Category: View of Montavilla

Proposed Chick-fil-A on SE Stark

This month, the Chick-fil-A development team continued their preliminary work on redeveloping 9950 SE Stark Street. Designers have modified the project from the Early Assistance meeting last May. The current Early Assistance no longer seeks to demolish the approximately 7,012 square foot building or construct a drive-thru lane on the property. Instead, crews will rehabilitate the existing structure to host the fast food restaurant with 98 indoor seats. Plans still include some outdoor seating.

Currently zoned as Central Commercial (CX), City planners expect new developments on this property to maximize density and encourage urban activities. The CX zone allows projects with tall buildings placed close together. Developers working in this zone should create pedestrian-oriented structures with a strong emphasis on a safe and attractive streetscape. The proposed project on SE Stark Street will be a nonconforming use of the existing site. Portland allows noncomplying use within a zone when the building predates the new standards and only expects zone compliance to occur when property owners significantly redevelop the site. The status of nonconforming structures is not affected by changes in ownership or tenant. The project’s initial demolition and drive-thru-oriented redevelopment plan would need to adhere to the CX standards. This new renovation plan will create a different Chick-fil-A than most of the restaurant’s other locations but retain its nonconforming status and maintain the usage pattern of previous tenants.

The single-story structure, first built in 1984, hosted a wide range of restaurants and entertainment venues over the years. Rax Roast Beef owned the property until 1990. Recent tenets included Tony Roma’s restaurant, Hooters, Mystic Gentlemen’s Club, and Venue Gentlemen’s Club. If approved, Chick-fil-A will shift this location’s use back towards general fast food and away from adult-orientated services. The lack of a drive-thru window will limit some of the traffic impact experienced by the change in use. However, based on other Chick-fil-A locations, this could become one of the most popular destinations in the surrounding blocks and attract additional vehicles to the area. The project is likely months away from approval and may fail to move beyond the planning phase. Look for permit applications sometime next year if the City approves this site’s reuse.


Article originally published May 13th, 2022.

A recent land-use Early Assistance application indicates Chick-fil-A may soon open a new restaurant on SE Stark Street. If approved, developers will demolish the 1984-era building and construct a new fast food restaurant with a drive-thru window. Located at 9950 SE Stark Street, the 36,590 square-foot half-block property currently houses an adult entertainment club and bar.

The Chick-fil-A development team intends to construct a 4,991 square foot building with 98 indoor seats for guests. Outdoor canopies and an outdoor eating area with 12 patio seats would surround the new building. The property sits between SE Stark and SE Washington Streets, aligned at SE 99th Avenue near Mall 205. The site offers a variety of vehicle access points and is near the number 15 TriMet bus line. Other Chick-fil-A restaurants tend to attract many visitors, sometimes with lines spilling onto the neighboring street. However, this proposed Chick-fil-A is just six miles from the Clackamas restaurant and seven miles from the Gresham location. That density of stores may reduce peak demand for the proposed eatery and avoid traffic issues sometimes seen at other Chick-fil-A sites.

Developers use Early Assistance applications during the pre-planning phase of a project. Many proposals do not continue past this stage, and this Chick-fil-A may never materialize in this location. However, the addition of a popular destination restaurant in the area could draw in more visitors and improve business for neighboring stores. Expect to see updates regarding building permits if this project moves forward.

NE 97th Avenue LID Grid Restoration

Next summer, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will begin a multi-year project to reconnect portions of the City’s street grid east of Interstate 205. This work will slice up several long blocks, opening the way for new housing developments emphasizing walking, Biking, and public transportation. The project will span from NE 94th Avenue to NE 100th Avenue, with work occurring in two phases.

PBOT intends to begin Phase 1 work in mid-2023, completing sidewalk infill on NE 97th Avenue. Previous developments and public works projects added modern road infrastructure to NE 97th from NE Glisan Street to NE Davis Street. Crews will continue that work south to E Burnside Street. That area currently lacks curbs and sidewalks. This phase will also improve conditions on E Burnside Street from 94th Avenue to 97th Avenue. Portions of the sidewalk and road surface have deteriorated, particularly near the TriMet Max tracks that cross the westbound lane.

