Category: Renovation

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.

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

NE 82nd and Glisan Gas Station and Market Work Underway

Last week, the Jacksons Food Store and Shell fueling station at 515 NE 82nd Avenue closed for renovations. Crews have removed gas pumps and enclosed the site with construction fencing. Demolition crews will remove the two structures on the property within the next few months. In 2020, the gas station’s owners purchased the neighboring vacant restaurant to the north. That acquisition doubles the property’s size, making room for a 4,452-square-foot convenience store.

The combined site at the northwest corner of NE 82nd Avenue and Glisan Street will feature a large detached Jacksons Food Store in the center of the rectangular lot. The developers intend to construct a public plaza near the intersection with covered seating and landscaping. An updated fueling canopy and gas pumps will remain close to their current location.

Improvements to the property will trigger sidewalk reconstruction along both streets, creating wider and safer public walkways. The project designers will reposition vehicle entrances and reduce the number of crossings where pedestrians and drivers interact.

When completed, the new fueling station and store will have an address of 611 NE 82nd Avenue and occupy nearly a full acre. The building will site close to the 82nd Avenue sidewalk, allowing pedestrians to enter the store without walking through a parking lot, as previous customers once did. Designers plan parking access on the north and south sides of the convenience store.

Site Plan as presented to the Montavilla Neighborhood Association by PM Design Group

Soon demolition crews will begin removing the former Pizza Hut building and the existing small store. Then workers will construct the new structures, sidewalks, and plaza. Although the storefront is expanding, the fueling capacity will not dramatically increase. Look for work to continue at the site for the remainder of the year, with an expected reopening in 2023.

Renovation with Two ADUs on Burnside and NE 74th

This week, heavy equipment cleared a small grove of trees at 6 NE 74th Avenue. The work makes way for a pair of two-story Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) proposed for the property. Kova Development recently purchased the 1926-era home in October of last year. Since then, the developer has renovated the original house and substantially increased its livable space.

Fronted on E Burnside Street, the two new residencies will join the recently updated home on the back half of the site. The original home faces NE 74th Avenue and sits close to the sidewalk, occupying less than half the available property. The back portion of the lot previously served as the house’s driveway and parking pad but lacked any notable structures and had become overgrown with small trees and shrubbery.

Google Maps view of 6 NE 74th Avenue 2017

Remodel work on the nearly century-old house is extensive. Crews replaced the roof that the previous owners had left tarp-covered for years. New windows and siding now wrap the structure, sealing its once porous exterior. The owners removed all interior finishes down to the studs and reworked the insulation, electrical, and plumbing on the main level. A recently approved permit allows for a near doubling of livable floor area by creating habitable space in the basement. Workers will construct two bedrooms with egress window wells, a full bathroom, and a living room on the subterranean level.

Plans for the new ADU units are not yet public. The design and orientation should have a noticeable impact on the property’s appearance from E Burnside Street. Look for ongoing construction activity at the site over the remaining months of 2022. This block should appear more populated by next year, and the neighborhood will have two new homes.

Two Townhomes Join 1925 House

The new owners of a 1925 era home at 400 NE 91st Avenue recently demolished a detached garage on the property, making way for two new townhomes. The 100-foot by 100-foot wide lot is across NE 91st Avenue from Columbia Christian School and abutting the campus’s northeast parking lot. Crews will remodel the original home during the site’s redevelopment.

Google Maps view of 400 NE 91st Avenue

The 1,328 square foot building at the site is part of the original four dwellings built on this block nearly a century ago. The single-story home wore the address of 102 East 91st Street N before Portland’s Great Renumbering of 1931-1933. The removed garage was not original to the property.

1928 Sanborn Map – 102 East 91st Street N

FX Homes bought this site in October of 2021. They now propose the construction of two single-story townhomes on the southern half of the property. The low-slung scope of the development will match the stature of surrounding homes in the area. Houses on this segment of NE 91st Ave are effectively situated within the Columbia Christian School campus, creating a unique residential atmosphere with street activities tied closely to the school’s schedule.

