Category: Demolition

New Townhouses on Burnside

Demolition crews are actively deconstructing the single-family residence at 7424 E Burnside Street. When the property is clear of the 1949 era single-story home, work will begin on three new townhomes at this site. Another detached residential building will remain on the west portion of the property. Consequentially, crews will cap shared utilities near the old foundation instead of at the sidewalk, maintaining services at the other structure during construction.


Original article published on September 20th, 2021

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.

Park Picnic Shelter Demolished

Last week, demolition crews removed the picnic shelter and wading pool at Montavilla Park. Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) decommissioned both structures years ago due to health and safety concerns. This recent work clears the way for constructing a new open-air building of similar size. Construction crews expect to begin that project later this Fall

Funds for removal and reconstruction of the picnic shelter only recently became available, thanks to voters approving Measure 26-213 last November. City staff granted permits for this project in October of 2020, but pandemic-related restraints pushed back the project. Even with new levy funds secured earlier this year, PP&R could not schedule work immediately due to the substantial backlog of other work ahead of this one. However, now that work had begun, the site should transform quickly.

The deconstructed picnic shelter’s “H” configuration will be replaced by an 86-foot by 28-foot reticular covering. The new structure will feature a metal roof and have exposed wood rafters. Open gable ends, and a 23-foot high cathedral ceiling will provide ample natural light into the shelter. A stark contrast to the dark low-slung building now demolished. When completed, the area around the new structure will contain more green space and less pavement.

Plan detail courtesy City of Portland

Expect to see construction crews onsite in the following months building the replacement picnic shelter. If PP&R can keep to their schedule, users of the park will have covered space available during the cold and damp winter season.


Photos in this article by Weston Ruter

Demo of 1910 House on 74th

UPDATE – Demolition crews are finished deconstructing the 1910 era house at 524 NE 74th Ave. All that remains is filling in the basement and leveling the lot. No active building permits exist for this property.

House partially deconstructed
House taken down to foundation

Original article posted June 22nd, 2021

The owners of 524 NE 74th Ave plan to clear the property of all structures. Permits 21-054340 and 21-054334 seek to remove the hundred-year-old house and detached garage from the site. As of yet, there are no public plans to replace the building.

Located behind the Hour Glass Pub & Eatery, the single-story building is near the corner of NE 74th Ave and Glisan Street. Although still habitable, the house looks neglected and needing substantial repairs. Blue tarps are covering holes in the sagging roof. Chipped paint has given way to rot in the siding.

The building completed construction in 1910 with an address of 142 E 74th Street North. In the early 1930s, Portland renumbered its streets, changing most addresses in the area. This house still displays the city-provided black text on white tiles given out during that program. The house appears in the 1924 Sanborn map with a smaller garage positioned closer to NE 74th Ave. Around this time, an advertisement in The Oregon daily journal listed this property for sale at a value of $2600. “SALE — Furnished 5-room house near carline, $2600: terms. 142 E. 74th st. N.”

Digital Sanborn map 1924 74th and E Glisan streets

The house has seen only minor changes in its hundred years. Previous owners filled in the cutout front porch at some point. Otherwise, its form is close to what the builders created in 1910. It is an example of a midrange home for its time. Its hipped roof with a gabled dormer adds craftsman detail to the house. However, the front windows feature an architectural cheat. The large center window flanked by two skinny windows imitates the look of a bay window without the complicated framing to create the threedimensional characteristic. Although historic by age, it does not feature unique architectural elements and is not a great candidate for restoration.

After demolition crews raze the above-ground buildings, they will fill in the basement and cap water and sewer lines. The property is not subject to the 35-day demolition delay, allowing removal of both structures as soon as the permits are approved. Redevelopment of the site should begin sometime after the lot is free of buildings.

Apartment Complex on NE Hoyt

Developers will soon build twenty-four apartment units on NE Hoyt Street, creating greater housing density near a transit corridor. The proposal splits these homes between two multi-story buildings on a 100 foot-wide lot. A previous demolition permit seeks to remove the duplex currently at the site. The project is across a dead-end street from Gracelyn Commons, a fifteen-house development in phase two of construction.

