Category: Renovation

Fire Damage Repair on Main Street

A recent permit application at 8019-8039 SE Main Street seeks to repair a fire-damaged roof. A fire on April 2nd caused damage to two units at the Montavilla apartment complex. The fire sent one resident to the hospital and forced three others to relocate.

The permit application seeks to repair structural damage to the roof and replace damaged sheetrock in the two units. “Fire damage repair at units 8029 and 8031, replace (14) roof rafters, roof sheathing, roofing, and interior sheetrock.”

Rapid 1931 Home Remodel

A sale is already pending on a recent remodel of the house located at 43 SE 89th Ave. Waterworks Contractors Inc. bought the small 1931 house on March 25th and quickly refreshed all aspects of the home.

The Field Issuance Remodel (FIR) Permit 20-152707 was applied for June 3rd and issued a few days ago on July 21st. It calls for an “extensive home remodel, largely interior. Exterior changes to windows in existing rough openings, remove chimney and fireplace from the street-facing elevation. Replace all mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems.”

At just 968 square feet, the house could be considered small for the neighborhood. It originally had no street-facing windows. Instead, it had a large river stone chimney dominating the front wall. With the chimney removed, two windows join the door on the building’s street side.

Image from Google Maps

The renovation focused on making the most out of the limited interior space. Removing the dividing wall between the kitchen and living room created a nearly 30-foot deep core space. Each of the two bedrooms gained builtin closets. The one bathroom expanded into the front bedroom, allowing the addition of a double vanity. There is an 8-foot by 18-foot basement room that would be considered non-livable space due to its single egress. That room’s finished in the same style as the main floor. The listings calculation of 1,164 square-feet looks to include the basement room.

The property has a detached garage and a rear deck accessible from double doors off the back bedroom. The builder chose many high-end finishes, completely transforming this building. Although completed quickly, this could stand as an example of how to maximize value with minimal space. As more infill homes pop up in Portland, proper use of small spaces will be essential, and buyers will need to readjust their expectations of size.

Thatchers Renovation

Thatcher’s lounge is currently closed for renovations. They will be opening back up on July 27th. Located at 7906 SE Stark Street, the sports bar and breakfast spot is a fixture in Montavilla town.

Cody Palmer, manager at Thatcher’s, described the renovation as long overdue updating. “[We’re] tearing out decades-old carpet, laying down some wood floors, painting walls, adding TVs and window-side booth seating.”

In addition to the interior upgrades happening at Thatcher’s, they have some outside improvements planned. Starting this weekend, they will begin constructing a 40-foot Parking Plaza, using the parking spaces in front of the bar.

Patrons will not need to wait long before seeing the new upgrades to their favorite bar. In just two weeks, they expect to see many customers seated out on Stark Street or enjoying an updated experience inside.

Montavilla Renovation Team

Dina Stanzione and Steve Rice are deep into their first Montavilla project together. The couple is looking at a multiyear renovation of the 1896 era house, located at 5 NE 78th Ave

The corner house now has a crimson red coat of paint and new front railings with updated pillars. Early in the renovation, they added a fence to both the north and south border of the house. The interior is now the primary focus of construction, but COVID-19 has held up permits. “I was days away from seeking my permit in March when the permit office closed. I am still awaiting the permit as of July 5th, but it is in the works, and we hope to have it in hand in the next few weeks.” Wrote Steve Rice.

Phase one for this building required undoing years of undocumented work and replacing antiquated utilities. “The house had been turned into an unpermitted duplex,” explained Rice. They are working to return it to a single-family residence with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Rice has gutted the interior, removing the damaged plaster from the walls. The exposed walls allowed for the replacement of the outdated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems throughout the house. Replacement energy-efficient windows have been installed, particularly along the front of the house.

Continued interior work is waiting on the permit process. That work will adjust the layout of the house. “We are redoing the floor plan to open up the kitchen/dining room on the first floor and adding a bedroom on the second floor that had been used as a second kitchen.” described Rice. Upstairs, they will create a master bedroom with attached master bath and walk-in closet.

Making a comfortable layout in the house is important for both Dina Stanzione and Steve Rice. They will be living in the house together for several years as they complete all phases of construction. After work completes on the main house, they will move in and start phase two. Prep work on the second phase has already begun in the basement. “All of the low hanging stuff in the basement has been tucked into the joists in preparation for basement remodel,” wrote Rice. When completed, the house will have three floors of habitable space.

Sometime after completing the house remodel, they want to add a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). “We are also hoping to build an ADU on the extra parcel that faces Burnside further down the line,” remarked Rice. Currently, only a driveway and older detached garage occupy the back half of the lot.

