the green 8,999 square-foot warehouse now at the site. That automotive services company recently ceased operation after two decades. Upon closing the business, Quy Tran sold the SE Division Street property to Diamond Plaza LLC. The Mt. Hood Building Supply company was one of the original tenants of this 1970-built structure, using the large metal building for lumber storage. Its early uses shaped the utilitarian design of the site, and subsequent businesses did not alter it much over the years.

This location’s current configuration reflects an industrial past that now seems out of place next to Portland Community College and the pedestrian-scale retail developments along the street. Converting this location to housing aligns with the efforts of Jade District leaders and other community groups working in this area. Most people should welcome the new mixed-use building if it is approved. 

The current proposal is only in the Early Assistance phase of development. Details of the project will likely change before the owners apply for building permits. However, any significant construction on this site will improve SE 83rd Avenue. That street only has 230 feet of sidewalk along its western edge. Work at this property will create 360 feet of new sidewalk and replace pavement on its eastern side of the roadway, improving the utility of this currently dead-end street. Expect further updates regarding this project in 2023 as designers refine their plans for this transformative redevelopment.

Corner Reconstruction Near Park on SE 92nd

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) intends to update the sidewalk corners along SE 92nd Avenue at Taylor and Yamhill Streets. These intersections provide multimodal access for pedestrians traveling to Berrydale Park and the adjacent public school. Work will add ramps to crossing points that currently lack them and replace outdated single-ramp corners.

Circles indicate curb ramp construction. Image from Portland Maps with illustrations by Montavilla News

Corners at these two intersections will use a dual ramp configuration that allows pedestrians to travel in a straight path across the roadway. Older single-ramp designs direct uses towards the intersection’s center point and require wheel-assisted pedestrians to change direction twice while crossing a street. Crews will also add a mid-block ramp to compensate for the shifted alignment of SE Taylor Street. New ramps will use the raised truncated dome pads at the street’s edge. Those yellow strips provide detectable warnings to people with vision impairments. The distinctive surface pattern of bumps are detectable by cane or underfoot, alerting people to street crossings and hazardous drop-offs.

Unlike other recent corner reconstructions in the area, this project will not incorporate curb extensions. Those sidewalk enhancements reduce pedestrian crossing distances and place the sidewalk zone at the outer edge of the parking lane. Road crews previously constructed curb extensions at SE 92nd Avenue and Market Street. However, that work was part of the East Portland Access to Employment and Education project that prioritized bike and pedestrian safety.

These sidewalk corner enhancements will assist school children and park users in traveling to their destinations. In 2024, Berrydale Park should see an increase in usage after a $3.75 million renovation planned for the currently sleepy city green space. Work may occur this year. However, as winter approaches, this project could push back to 2023. Pedestrians using these sidewalks should anticipate some detours when work begins.

Mid-block ramp in alignment with SE Taylor Street

New Corners on NE 74th and Glisan

City engineers plan to improve three sidewalk corners at NE 74th Avenue and NE Glisan Street. Construction at the adjacent affordable housing project will reconstruct the fourth corner of this intersection sometime next year. Although curb ramps already exist at this intersection, they no longer conform to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and need updating.

The NE Glisan Street crossing at 74th Avenue serves a crucial role in pedestrian and bicycle transit. The next closest controlled intersection is nearly 2,000 feet away in either direction. Only a Rapid Flash Beacon (RFB) at NE 78th Avenue provides any other protected crossing in the immediate area, and vehicles often fail to yield to people using those signals. The recorded audio at that RFB acknowledges this fact in its message. “Please use caution. Vehicles may not stop.” Consequentially, many non-automotive travelers use the 74th Avenue crossing.

Northwest corner of NE 74th Avenue and NE Glisan Street

The curb reconstruction work will relocate some stormwater drains and expand the sidewalk by extending the corner further into the street. However, this will not incorporate the curb extensions that reduce pedestrian crossing distances and place the sidewalk zone at the outer edge of the parking lane, similar to what crews constructed at NE 79th Avenue. Although those infrastructure features would likely make the intersection even safer, extended sidewalks would interfere with a nearby TriMet stop by blocking the bus as it pulls away from the curb.

The sidewalk updates to NE Glisan Street at NE 74th Avenue will increase the utility of this crossing for pedestrians by providing flush curb ramps and reducing the flooding seen at these corners during heavy rain. Look for work to begin in the next few months and anticipate minor detours while crews are on site.

Northeast corner of NE 74th Avenue and NE Glisan Street

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. 


Update September 26th, 2022: Work on the two corners is near complete.