A recent permit application reveals plans for a three-story building with twelve apartments. The application references another unannounced building next to it featuring an inverted layout. “New 12 unit 3-story apartment project at 9022 NE Hoyt st. Mirror image to apartment complex at 9032 NE Hoyt.” Provision Group bought this property in September of 2020 and has yet to demolish the existing homes on the property.

The design of the apartment complex is not yet public, and the issue of onsite parking is undetermined. The project’s designer, Bayard Mentrum Architecture, is currently working with the same developer on a nine-unit apartment near 8115 SE Yamhill StreetOther twin building developments in the area share a common center pathway between the two buildings. The designer may use a similar space-saving approach to this project. It is also possible to create tuck-under parking with a shared center driveway, although that sacrifices a considerable amount of habitable space. For this reason, many modern apartment projects reduce onsite parking capacity, particularly when near public transit options.

Located at 9022 NE Hoyt Street, these apartments are within walking distance from the Gateway Transit Center and joins other density-focused developments in the area. Up to now, Gateway area development has occurred east of I205. This northeast corner of Montavilla offers many of the same enticing transportation options that attract high-capacity housing across the freeway. This project on NE Hoyt Street is likely the first of many such apartment projects coming to the area.

PGF Arsonist Apprehended

The same week that demolition crews finished tearing down the fire-damaged building at 408 SE 79th Ave, Portland Police apprehended the person they believe set that building ablaze. The early morning fire from April 19th consumed the two-story building that housed the Portland Garment Factory, forcing that business to close until they can relocate. The arrest of the accused arsonist should alleviate community concern over a repeated incident.

On June 9th, Portland Police took a 48-year-old woman into custody on charges of second-degree arson and reckless burning related to the April 19th incident. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) said an executed search warrant yielded evidence connecting the suspect to the fire. According to a June 10th Willamette Week story, investigators received a tip from a community member who had witnessed the accused’s activity near the fire. In addition, that same witness identified the person in the surveillance video of the incident by her clothing and gait.

Although authorities have found a suspect in the incident, the damage caused by that fire is significant. Montavilla now has a vacant lot where a historic building once stood, and a business lost everything overnight. Fortunately, Portland Garment Factory will reopen in a new location, thanks in part to a GoFundMe campaign that collected over $118,000. Eventually, a new building will replace the one lost, and the damage suffered in the community will fade from memory. Until then, residents can consider the incident resolved and look to better events in the future.

UPDATE – Earlier today, the editor took this article offline while investigating a reported error. A reader said that the accused person was no longer a suspect and released. However, an official confirmed that the person arrested for this crime was released on pretrial supervision. The DA is proceeding with the grand jury.

Montavilla News will not publish the accused person’s name until convicted.

Fire Damaged Building’s Demolition

Today, crews began tearing down the fire-damaged building located at 408 SE 79th Ave. Once the home of Portland Garment Factory, the building suffered complete devastation at the hands of an arsonist. Much of the wood structure burned away in the fire, leaving the unreinforced masonry walls ready to collapse. Demolition experts are addressing the tallest sections of the building first, working their way down and forward.

The fire broke out in the early morning of April 19th and burned for hours. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) responded to reports of a fire around 3:30 AM. The two-story commercial building is surrounded on both sides by parking lots, preventing the fire from spreading. On April 20th PF&R filed a Dangerous Building report stating that the “exterior walls [are] at risk of collapse.” Soon residents observed the back wall’s separation from the southern side of the building.

The full extent of the demolition process is unknown and may only address hazardous sections of the structure. Built 90 years ago for the Montavilla ice factory, the building underwent many alterations over the decades. Compared to the back two-story portion, the single-story part of the building is constructed out of concrete and suffered only minor structural damage during the fire. However, the cost of salvaging half the building could be unjustified and challenging to reuse.

