Category: New Business

US Bank Property Sells to EyeHealth Northwest

Last month, the former US Bank location on NE Glisan street sold to a prominent eye care specialist. On March 5th, a Quick Claim Deed filed with Multnomah county shows United States National Bank of Oregon sold the building, and surrounding parking lot, to EyeHealth Northwest. Located at 6701 NE Glisan Streetthe site has remained vacant since the bank permanently closed in late 2020.  

EyeHealth Northwest operates a chain of eye clinics in the Portland-Metro region. Locations offer optometric services, including eye exams and eyewear sales. This property’s proximity to Providence Medical Center makes this an ideal place for the healthcare provider.

The quick sale of the site is a good indication of NE Glisan’s continued economic growth. Nearby businesses should see an increase in foot traffic when EyeHealth Northwest opens this office.


Disclosure: EyeHealth Northwest employs a relative of the author. However, that person did not provide information about the sale.

New Self-Storage Facility on NE Halsey

A new four-story storage facility will break ground on a long-vacant lot along I84. Located at 1530 NE 67th AveWest Coast Self-Storage has obtained building permits for the new structure and associated site improvements. It will join other nearby storage providers Public Storage and Extra Space Storage.

The project is across the Halsey Street overpass from Montavilla in a location that has reminded vacant for over twenty years. With a value of over Six Million dollars, the project will deliver a substantial building to that corner. Look for construction to begin soon.

Harka Building Taking Form

Renovation work recently increased at Harka Architecture‘s new headquarters, located at 7631 NE Glisan Street. Crews are converting the 1940 Art Deco structure into a modern office with a classic style. Alterations to the building are significant. However, the building owner has taken care to keep the original architectural style intact.

As an environmentally focused architecture design firm, Harka is selective in how they are completing this project. “We are doing a very deep high-performance retrofit of the space while using non-toxic, healthy materials,” said Patrick Donaldson, Principal Architect with Harka Architecture. This development employs a low carbon construction ethic that favors reuse and building efficiency. Taking that approach has kept the renovation on a slower schedule. However, paperwork delays occurred before work could begin, pushing buildout dates further back. Donaldson had to clear decades of un-permitted work by previous owners before receiving approval on the new alterations.

Those project delays seem to be in the past, and the building already shows signs of improvement. While replacing the roof, the exterior wall height increased by several feet. New high-efficiency windows have replaced the original single-pane glass, and the second street-facing door became a new window.

The small building is full of 1940’s character, and work to date has only enacted those features. Months of construction are still needed to restore this building. However, the final form is now evident, reassuring this building’s admirers that it is in good hands with the new owners.

Pre-construction

Renderings provided by Harka Architecture

NE 80th House Becoming an Office

The house behind East Glisan Pizza Lounge is becoming an office. A recent permit for 510 NE 80th Ave calls for a change of occupancy from Residential to Business and some building alterations. The property last sold in November of 2019 to a group of four people.

Permit application 21-018436 will update the seismic stability of the structure and adjust the interior layout. Crews will relocate interior walls and doors to accommodate the new business. Installation of a new window located at the rear of the building is the only external alteration proposed.

The business planned for this location is unknown, and there are no external indications that the building is actively in-use. Repurposed houses can be a good fit for particular businesses. However, this property may need some street-side updates to accommodate walk-in customers. Keep an eye on this spot for a future near-Glisan business.

Smart Foodservice Renamed

A year after its acquisition by US Foods, Smart Foodservice stores are rebranding. The food cart and small commercial kitchen supply stores are now known as US Foods CHEF’STORE. The Montavilla location at 8250 SE Stark Street already features new signage reflecting the name change.

US Foods acquired all 70 Smart Foodservice stores in March of 2020. At the time, Smart Foodservice was expected to merge with existing CHEF’STORE locations. Despite the new signs, the CHEF’STORE website does not reflect the additional Oregon locations. However, Smart Foodservice posted information about the name change on the company’s website. Officially the branding swap begins on March 1st and will continue throughout 2021. Provided information indicates that much of the store’s pricing and policies will remain the same. As operations further integrate with the parent company, customers will eventually gain access to expanded US Foods brands and more integrated billing.

The name change is mostly inconsequential to neighborhood patrons of the store. However, it does signal the chain’s transformation to a nationwide foodservice supplier. Smart Foodservice was an Oregon-owned and managed company. Those stores now move inline with US markets and dietary trends. Look for additional changes inside the stores as the name change progresses.

Presentations at Next MNA Meeting

Next Monday, three groups will present information on projects that are shaping Montavilla’s future. Representatives from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO), and Metro will discuss their plans at the February 8th Montavilla Neighborhood Associations (MNA) meeting. Attendees will learn how they can participate in the process and hear details regarding the neighborhood improvements.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM via Zoom. Event registration is found at the MNA website or directly through this link

The first presenters are sharing plans for an improved NE Halsey street, from 68th to 92nd Ave. Nicole Peirce, Capital Project Manager for PBOT, will present information regarding safer intersections and better access for non-motorists. Joining Peirce is the project manager for the 70s Bikeway project. Both projects cross through Montavilla and will vastly improve universal mobility in the area.

Jamal Dar, Executive Director for AYCO, will share information about his group’s mission to offer support services and youth mentoring for the African immigrant and refugee community. This organization serves a growing population of people with East Africa origins in their recently opened center on NE 74th Ave.