Selecting this house for renovation was not based on business alone. Dina Stanzione lived down the street from this house for nine years. Each time she drove past it, she wondered if anyone would do something with the house. “When it went up for sale in 2019, I got very excited… We did a walk-through, and it felt like a really great opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.” Explained Stanzione. Steve Rice, her boyfriend, owns Build & Paint Portland. They agreed that this house would be a great joint project, with Rice running the renovation work.

Whatever affection they have for this house, the plan is to sell it. Rice explained that after a few years, they would be “selling it in order to find the next Montavilla house to renovate.” Living in the houses as they renovate it, is an interesting model for rehabilitating houses. It is one that should turn out quality homes that are designed for living and not a quick sale. At nearly 125 years old, it is exciting to see the house saved and refreshed. Look for continued work and an eventual listing of this house in years to come.

1890 Cornerstone Building Revived

The transformation of 7901 NE Glisan Street from a neglected structure, to an impressive multi-use building, is nearing completion. Constructed in 1890, it has been updated many times. However, this most recent project seeks to rebuild and unify the building like never before. With exterior construction nearing completion, the owner expects to be ready for tenants by early September.

This project had challenges from the onset. Over the years many updates to the building were not done to acceptable construction standards. Often the work had been done without permits. Building owner and contractor, Alex Ianos, had to first resolve all these old issue with the city. Only after those issues were resolved, could he begin the real project of reviving this neglected building. With the help of his architect, John MacKinnon, Ianos was able to get over the initial hurdles with the city and focus on the renovation.

In an email with Montavilla News, John MacKinnon of NW Architecture & Design PC, described his design process. The “major challenge for me as architect, was bringing a sense of design clarity and coherence to the initial building through the design process.” MacKinnon explained the building “just evolved,” in ad hoc additions over the years. “The existing building was haphazard in style, incongruous and visually it looked that way. So, when I began the design process, my primary goal was to work with the existing building structural skeleton, modifying the building forms and bring coherence to the overall design as much as possible. Alex and I worked closely together on the design. We are both pleased with the final outcome. The design on both the interior and exterior has a Scandinavian sense to it.”

The building is arranged as a mixed use building with 5 commercial spaces on the first floor and apartments on the second floor. MacKinnon designed the second floor as four one bedroom residential units, each with it’s own cantilevered bay off the living area. Those bays project from the second story and add detail to the exterior, making the building more interesting along all sides.

Siting on a prominent corner for 130 years, this building has housed many businesses. The original address would have been on Villa Ave but its number has been lost to time. When records begin for this building, 1973 E Glisan Street was its address. Finally changing to its current address in 1933 thanks to Portland’s renumbering project. Early history of the building is harder to find, however in 1911 a mortician from Vancouver Washington moved his mortuary practice to the building. W H Hamilton operated Hamilton undertaking Co. out of this location for eight years. Mr. Hamilton was an active member in the Montavilla community. In a 1916 article he is listed as the President of the Montavilla Board of Trade. A later article, in 1918, referenced Hamilton as a Nobel Grand of the Villa Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) number 124.

In 1919, the funeral business changed from Hamilton undertaking Co. to R. W. Gable & Co. They operated out of this location for years before relocating to NE 80th in 1928. Later changing their name to Gable Funeral Parlor and working from the NE 80th location until just a few years ago.

Later the building was owned by Dr. Charles (Chas) B Zeebuyth. It is not obvious if the property ever served as his office but is listed as his official address in 1922. Dr. Zeebuyth, like Hamilton, was heavily involved in Montavilla’s community and business. He owned the building well into the 1930s.

In the following decades, it held different businesses. In the 1940s, it was listed as a bakery. In the 1950s it was a photo shop and then in the 1960s it was a barber shop. Many more businesses came and went from that location and each took a little more life out of the building. Before the latest purchase, it looked like it could be demolished instead of saved.

Fortunately Alex Ianos liked the corner lot and thought the building could be transformed once more. In a email to Montavilla News, Ianos expressed how please he has been with the progress on the building. He went on to write that “numerous people stop by the property and ask about leasing space.” He doesn’t plan to sign any tenants until the buildout has completed, but conversations are in process. There is a good chance a Pool Hall business will return to the space. Thanh Billiards was located in the 7909 NE Glisan space, prior to construction. Ianos mentioned he has been in talks with a coffee shop owner about taking a space and has engaged in early conversations with Little Big Burger.

Very few buildings from the 1800s still exist in Montavilla. Although a true restoration of 7901 NE Glisan Street was not possible, seeing it reworked and stabilized is a great service to Montavilla history. This location will be alive again with businesses and residents, pushing ever closer to its 200th year.