Category: New Business

Large Mixed-use Development on NE 102nd

Update (January 27th, 2023): In January, crews began clearing the overgrown fields of a new housing development at 811 NE 102nd Avenue. Wood chippers mulched felled trees while fence repair staff replaced broken barriers around the construction site. Recently, demolition crews removed an old dental clinic at 887 NE 102nd Avenue, the last remaining structure on the vast property.

The site will support a 200-unit mixed-use development. Six buildings along NE 102nd and NE Pacific Avenues will contain approximately 10,549 square feet of commercial space and 11,280 square feet of residential amenity area on the ground floors. Residential units are planned on the two floors above. The developer intends to include twelve multi-dwelling residential structures inside the housing complex accessed through a private road. Those buildings will provide one to three-bedroom units. All buildings will be three stories tall. The facility will provide 145 surface parking spaces in the site’s interior.


Original article published August 2nd, 2022

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.


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Horacek Dental Becomes 92 Dentistry

In September 2022, Horacek Dental at 9211 SE Division Street became 92 Dentistry. Dr. Khanh Huynh, DDS, is the primary dentist at the full-service dental office. Signature Oregon Dental Partners, an Arizona-based dental support organization, now own the practice.

This building has supported dental services since 2014, around the time a dental partnership dissolved. Neil Gehred and Richard Horacek started Gehred & Horacek Dental in 2010. Dr. Horacek purchased the SE Division Street property in 2012 before remodeling it to host his business two years later. Crews remodeled the 1954-era wood shop with a clean new interior that respected the building’s industrial past. An article in Design Milk provides some details about the renovations and design approach.

When opening in the new location, the company dropped the Gehred name, becoming Horacek Dental. After six years, the building sold to an out-of-state investment company in September 2020. At the same time, Signature Oregon Dental Partners assumed the operating name Horacek Dental.

Now the dental office is taking on a new name and a new doctor. They are open Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit them online at 92dentistry.com or call 503-254-2068 to schedule an appointment.

Montavilla’s Hidden Pottery Studio

In the back of Clogs-N-More, behind a curtain in the stockroom, two pottery artists quietly create innovative porcelain pieces that sell to buyers across the country. Since August 2020, co-owners Jenn Gauer and Meghan Radick have made 7821 SE Stark Street the home of their business JaMpdx Ceramics. The studio space is the center for their hand-crafted creations, with clay splatter across the walls and racks of products in various stages of completion. Consequentially, the production space is closed to the public. Instead, they rely on the company website and select retail locations to display their one-of-a-kind products.

The partners bring their unique skills together in nearly every creation. Jenn’s “the potter, and I’m the decorator, so I do things like painting or built these flowers. I was a cake decorator, so this kind of decoration is done using cake decorating tools squeezed out of a bag, just like frosting,” explained Radick. This decorating technique is one of the standout characteristics of the designs. Gauer and Radick were the pioneers of this process, with limited competition in the marketplace. “People are trying it, but we think 12 years ago we were the first.” Said, Radick. A comparable technique called slip trailing is common, but potters using that method usually work with a much wetter material compared to what JaMpdx Ceramics uses. “That’s just like the Rose you would see on a cake, and it’s made exactly the same way and just stuck right on the pot. Most potters are not at that level of cake decorating to be able to transfer that skill.” Said Radick while pointing to some of her recent work awaiting shipment.

Yarn bowls

Other innovations produced in the studio come from necessity. Gauer and Radick are knitters and observed a need they could fill with their profession. “Where one of a few potters that specialize in these yarn bowls. A yarn bowl is a thing that has existed for years, but usually, there’s a cut out in the side of the bowl.” Remarked Radick while demonstrating the uniquely notched lid of their design. They constantly update the product lines and improve the colors and glazing used. They buy raw porcelain from a regional supplier, Clay Art, in Tacoma, WA. All the items are food safe, with most pieces rated for dishwashers or microwaves.

Old Pottery Fun kilns

This Stark Street store is not the first location for JaMpdx Ceramics. The pair initially started working together in Jenn Gauer’s basement. Only luck and a past work relationship brought this company to the historic downtown Montavilla area. “Well, I worked for Clogs-N-More for about 12 years, so when they saw this space, they saw the kilns in the backroom that were left here from Pottery Fun and called me,” explained Meghan Radick. “They called me and said, hey, you guys should come and take over this really well-priced space in this great neighborhood.” However, the timing for such a significant leap in operational expenses did not seem sound. “We were not ready to take over 1700 square feet of retail in a pandemic,” said Radick.