Although early in the process, redevelopment of this site appears to take queues from the existing architecture in the area and respect the scale of the neighboring properties. By retaining a classic Portland home, the developers should appease preservationists while adding more housing to the neighborhood. Look for increased construction work at this site later in the year and the creation of two new homes.

Harrison Park School Remodel

This week, Portland Public Schools (PPS) released an Invitation to Bid for Harrison Park’s conversion into a Middle School. Staff submitted building Permit applications for updates to the 70-year-old education facility. Work will change interior and exterior elements of the property as it removes features constructed during its elementary school past.

Outside the school building at 2225 SE 87th Avenue, PPS plans to construct a new freestanding trash enclosure and a covered bike parking shelter. Improvements to the front entrance include new landscaping and possible hardscape changes. Other exterior work will replace sidewalks and driveways around the property.

Inside the soon-to-be Middle School, crews will perform minor demolition while remaking the school’s main entry and office area. The updates to the Cafeteria will better accommodate the older student’s needs during their mealtime. Workers will refresh ceilings, flooring, plumbing, and electrical systems throughout the facility. In a separate permit application, PPS proposes to update the school’s heating and AC ventilation systems. Restrooms will become more ADA compliant, and some bathroom facilities will convert to single-user gender-neutral spaces. Crews will create a dance studio by installing a wood floor, sound system, mirrors and replacing the partition system with a permanent wall.

This renovation work accommodates phase 2 of the current Enrollment & Program Balancing efforts within PPS’s southeast schools. In the current plans, Harrison Park will convert from a K-8 school to a middle school, and its Kindergarten through 5th Grade students will move into the Clark campus on SE 92nd Avenue, which currently houses Creative Science School.

Contractors will perform these building upgrades without closing the school for additional days, making for a tight summer construction timeline. School staff prepared a comprehensive list of planned updates occurring during the multi-phase renovation project. Look for exterior work to begin when City staff approve permits and increased activity at the site during the summer months.

Pho Kim Reopens Sunday After Long Closure

After a successful soft reopening this week, Phở Kim Vietnamese restaurant and grill will host a grand opening celebration on March 6th. In 2020, an early morning rooftop fire closed the establishment for repairs. Years later, the work is complete at 2204 SE 82nd Avenue, and the staff is eagerly awaiting their customers’ return. Visitors this Sunday are encouraged to arrive by noon to view the White Lotus Lion Dance performance planned for the event. 

Located in what became the Jade District, this family-owned business launched in 2013 with owner Kim Lam managing the front of the restaurant and her husband Chef Tony Tien running the kitchen. For seven years, the couple earned high praise and loyal customers. The June 1st, 2020 fire occurred as the business was recovering from pandemic closures and navigating seating restrictions. Repeated attempts to open Phở Kim met delays, keeping the doors shut longer than everyone expected. Now donning a new all-metal clad roof and an updated sign, Phở Kim is ready to welcome old and new customers inside again.

Visit the restaurant’s Instagram for some appetite-inspiring photos and head over to Phở Kim for their renowned Vietnamese beef noodle soup or another tasty dish. They are open from 9 AM to 9 PM daily for indoor seating or takeout. Groups needing to schedule a reservation should call (503) 954-2535.


Pho Kim with new roof 2022
Pho Kim after fire in 2020

1928 Remodel on NE 70th

Provision Group is wrapping up a remodel at 1205 NE 70th Ave. Originally built in 1928, the house received several alterations over the decades before this most recent work. Late last year, developers bought the property and split the lot into two parcels. They intend to build a new structure where the detached garage currently stands.

The home barely resembles its original form, having been transformed by previous remodels. Decades ago, the owners expanded the second floor by removing half of the pitched roof to expand the bedrooms to the outer edge of the building. The alteration created a near-flat roof in the front of the house and dramatically changed the building’s appearance. 