Metro representatives Choya Renata and Patrick McLaughlin will present information regarding proposed low-income housing at the former TBN Site. Two years from now, Montavilla will gain 120 to 150 new households on NE Glisan Street. In a partnership between Metro and the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), the former Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) site will transform into affordable housing. Metro will present their community outreach process at the meeting and further outline the project’s scope.


Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the NMA Board

Enchilada Express Opens on Division

Enchilada Express opened its second location this week. The new restaurant, serving Mexican food, is open for takeout. Located on SE Division next to the recently completed Pacific Plaza, this additional location is in the heart of a rapidly growing section of Montavilla.

Located at 8245 SE Division Street, this Enchilada Express location joins the original restaurant on SE Powell Blvd. The menu offers a range of Mexican dishes that should be popular with the lunchtime crowd. Place orders over the phone at 503-477-9800, on their website, or when visiting the location.

Isamini Bar on NE Glisan

A new bar is coming to NE Glisan Street later this year. Located at 7901 NE Glisan Street Unit 4Isamini Bar is the creation of Sam Nguyen. This is one of the first businesses to appear in the recently renovated 1890 era building.

The first information regarding the bar surfaced in a Liquor Licence application last week. When reached for comment, Sam Nguyen explained that Isamini Bar has a tentative opening date in early summer. However, COVID-19 makes exact timelines challenging to predict.

Located in the building’s single-story section, the bar will be a cozy 667 square-feet. The real estate flyer for the building provides a rough outline of the space. Although still in development, Nguyen offered a broad description of the coming menu “We’re offering a small selection of draft beers, bottled beers, wine, American/Asian appetizers, and food.”

Nguyen is new to bar ownership and should bring a unique perspective to the establishment. Transitioning from the medical field, starting Isamini Bar provides a need change for Nguyen. As COVIS-19 restrictions lift, people will likely rush back to public gathering spaces. This newest destination on Glisan should offer a comfortable space for people to interact with friends and restore their social lives.

AYCO Opens Center at TBN site

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) recently relocated to Montavilla on NE Glisan. Located at 432 NE 74th Ave, the group offers support services and youth mentoring for the African immigrant and refugee community. The expanded space obtained through this move allows their programs to grow, even while social distancing during COVID-19 restrictions.

Executive Director Jamal Dar founded AYCO in 2009 with an emphasis on athletics and mentoring. Over its first decade, the organization expanded its offerings to include health and education services. Added support for families continued the programs’ growth trajectory, supporting parents and people caring for special needs children.

AYCO seeks to strengthen a sense of cultural identity within the immigrant community while facilitating integration. Like the community they support, many of the team at AYCO immigrated from East Africa. Staff leverage that personal experience to guide newly arriving families adapting to this country. Their youth programs develop academic and team-building skills in a culturally familiar environment. Health services provide assistance navigating healthcare and disability resources, understanding the language and culture of those seeking support.

In 2015 AYCO opened its first location at 1390 SE 122nd Ave. That space allowed the organization to expand the services offered substantially. However, with increased community need, that location became too small. The building on NE Glisan offers the room need to grow the organization further. The new Center’s increased footprint will feature a gym to help the children embrace athletics beyond soccer and basketball. The new location also allows for a clinic to support children of all ages and abilities.

AYCO leased part of the single-story building from Metro, which acquired the site from Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). The previous owners used the building as a TV studio and broadcasting facility before selling the property in late 2019. Metro plans to develop the site two years from now and sought short term tenants. “The building where AYCO is leasing space will eventually be demolished, and the new housing that will be built in its place will prioritize families and households with very low incomes.” Said Constantino Khalaf, Senior Communications Specialist with Metro.

Metro happily made space in the building available for AYCO, reducing the rent to support the group’s efforts. “We’re excited that such a great, community-serving organization can use the space during these early stages rather than let it sit vacant.” Explained Khalaf.

Regardless of the short-term lease on the space, Dar looks forward to the site’s pending development. He intends to become a tenant within the new development’s commercial area when completed. NE Glisan Street is close to the community AYCO servers, and Dar feels it will be an ideal home for his organization.

When the pandemic’s risk has subsided, Dar hopes to interact with the Montavilla community more. Until then, his organization plans to continue to their outward community engagement through support for the hungry and unsheltered. Look for the location to become more lively with youth activities over the coming months, and visit the AYCO website if you want to know more about the organization.

Union Rose Open in New Location

Union Rose completed the move one block east to a new location. Now at 8029 SE Stark Street, the longtime Montavilla retailer has doubled the shop’s footprint. The storefront exchange, completed two days ago, was briefly documented on the shop’s Instagram account with pictures and a video tour.

The new location also has update hours of operation. The store is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sundays. The store is now closed on Mondays in alignment with the neighboring children’s retailer Beanstalk.

The impending move was previously reported at the beginning of December 2020. The former location of Union Rose will soon be available to rent. Located at 7909 SE Stark street, the vacant shopfront is between Vintage Cocktail Lounge and Redwood restaurant. Union Rose owner, Rita Hudson-Evalt, describe the previous space as “a fantastic location” that the store just outgrew.

The paper is down from the windows at the new Union Rose location. Stroll-by the shop and peek in the expansive storefront windows anytime. Shoppers can drop in to see some of the new items filling the larger store, and everything is also available online for local pickup.