Fortunately for both companies, they were able to strike a deal to share the storefront, with JaMpdx Ceramics taking the back third of the space. They bought the leftover kilns and some shelving from Pottery Fun and moved operations out of the basement. “Being in the basement, it worked, but it’s nice for [Jenn] to have the work-life separation. And it’s been so nice to be able to open up a door and have fresh air come in.” Said, Radick.

This company continues a long tradition of makers taking root in Montavilla and creating exceptional products enjoyed across the nation. Although closed to walk-in customers, the pair feel part of the community and are happy they have this space. They can take special requests for color or design if they can sell the other 15 units they need to make in a production run. Visit them online at jampdx.com to see what they have and contact them with questions or requests.


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Self-Storage Facility Opens on NE Halsey

This week, West Coast Self-Storage opened its second Portland storage facility at 1530 NE 67th Avenue. This four-story metal-clad building offers 53,375 square feet of rentable storage space with various security and convenience features. It joins a collection of similar businesses clustered on the other side of Interstate 84.

This NE Halsey street adjacent storage facility offers 643 storage units ranging in size from 10-by-10 feet to 15-by-30 feet. The building features a covered loading and unloading area, a freight elevator, and free-to-use handcarts for transporting items. Renters can access their lockers between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. daily. Each customer has a unique secure access code to enter the heated and LED-lit facility. Digital security cameras record all activity in the building to further protect customers from theft.

Mid construction May 19th, 2022

NWB Halsey LLC contracted Eric Gambee Construction to build this steel-framed building on its property, with West Coast Self-Storage as the site manager. This lot sat vacant for nearly 30 years before this recent work. The property was initially developed around 1956 as a service station selling gasoline through the 1970s. From 1965 to 1970, Early Bird Service and Gas operated from this location. By 1981, Fairway Auto Upholsterers used this location for its business, but in 1985 Sedon Market & Groceries occupied this site. Workers removed the underground storage tank system in March of 1990, followed by demolition crews who razed the building and removed the asphalt surface around 1994.

Construction at this property replaced a significant portion of the sidewalk and added four street trees. The pedestrian space is wider and has fewer vehicle entry points, making it a safer place to walk. Although storage facilities do not activate the street like other businesses, reworking this vacant lot should enhance the appearance and set a new building height standard for this street as it redevelops.

The West Coast Self-Storage Halsey office opens from 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. It doubles as a retail store offering moving boxes and packing materials. Soon the location will offer moving trucks for rent as a U-Haul Neighborhood Dealer. This location offers one oversized 10-by-52-foot drive-up unit for unique storage needs. Area residents looking for personal storage options now have another choice on NE Halsey.


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Seafood Export Company Tries to Open on SE Division

A vacant and often tagged building on SE Division Street may soon become a new seafood export facility. The single-story commercial building at 8827 SE Division Street has sat empty since Hubcap World closed in 2017. During those years, miscreants have targeted the building, covering it with graffiti and breaking windows. Past attempts to rehabilitate the property failed to materialize. Now, a new business hopes to repurpose the 1949-era wood-frame building, but upgrade costs could halt the project.

Ken Yu, with Kaly Designs, is leading the permitting process for the currently unnamed seafood export company. Yu explained that his client owns Longs Seafood Market at SE Powell and 92nd Avenue and wants to open a separate business focused on shipping domestically caught shellfish abroad. The Powell business is “a retail store, but this one is gonna be strictly for wholesale distribution, mainly for exporting overseas. It’s not selling inside the US.” Said Yu.

Yu has worked on similar seafood export redevelopments in this area, with one completed recently down the street from this location. “It’s kind of a trend, people starting to export US seafood overseas. Apparently, there’s a demand for that,” remarked Yu. This new business will focus on lobsters, oysters, and other crustaceans packed live and flown to their final destination. “They put oxygen in there and then put in dry ice, and then they ship it overseas to Hong Kong, China, [and] Vietnam,” explained Yu.