The most recent upgrades addressed internal functionality and outward esthetics. Inside the house, crews constructed a second bathroom on the top floor. An upgraded Electric Panel adds capacity for the new bathroom and a rewiring of the existing bathroom on the main floor. The unfinished basement received five additional lights to brighten the space.

Outside, crews enlarged the front-facing second-story windows and added a small vent window between them. The exterior of the building received new siding painted with a white base and black trim. Square wood columns replaced the metal portico supports. Modern horizontal slat metal railings extend from the house and down along the stairs. Permit 21-015771 added a new 9-foot by 28-foot parking pad accessed by a new driveway onto NE 70th Ave. This addition will replace the onsite parking for residents, now that the previous parking is part of the new 6975 NE Multnomah Street property.

Expect this property to become available to purchase soon. Work on the new residence behind it could follow sometime after this home sells. The remodel repurposed the original home efficiently, without excessive waste. Although not a historical restoration, it better unifies the mixed-up renovations of the past.

New Plaza Owners Bet on Retail Growth

The 82nd Street Plaza building recently sold to a group of investors who see opportunity in Montavilla’s expanding downtown. Located at 322 SE 82nd Ave, this 1963 era building sits mid-block just north of Stark Street. The new owners will transform the location through building-wide upgrades that enhance the property’s appearance and functionality.

The owners of this property predict that Montavilla’s retail core is expanding towards this block, provided they create an enticing destination. “This building has a lot of potential… it just needs a facelift and a pivot in the leasing in order to pop,” explained Bob Thomas, one of the building’s owners. The investors are committed to updating the building inside and out, including the already rented spaces. All current tenants received offers to extend leases and negotiate improvement to their units. “Most of our ground-floor tenants have expressed a desire to stay,” said Thomas.

The three-story building has four ground-floor retail shops. Oregon Grown operates both a dispensary and the OG Garden Supply at either end of the building. The All Ways Warm fireplace store was the building’s previous owner and will maintain a retail space on the property. Bánh Mì Nam Lộc Deli occupies the other center spot next to All Ways Warm. The second floor is currently empty, having previously rented to a single tenant who vacated the building before its sale. The basement level has remained unused since the closing of the World Famous Cannabis Cafe in 2014.

Over the next few weeks, the building’s exterior will dramatically change. Darker paint and a cedar-siding band above the first floor will change the current color palette of the building. Crews permanently removed green awnings from the structure, and soon the building will feature a new name. The 82nd Street Plaza will become known as Annex, referencing Montavilla Town’s expansion to this section of 82nd Ave.

UPDATE – Completed exterior

Work is well underway. The parking lot is clear of the extra sheds and storage containers that once cluttered the property. Painters are prepping the building for its new colors, and replacement business signs are already on order for each retail unit.

The second-floor office space was not in rentable condition due to its many alterations over the years. Previous to the external work, all interior finishes on the top floor were removed down to the framing, providing a blank canvas for future tenants. The 5,000 square-foot space is currently available for leases by a single business or divided into several suites.

The property spans five tax lots, with three of them used only for parking. Thomas explained that “there is ample parking at the property currently,” and it’s excessive for the building’s needs. Consequently, the owners are exploring the addition of a food cart pod to the property.

Investment at this level in Montavilla indicates a positive shift for the area. Substantial economic advances will take years to materialize, but this building’s facelift will provide visible proof that change is coming. Businesses interested in leasing space at this location should contact Peak Asset Management by phone or email at (503) 567-8692 and info@peakassetmgt.com.

82nd Street Plaza days before exterior work started

Ya Hala Repaints Logo

Yesterday, painters replaced the marquee logo at Ya Hala Lebanese Cuisine. The updated sign adds color behind lowercase “ya hala” text. The previous text featured a thin monochrome font reading “Ya Hala Lebanese Plates – Established 1999.”

Located at 8005 SE Stark Street, the staple of Montavilla Town last painted their building in 2016. The update is an inspiring indication of our community’s gradual reopening after a year of COVID-19 restrictions.

Ya Hala from 2016