E Burnside Street at 94th Avenue Looking east

Planned for the Summer of 2024, Phase 2 of the project has a greater impact on the local streetscape. This work will create new streets and require significant private land dedication to complete. PBOT crews will build new segments of NE Couch Street from NE 97th to 99th avenues and NE Davis Street from NE 97th to 100th avenues. The project’s scope includes new streets, sidewalks, and stormwater improvements.

NE 97th Avenue and NE Couch / Davis LIDs from Portland Maps

As a Local Improvement District (LID), property owners will supply funding for this $15 million project with tax increment financing (TIF) from the Gateway Urban Renewal Area and a transportation system development charge (TSDC). PBOT will cover overhead costs incurred by managing this project.

Developer Joe Westerman and his companies own the majority of the affected properties in the LID. That concentrated ownership likely helped drive the City’s efforts to reconnect streets and will allow a significant change in road use. Although near the I205 Multi-use Path, this section of Portland is challenging to navigate outside of a car. Long blocks force pedestrians onto busy roadways and extend walking distances as people double back to reach a destination. Walkable and bike-able streets near public transit reduce the number of parking spaces needed, allowing for larger developments that maximize land usage and housing density.

NE 97th Avenue at NE Davis Street looking towards E Burnside

In 2019, this area received a surge in development interest, with one project at the corner of E Burnside Street and NE 97th Avenue receiving design approval. Other projects stalled in the Early Assistance phase of development, including a six-story building with 77 units. These planned improvements could help reignite developer interest in this area and spur a new wave of housing construction. Look for road crews to begin work next summer and prepare for new streets in 2024.

East Montavilla Sanborn Map 1928

Large Mixed-use Development on NE 102nd

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.

Better Red work is Reshaping Upper Gateway Green

Update – Starting this week, pedestrians and bicyclists have a new detour when traveling on the I205 Multi-use Path. Construction crews erected a chainlink fence and laid new asphalt, creating a short loop around the active construction zone. Development plans for the path include a slight pavement diversion around support structures holding up the new overhead TriMet Red Line track. This temporary “C” shaped I205 Multi-use Path turnout should remain in place while the Redline Bridge construction is underway. Use caution in the Gateway Green area as this pathway shares space with construction vehicles and workers.


Original article published February 22nd, 2022

In September 2021, TriMet contractors closed the south end of the Gateway Green bike park as part of a light-rail expansion project. The work connects a second track leading from the airport to the Gateway Transit Center for MAX Red Line service. This project will also add a new entry point for the park with several updated amenities. The closure will continue through construction, ending in late 2024.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

Dubbed A Better Red, the project extends the MAX Red Line west to serve ten more stations and adds an extra track to single-track portions of the rail network, allowing for simultaneous bidirectional travel. The rail line expansion at the Portland International Airport can occur directly adjacent to the existing track. However, the land near the Gateway Transit Center is more constrained.

Due to the current track’s proximity to I205, TriMet needed a new path for the second track. The solution chosen by planners sends southbound light-rail cars over the northbound tracks and through the Gateway Green Park. Consequentially, TriMet needs to construct two overpasses. One will take the Red Line above the northbound tracks and the I205 Multi-use bike and pedestrian path. Then another overpass bridge will cross I84, leading into the Transit Center.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

The current I205 Multi-use trail will need to reroute slightly between bridge supports as it travels underneath the new Red Line tracks. That bridge work is underway with an expected path closure during overhead bridge installation work.

Rendering curtesy of TriMet and subject to change

Although the work inside the park is extensive, only two trails and the south entrance to the park are off-limits to visitors. Currently, construction material and equipment block the upper sections of Linda’s Line trail and Rebar Ridge trail. However, crews will extend both courses into a new high-point trailhead when the project completes. Parkgoers will access that amenity from a paved south entry plaza. Thanks to a pathway created alongside the Red Line’s I84 crossing, the south entry to Gateway Green will become the predominant entry point to the park.

When complete, Gateway Green will be more accessible to all types of users while enhancing the MAX service to the airport. The majority of the park will remain open during construction. Visitors should anticipate seeing construction-related activities around the property with the occasional detour along the I205 Multi-use Path.

Federal Funds to Support SE Stark-Washington Improvements

Portland City Council voted Wednesday to accept approximately $17 million in federal grants distributed by Metro through the Regional Flexible Funding Allocation program. One of the four new capital projects funded will impact Montavilla on the SE Stark Washington couplet. Portland will spend $11.4 million on the project, improving road conditions for all modes of travel between SE 92nd and 109th avenues.