The new seafood export company has limited funds for building repairs. They are only leasing the property, with most of the startup funds dedicated to the seafood tanks, freezers, and refrigerator units needed to run the operation. Plans for the structure are focused on repairs to the exterior of the building, patching holes, and making it watertight. If they make significant changes to the building, the City may require more upgrades than the business can afford. “This is an old building, so if you do anything structural here, there can be a seismic upgrade and all that,” said Yu. Consequentially, the lease on this property is contingent on Portland Official approving the Change Of Occupancy from Mercantile to Storage, along with the minor repairs needed to open in this location. Otherwise, this site will not work out. Yu said that the property owners ran into similar issues two years ago when they intended to remodel the place, and those required updates caused them to abandon that work.

Ken Yu and his client are now waiting for the permitting process to move forward. They hope that the City will approve this project faster than other recent projects. In those cases, receiving a permit has taken over a year. Delays and forced structural updates could make this location less desirable for the business. The property is otherwise an ideal site for the seafood exporter, with vehicle access from SE 89th Avenue and a wide-open interior. If things work out, this vacant building will be in use again, with consistent maintenance and minor updates to its appearance.


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Dzô Opens on NE Glisan

This month, Dzô Bar and Grill opened at 7907 NE Glisan Street, offering a lineup of Asian-inspired cocktails and Vietnamese food. This Vietnamese American sports bar blends classic pub menu items with dishes like Phở and fried rice. The full bar offers a wide range of cocktails, imported beers, and microbrews. Patrons can watch a variety of games playing on four large-screen televisions while enjoying their drink or meal.

Owner, Sam Nguyen, explained that the bar’s name originates from a customary expression of celebration. “Dzô is pronounced yo in Vietnamese, and it just means cheers. It’s a tradition in Vietnam where they count 1-2-3-Dzô” before drinking. It represents the communal and friendly environment that Nguyen wants to cultivate inside her establishment.

Nguyen and her husband, Hao Le, started this bar as an enjoyable way to shift away from their demanding careers. Nguyen is a working physician assistant (PA), and the recent trend in her workplace has made it less fulfilling. “I just feel burnt out from my job, especially during COVID,” said Nguyen. Packed hospitals and heightened patient demands caused her to reconsider how she wanted to spend her workdays. Sam Nguyen found this space thanks to her sister, who owns the Thanh Billiards club next door. The building’s owner completely renovated the storefronts in 2020, leaving all but the billiards location vacant. This location, with built-in customers from the neighboring business, was just the opportunity Nguyen and Le were looking for.

The bar’s owners did not anticipate how long the City’s permitting process would take when starting the build-out process nearly two years ago. Fortunately, the landlord helped with the rent while they waited for permit approvals. The extended spin-up time allowed the owners to gradually create a well-finished interior. The newly built-out space features a modern rustic design with wainscoting wrapping the dinning-room and white subway tile framing the full kitchen. Colorful LED light strips highlight details throughout the bar, and directional overhead lighting creates a visual definition around each table.

Nguyen and Le are adjusting the drink and food menus over the next few months based on customer demand and feedback. However, some items are already a hit. Nguyen is particularly proud of their Lychee Lime Fizz cocktail and Phở. The owners have two staff helping them run the location, and they are open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day except Wednesdays. Stop by with some friends and toast with a “cheers” or “Dzô” as you see fit.


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Mia and More on SE 82nd Ave

Today, Mia and More opened along SE 82nd Avenue across from Hong Phat Food Center. Owner Michelle Tran relocated her business from Beaverton to be closer to the thriving Vietnamese community in this area. The shop’s menu features fresh-pressed sugarcane juice, milk tea, fruit smoothies, and Vietnamese street food. Permitting delays and labor shortages pushed back the shop’s launch, causing a five-month gap in operations and leaving loyal customers wondering where they had gone. However, days prior to opening, eager customers begin strolling in, excited to rediscover this unique sugarcane restaurant.

The Mia and More brand originated in Kent, Washington, several years ago. The owners license the name to other independent store operators across the country and supply licensees with sugarcane sourced from trusted farms in Vietnam. The Beaverton location was the first Mia and More in Oregon and is the only store offering this fresh-pressed Vietnamese treat in the State. The original site was a suitable location to introduce the brand to Oregonians. However, Tran knew SE Portland would be a better location, and with the lease ending in Beaverton, she decided to move. They secured this location in the Annex building and applied for the permits in March 2022. The original storefront closed in July for what was supposed to be a month-long transition to the new space. “The permit took six months, and after that, I had to deal with contractors. They are just so busy that they wouldn’t show up on the day they said,” explained Tran. To speed up construction timelines, Mia and More staff opted to build a smaller kitchen space, forcing them to cut some food items from the menu. They also ditched plans for a walk-in freezer and went with free-standing units. Those choices and an understanding permitting office who provided a temporary occupancy certificate allowed the business to reopen before the end of the year.

