This week, workers erected a construction fence around half of the Long Block in Mt Tabor Park. Located on SE Lincoln Street, the enclosed space will become a plant storage area. Nearby, crews will construct a new greenhouse along SE 64th Ave. These two small projects are part of a sizeable multi-phase development now underway.
The Mt Tabor Yard serves as a central dispatch for PP&R maintenance and nursery services across the city. Over 140 maintenance employees work from this location. Most of the project’s construction will occur within the existing yard’s boundaries. However, Phase 1 expands into park space that previously served the public. The Long Block is located from SE 60th to 64th Avenues, between SE Harrison and Lincoln Streets. This 600 foot-long flat grassy field, often a site for group athletic activities, is now half its original length and separated from other park amenities.
The public space lost is relatively minimal compared to the enhancements planned around the worksite. Portlanders will gain increased access to Mt Tabor Park via a new paved multimodal pathway connecting SE Division Street and SE 64th Avenue. The gravel east edge of SE 64th Ave between SE Sherman and SE Lincoln Streets will gain a new curb and sidewalk, fully connecting paved access to the park from Division Street. Around the site, PP&R will plant native landscaping with over 100 new trees. Plans also include a public art installation in partnership with the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).
Work will progress over the next two years, with an expected completion date in the Summer of 2023. Users of this area of Mt Tabor Park should anticipate increased activity and some traffic disruption during the project’s construction. When completed, PP&R will be one step closer to having a modern maintenance facility to serve Portland’s numerous green spaces more efficiently.
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.
After months closed due to fire damage at their previous location, Portland Garment Factory (PFG) staff will move into a new home. This formerly downtown Montavilla business will now produce zero-waste apparel outside the neighborhood boundary in the Forge Parkour building. This week electricians are on site preparing the recently purchased building for the clothing manufacturer’s equipment.
Located at 311 SE 97th Ave, the PGF staff will work across the I205 Freeway from Montavilla. The building became available after Forge Parkour shutdown permanently amid pandemic restrictions. The unique structure was purpose-built for its last occupant three years ago. Designers of the corrugated metal-clad building created distinct angles along the entire facade of the building, hiding its warehouse-sized interior. The building’s unusual shape is visible from the I205 Freeway and is eye-catching even when driving past the building at 60MPH. The property is located between SE Stark Street and E Burnside Street, allowing easy access from major streets.
PFG owner Britt Howard and staff recently posted a montage video chronicling their preparatory work on the company’s Instagram. The building is practically new and appears only to require minor alterations. Designed to hold a gym, the interior of the building is open with high ceilings. That configuration should accommodate the long bolts of fabric and large machinery used in the company’s manufacturing business.
After the fire on April 19th, the community mobilized to support this beloved Montavilla business. People expressed their support for PGF’s rebuilding efforts through a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $118,000. Many of the supporters have already voiced their excitement over the new building through social media. Britt Howard has maintained grace and perseverance when speaking publicly about the tragedy of losing a business, always working toward the goal of reopening. Keep an eye on the companies website and Instagram for updates on the official opening date.
Work is underway at the Fred Meyer parking lot at 6615 NE Glisan Street. Crews are creating four EV charging stations located near the eastern entrance along NE Glisan Street. Removal of eleven standard parking spaces and one planter island will make way for four EV charging spots. Workers will also create a new fenced equipment island to support charging infrastructure.
Designers submitted permit applications for the charging station at the beginning of the year. However, their permit 21-002507 was approved just last week. As part of this project, landscapers will plant additional shrubbery to conceal the equipment area. The new island is near equal in size to the four EV parking spaces. Fencing around the utility zone will use 8 foot high Trex fencing.
An excavator worked most of Tuesday on preparing the area for the substantial electrical work that will take place. Charging station dispensers stand to the side of the vehicle instead of at the front of the parking spot. This positioning allows for two side-by-side hookups facing opposite directions, concentrating the user-accessible equipment into two clusters. PGE will connect to the charging station via an underground electrical conduit feeding a 750 KVA transformer.
Electrify America manages these new charging spots and bills customers between $0.31 per kWh to $0.43 per kWh. The spaces are reserved for people charging their vehicles. Ten minutes after charging completes, an idle fee of $0.40 per minute is added to the customer’s bill. EV charging maps already show the EV charges at Fred Meyer as “Coming Soon,” indicating that this project will complete quickly.