Look for continued demolition of the building over the next few weeks. The final repurposing of the property is likely years away and may be dependent on a future tenant’s ambitions.

back wall’s separation

UPDATE – Added demolition progress pictures. May 20th, 2021.


UPDATE – Added demolition progress pictures. May 21st, 2021. Back wall is halfway demolished.


UPDATE – May 24th, 2021. Heavy equipment is onsite and working its way into the buildings core. Demolition will progress more quickly in the coming days.


UPDATE – Added demolition progress pictures. May 26th, 2021


UPDATE – Added demolition progress pictures. May 27th, 2021


UPDATE – Added demolition progress pictures. May 28th, 2021

Fire Destroys Garment Factory

A fire broke out early morning at the Portland Garment Factory located at 408 SE 79th Ave. The 1931 era building suffered a complete structural collapse of its wood structure. The masonry portion of the building remains intact, but the building’s internal structure is a total loss. Representatives from Paul Davis Restoration, who are securing the site, indicated that the whole building is likely unsalvageable and requires demolition.

Portland Fire & Rescue responded to reports of a fire around 3:30 AM Monday. They found the building engulfed in flames and worked to contain the fire from spreading. The two-story commercial building is surrounded on both sides by parking lots. A single-story building on SE 80th abuts the rear wall of the Garment Factory. Damage to that building is not apparent.

Portions of SE Stark Street, SE 80th Ave, and SE 79th Ave are closed while fire crews continue to monitor the extinguished fire and prevent flare-ups. A GoFundMe donation page was established to help Portland Garment Factory rebuild their business ( https://gofund.me/19ab100f ).

Stark Street blocked by fire crews.

UPDATE – Building demolition begins on May 19th, 2021.

Multnomah University A-Frame Demo

Multnomah University will demolish the structurally-compromised A-Frame building on the northeast portion of the campus. The damp wooded environment surrounding the structure’s all-wood construction caused its gradual decline over the last decade. Consequently, the building served as a storage space for the school during the previous nine years.

According to Gina Berquist, Vice President of Enrollment Management at the University, staff reluctantly chose to remove the building from a concern for students’ and employees’ wellbeing. “It was a difficult decision to make to demolish it, but we believe our campus will be safer because of it.” Demolition Permit 21-027906 is currently under review but is not subject the Portland’s 35-day delay period.

In 1974, one of the university’s founding presidents, Dr. Willard Aldrich, commissioned the A-Frame’s construction. It served as an event space, study hall and housed student government offices before becoming storage space. Multnomah University has not announced plans to replace this building after its demolition.


UPDATE – June 5th 2021 add image of site after A-Frame’s removal.

Garage Demolished on SE 88th

Earlier this month, crews demolished the detached garage at 8739 SE Washington Street to make way for a new home. Only a concrete slab remains from the original structure. The existing 1947 era home will stay on the property, unaltered by this work.

Demolition permit 20-180023 allowed for the deconstruction of the detached garage. Land Use 19-267610 will separate the property into two lots. The scale and amenities of the future house are not yet known. However, with the demolition completed, progress on this development can now progress.

Garage before demolition

Current empty lot

Dual Townhouses with ADU on NE 90th

Demolition of the structure at 311 NE 90th Ave will make way for two new townhouses. Each unit will include an attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and a single-car garage. The homes will stand three-stories tall, making them the tallest residential buildings in the area.

Building permit applications 21-014741 and 21-014751 join the approved demolition permit 20-184208 for this project. Each new home will support an ADU, giving the future owners additional rental revenue or space for a multigenerational family. Being across the street from Columbia Christian School‘s playground, the new homes will be ideal for young families. However, NE 90th Ave currently lacks curbs and sidewalks, making pedestrians less safe. Potentially, this project could create a small segment of sidewalk around the corner lot, improving pedestrian access somewhat.

This development offers a great deal of housing density with limited impact on the neighborhood. Being positioned between NE Glisan and E Burnside Streets, it has access to two major bus lines and the Max line. Each home will provide one onsite parking space. ADU residents can use public transportation or park curbside. Look for construction to begin soon after demolition crews clear the existing structure.