Mia and More has seven part-time employees working alongside Tran’s family at this location. Many of the staff are college students taking advantage of the flexible hours. During winter, they will open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. seven days a week. In the summer, they plan to extend that time to 9 p.m. when the sunlight lasts into the evening. Tran noted that customers do not walk around on 82nd Avenue during the darker hours because it can feel less safe. She was grateful that the building owners invested in the storefront’s appearance and security. “The landlord did a lot of improvement in the building, so now at night, all the lights are on, so it’s bright, and you feel much better.”

The Mia and More staff are excited to see the returning customers from Beaverton and the new customers from the local Vietnamese community that did not make the journey to the original space. However, Michelle Tran is also hopeful that an expanded audience of Montavilla residents will enjoy her drinks. “We want to get some more non-Vietnamese people to check us out and see how they like it,” said Tran. Located at 326 SE 82nd Avenue, Mia and More is within walking distance from SE Stark and NE Glisan Street. They are in a soft opening period as the staff becomes accustomed to the new facility, but people are welcome to swing by any time and try something new or find that sweet drink you have been missing.


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82nd Ave Pawn Shop Becoming Pot Dispensary

The Hawker’s Locker at 933 NE 82nd Avenue will become Chronix Dispensary early next year. One of the long-time property owners, Patrick Butler, has joined forces with cannabis veteran David Schwimmer forming Greenmonkey LLC operating as Chronix Dispensary in this location. Crews are actively building a new storefront, upgrading the exterior, and creating a new look for the shop.

David Schwimmer lives on the East Coast but has family ties to Portland. He was impressed with Portland’s culture, finding it a “cool town and a fun place to visit.” In 2017, he opened Ivy Cannabis with his son Matthew Schwimmer. That company operated a retail marijuana store at 11850 N Center Avenue until they sold to Wild West Emporium last year. David Schwimmer still owns the Hayden Island building that previously housed his store and now rents it to Wild West Emporium.

Allen Grieser ran Hawker’s Locker for many years at this location and jointly owned the building with Patrick Butler. According to David Schwimmer, he is in the process of buying Grieser’s stake in the property. However, ahead of that transfer, the new team of Schwimmer and Butler is busily transforming the space. “We’re planning on going with a kind of Jimmy Buffett or an island relaxed state cool vibe,” said Schwimmer. They are entirely reworking the interior and rebuilding restrooms inside the 3,500-square-foot storefront. The building will receive new exterior siding, and they intend to replace the chainlink fence with something more inviting. “Our plan is to take [the fence] down and put more of an ornamental one up but still protecting [the building] to some extent. Although we haven’t settled on what type. That’s one of the things that’s gonna be going in at the end.” Said Schwimmer.

David Schwimmer noted that the large parking lot has opportunities to support complementary businesses. If allowed by licensing requirements, the dispensary owners intend to provide space for outdoor dining next to the shop. “There’s some plans to do some other things with food venues or something to attract people. There’s space there to set up some food carts,” explained Schwimmer.

Look for continued construction at the property on NE 82nd Avenue over the next two months, with store branding appearing closer to opening. The owners anticipate greeting customers early in 2023 but acknowledge that delays happen, and they will have a more firm date after the project progresses further.


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Vintage is Becoming Arbor Hall

The new owners of Vintage Cocktail Lounge are slowly transforming the location into Arbor Hall while retaining most of what made this location special. Opening in 2009, the craft bar at 7907 SE Stark Street earned a loyal following for its engaging staff and wide assortment of drinks. Last July, Nathan Myers and Becca Clover purchased the business after searching for a location to open their new bar. However, when learning of Vintage’s enthusiastic fanbase, they opted to take a slow approach to the transition and remain inviting to existing customers.

Myers and Clover developed a plan for their first business before searching for a location. As a result, they had already selected the name and theme by the time the sale went through. Soon after the transfer of ownership, people became curious about the new sign on the door. The Arbor Hall name has personal significance for the couple. Myers explained that the first house they shared as a couple was on Arbor Way, and the name honors that place. “It’s where we spent the first few years of our relationship and that house, and that part of our life is very special to us,” said Myers.