The addition of EV charges in the area is encouraging for those who own an electric vehicle and nearby businesses that will welcome customers killing time during their charging session. Look for the parking lot at Fred Meyer to be a bit congested as work continues. However, based on current progress, the disruptions should clear up within a few weeks.
UPDATE – Corrected link to electrifyamerica.com July 6th, 2021.
Last week, the OnPoint 67th & Glisan Branch opened inside the Fred Meyer Grocery store located at 6615 NE Glisan Street. Credit union staff are meeting with walk-in customers six days a week in the newly renovated bank branch, and a new OnPoint branded 24-hour ATM is active next to the grocery store’s south entrance.
OnPoint Community Credit Union is in the midst of the largest expansion in company history, opening twenty new branches located within Fred Meyer stores across Oregon and Southwest Washington. This location previously functioned as a Chase Bank location until late last year, and its departure limited local banking options. This new branch will likely entice residents to create new accounts with OnPoint as few other financial institutions are investing in neighborhood banking.
The location is open 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Saturdays.
UPDATE – This week, crews began work on a four-story storage facility located at 1530 NE 67th Ave. Heavy equipment is resurfacing the site, and a Pile Driver is inserting new steel posts into the property line along NE Halsey Street. The posts will stabilize the road’s edge as soil removal clears the way for the building’s foundation.
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.
Crews are busy at work transforming the former Glisan Street Chase Bank into an OnPoint Community Credit Union. Located inside the Fred Meyer Grocery store at 6615 NE Glisan Street, the bank space has remained vacant since last December. Freshly painted signage and new teller stations indicate that banking services will soon return to this location.
The swapping of financial institutions is part of the largest branch expansion in OnPoint’s history. The Credit Union agreed in November of 2020 to open twenty new branches located within Fred Meyer stores across Oregon and Southwest Washington. A month later, Cory Freeman became Vice President and Regional Manager of the in-store branches. During that announcement, the Glisan Street Fred Meyer was identified as one of those twenty new locations.
The opening of OnPoint is a welcomed change to a recent trend that is reducing banking options in the Montavilla area. Chase Bank, US Bank, and Riverview have all closed or plan to close their nearby branches. Convenient banking is essential to small businesses dealing in cash. This new location may entice local businesses to move their accounts over to OnPoint. Look for the Credit Union to open in the next few months.
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.
Last week, planners submitted Design Review request 21-022957 for upgrades at Gateway Transit Center. TriMet will construct a new station platform for the Max Red Line as part of the A Better Red project. The new platform will serve trains traveling from the Portland International Airport towards Portland’s City Center.
Aside from faster travel times for Red Line passengers, this project will bring improvements to the area. The new Max track over the Freeway will include a pedestrian and bicycle bridge to the Gateway Green park. The new platform will be two blocks away from the other stops at the station, requiring a connecting sidewalk along the back edge to the Park and Ride property. With improved lighting, increased activity, and fencing, the security at that parking lot could improve.
Construction will begin this year and run through 2023. This transit project should be an exciting upgrade to local infrastructure with improved access to an isolated bike park. A more detailed timeline will take shape later this year as construction permits are submitted.
A recent permit application reveals that the Fred Meyer grocery store on NE Glisan Street plans to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. The proposed project would create four charging stations along the parking lot’s southern edge. Fred Meyer stores frequently offer Blink branded EV charges.
Permit application 21-002507 seeks to install the four EV charging stations and supporting infrastructure at 6615 NE Glisan Street. In addition to the car chargers, concrete pads and bollards will protect the new equipment. Installation of a nearby utility vault will contain the substantial electricity connections needed to operate the chargers. The project area may also receive decorative screening to obscure the hardware from street view.
When completed, this Fred Meyer store will join three other public locations offering recharging service in the Montavilla area. Those locations are:
Drivers of electric vehicles will welcome the expanded availability of EV charging stations in the neighborhood. When visiting businesses on NE Glisan, they can soon charge their electric car and feel confident they have the energy to get back on the road. EV charging stations will be just one more feature to attract customers to NE Glisan and help grow businesses in the area.
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