The road work spans a busy section of the paired streets that crossover I205 and connects Montavilla to the Gateway Regional Center. Some of the planned improvements include new transit islands and bus lanes, protected bike lanes, improved pedestrian crossings at existing signals, a new pedestrian crossing at SE 105th Avenue, new ADA curb ramps, and street lighting. Work will also resurface or repair pavement. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) believes this work will counter the historic auto-oriented street design at this location and reduce crashes in the area. Montavilla will receive only a tiny portion of the total improvements planned. However, the project will improve conditions for pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transportation users traveling the neighborhood. 

SE Washington Street at I205 south on-ramp

PBOT has not yet created the final plans for this project. However, the proposal contains several illustrations demonstrating a rough outline of possible changes. During the project’s design phase, City engineers will likely need to adjust the placement and scale of these improvements. However, staff based the budget on including these features in the approximate locations indicated in the documents submitted to City Council.

PBOT illustrated view of street improvements

When completed, residents will see SE Stark street gaining protected bike lanes continuing west across the I205 overpass and ending at SE 92nd Avenue. Bike lane crossings and crosswalks will receive fresh high-visibility paint. Curbside parking will move further out into the street, allowing bikes to travel against the road’s edge behind a wide buffer of parked cars. Consequentially, the number 15 TriMet bus stop in front of Motel 6 will move onto a new transit island in line with the parked cars. This stop currently has a temporary bus platform that PBOT installed during the pandemic. Unlike the current design, the new island will allow bicycles to pass behind the bus stop and away from traffic.

Motel 6 number 15 bus stop and temporary platform

On Montavilla’s section of SE Washington Street, most work will focus on pavement repairs and some lane reconfiguration. PBOT intends to add a dedicated right turn lane for people merging onto I205 south. Crews will reconstruct and enlarge the corner adjacent to the turn lane to support pedestrians and bicycles. The new bike lane on SE Washington Street will place riders onto the sidewalk to cross at a more visible location.

Workers will install new bike signals with dedicated signage and upgrade the existing pedestrian signals. Drivers turning onto I205’s south on-ramp will have a new turn-only light with a “NO TURN ON RED” sign. Signalized intersections will receive new Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC) equipment to manage traffic flow intelligently throughout the day.

Road improvements like this can take years to materialize after funding. Portland prioritized this project in the Growing Transit Communities Plan, adopted in 2017. Design work and property owner engagements will come in the next year. However, securing $5,332,000 in grant money for this work should move this project forward at an increased pace. Look for updates on the project in the coming year.

SE Stark Street showing current bike lane moving to the curbside

New Townhouses on Burnside

Update June 27th, 2022 – Construction crews are wrapping up work on a three townhome project at 7424 E Burnside Street. The two-story multi-family development replaced a single-family home while retaining a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) built at the west edge of the lot.


Update March 15th, 2022 – Framing crews have completed work on the three townhomes currently under construction at 7424 E Burnside Street. The unit to the west features a steep gable roof similar in pitch to the neighboring accessory dwelling unit built in 2018. The other two homes share a low slop roof edged by a parapet.

Workers will next seal the two-story building from the elements with a roof system, windows, and siding. After that work completes, tradespeople will focus on the interior with the project’s expected completion later this year.


Update October 19th, 2021 – 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 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.

Construction Begins at Mt Tabor Park

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.

Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) staff started this work as part of the Mt Tabor Central Maintenance Yard Project, breaking ground on a decades-long effort to modernize the central maintenance facility at Mt Tabor Park. The facilities improvement project took form in 2014 with a patchwork of funding. However, planning began years before with the Mt Tabor Central Maintenance Yard & Nursery Master Plan, finalized in 2009. Pandemic closures and significant construction cost increases pushed back this project until now.

construction fences around the Long Block on SE Lincoln Street

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.

PP&R illustration from the Mt Tabor Central Maintenance Yard & Nursery Master Plan

PGF Resurrected Across I205

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.

Glisan EV Charging Under Construction

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.

July 1st – Crews installed electrical conduit
July 1st – Crews installed electrical conduit

UPDATE – Corrected link to electrifyamerica.com July 6th, 2021.

OnPoint Branch Opens

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.

Outside signage and OnPoint ATM