Beyond the name, the owners avoided significant change during the first few months. They considered closing down and making all the modifications at one time. However, that would have meant losing beloved employees like the bartender Tony Pepe. “Any time that I’ve mentioned to anybody that we bought Vintage, the very first question that I get asked by anybody who knows the bar is, ‘is Tony still there?'” remarked Myers. “He knows everybody’s name, and people enjoy having a conversation [with Tony]. He loves talking to people about different spirits.”

Behind the scenes, the new owners have significantly updated the unseen spaces that keep the establishment running. Myers and Clover invested heavily in those upgrades, taking it down to the subfloor in some cases. This remodeling work included the kitchen and the area behind the bar. Now they have begun to change the visible regions of the bar. Recently they painted over the dark brown color pallet, replacing it with a brighter copper patina paint. Next, they plan to repaint all the front trim and replace the bar top with a monkey pod or black walnut slab. However, the bar-top replacement depends on contractor availability, pushing it back to July 2023. The bathroom became a fun project for Myers and Clover, with the walls now coved in Magic: The Gathering cards and San Francisco Giants memorabilia. The choices reflect the couple’s childhood obsessions and a lighthearted, eclectically weird style. 

Work-in-process bathroom redecoration with Magic: The Gathering cards on the wall

After the painting is complete, the next theming phase will bring more greenery into the bar. They are still determining what foliage will thrive in the environment, but soon patrons will see wall-mounted and hanging planters teaming with life. The space will have a “very heavy tree and plant influence to it,” said Myers. “We’re going to be introducing an enormous amount of plant life into the bar.”

The modifications will also include menu changes, beginning with the drinks. “It’s been the same menu of cocktails for the last few years. Next week, we’re going to be introducing the first new cocktail menu to the space since before the pandemic,” explained Myers. “We’re going to be doing a seasonal menu, so we’ll be changing the menu three to four times per year, featuring about ten cocktails.” The additional drinks will not supplant the current selection, according to Myers. “Anybody who knows what their favorite cocktail was from the last 10 or 15 years will be able to still come in and order those drinks, but they also have a new menu of drinks to order from.”

Vintage’s food menu traditionally featured Olympia Provisions hot dogs in various dressings, handmade soft pretzels from Rob’s Pretzel Palace, and other bar food. After the drink menu update, Myers explained they will replace the cooked options. “We’ll be going back to the kitchen to start focusing on redoing the food menu, and in doing that, we’ll be doing primarily vegetarian food.” The owners expect this shift in the menu will include more sharable dishes with flavors that better complement the drink offerings.

Outside seating will remain an indispensable part of Arbor Hall, with a planned reconfigured of the current covered Parking Plaza. The update should increase seating, making room for 30 people at six to eight tables outside and 33 guests inside. However, these transitions will not happen overnight. Myers and Clover anticipate completing the transformation by July of 2023, in time for their first anniversary of ownership. Until then, they will gradually introduce new elements and bring back old favorites like the pub crawl.

The new owners want Arbor Hall to remain an inviting space for Vintage fans while attracting new customers. Their number one goal is to create a friendly environment where everyone is welcome, and people enjoy spending time. Customers are encouraged to drop in often to see the changes, chat with Tony, and get accustomed to Arbor Hall’s transformation from its Vintage Cocktail Lounge roots.


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Amaye International Restaurant Opens on NE Glisan

Amaye International Restaurant opened on Friday, November 4th, after months of preparation. The African food venue at 8000 NE Glisan Street recently took over the former corner storefront from Paitong Thai Cuisine, which closed last May. Opening day saw a steady flow of customers ordering food-to-go or dining in groups at a table.

Since taking over the restaurant location this summer, the Amaye International Restaurant’s staff have methodically reworked the space, adding new furnishings and details to the interior. Along with updated signs atop the building, the shop’s owners added full-color window decals displaying some of the location’s 45 menu items. LED lighting along the trim illuminates the restaurant inside and out. Gold and red curtains, synched midway down, frame the view onto NE Glisan Street. A variety of well-spaced seating creates a comfortable space to reconnect with friends or eat alone.

The restaurant opens at 9 a.m and closes at 8 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. You can place orders by phone at 503-252-0264 or stop by.