Category: View of Montavilla

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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Mass Timber Affordable Housing on NE Glisan

Site work is underway for a new eight-story mixed-use building at NE 99th Avenue and Glisan Street. Designed by Access Architecture of Vancouver, WA, the building is named TimberView due to its predominantly wood-framed construction and scenic top-floor outdoor terrace. The mass timber structure will provide 105 affordable housing units with ground-floor commercial space.

Located in Portland’s Gateway District, this property occupies a 9,583-square-foot corner lot that once supported a single-family residence. Demolition crews deconstructed that house and detached garage in 2012. Heavy equipment recently leveled the ground, preparing the land for imminent construction. Additionally, workers removed some large trees from the property this week. However, several new street trees will surround the site after crews install the wider sidewalk as a part of this project.

TimberView building, rendering courtesy of Access Architecture

Developers working in the Gateway District create projects with larger urban-scale designs that emphasize public transportation and efficient use of land. The scale of the new structure will match the adjacent building on this block, all built within the last decade. The bar-shaped building will relocate the site’s entrance from NE Glisan to 540 NE 99th Avenue, in the center of the building. When completed, this mid-rise tower will offer a full range of apartments, from Studio to three-bedroom units.

Expect construction work to begin soon with cranes lifting cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor panels atop glue-laminated timber beams and columns. This type of construction can assemble faster than other projects using concrete. Vendors create many elements of the building’s structure off-site, facilitating a quick assembly at the property. When completed, this site will provide a healthy addition of affordable housing.


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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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Two Montavilla Adjacent Libraries Closing for Expansion

Multnomah County will close the Midland and Holgate Libraries for renovations this month. Construction at these sites will temporarily reduce nearby public library options for Montavilla residents for over a year. County planners expect both projects to complete in the middle of 2024. Until then, people can utilize the three remaining libraries within 3-miles of the neighborhood or take transportation to one of the many other locations.

The Midland Library at 805 SE 122nd Avenue will close on December 23, 2022, and reopen in the summer of 2024. Crews will renovate and expand the 23,871-square-foot building, adding 6,000 square feet to support increased usage. The completed project will incorporate more gathering spaces and activities, with dedicated areas for children and young adults. These updates will provide more room for community use, faster internet, and updated technology.


Midland Library’s new and expanded features will include:

  • Outdoor interactive children’s play area.
  • Large play and learning space for children and families.
  • Dedicated teen room with space for technology, homework and creative expression.
  • Updated technology and internet.
  • Outdoor plaza for community members to relax and connect.
  • New art that represents the community.
  • A Gathering Circle for community conversation. 

Demolition crews will remove the existing Holgate Library building at 7905 SE Holgate Blvd. The County constructed the 6,060-square-foot single-story building in 1971. Construction workers will build a new two-story building, triple the size of the current space, for a total of 21,000 square feet. This branch will become one of the largest libraries in Multnomah County. Holgate Library will temporarily close for construction starting on December 5, 2022. If construction timelines hold to the schedule, this all-new Library building will reopen in the spring of 2024. 

Draft plans for Holgate Library from an April 2022 Presentation. Courtesy Multnomah County

Holgate Library’s new and expanded features will include:

  • Large play and learning space for children and families.
  • Dedicated teen room with space for technology, homework and creative expression.
  • Multiple flexible programming and meeting rooms.
  • Updated technology and internet.
  • Outdoor plaza for community members to relax and connect. 
  • New art that represents the community.
  • Solar panels to help offset energy use.

Draft renderings for Holgate Library from an April 2022 Presentation. Courtesy Multnomah County

These two ambitious projects are part of Multnomah County’s work to expand and modernize these public spaces, helping the library change and grow alongside the community. Holgate and Midland libraries are among the first branches to undergo dramatic rebuilding and expansion in the mid-county. In spring 2023, construction will begin at Albina and North Portland libraries, temporarily closing those locations. These libraries are the first set of eight total building projects funded through the 2020 library bond, including the construction of a new East County Library. Montavilla residents looking for the next nearest public Library can use Belmont Library at 1038 SE Cesar Estrada Chavez Blvd., Gregory Heights Library at 7921 NE Sandy Blvd., or Hollywood Library at 4040 NE Tillamook Street.


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Eastport Food Cart Pod for Sale

The half-acre property and food cart pod at 3905 SE 82nd Avenue is available to purchase for $3.6 million. Listed by Keller Williams RealtyEastport Food Center is a fully leased 26-space food cart pod situated across from Eastport Plaza. The pod opened in 2020 on a former used auto-lot. The owner converted the 900-square-foot sales office into an indoor seating area, installed water and sewer hookups for each cart, and completely fenced the property.

The real estate flyer for the listing touts a yearly rental income of $400,000 which would offset the purchase price of this investment property. A new food cart pod across 82nd Avenue from this location opened a little over a year ago, placing the two eating destinations within three blocks of each other. That purpose build property at 3612 SE 82nd Avenue, called Collective Oregon Eateries (CORE), has added competition to the casual dining market along 82nd Avenue. However, it offers around half the cart spaces as its neighbor.

The site’s sale is contingent on the seller achieving a 1031 Exchange purchase of another property. This tax-saving maneuver is available when a person sells one investment property to buy another investment property. This requirement indicates the seller is not looking to generate cash but wants to move their investment to another location within the United States. Interested buyers should contact James Gillespie with Foundation Commercial Group (KW Commercial) by phone at 503-890-5775 or by email.

Correction: A version of this article mistakenly noted annual revenue as monthly. It has been corrected, and we regret the error.


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Proposed NE Halsey Substation Enhances Grid

In the last days of 2017, PacifiCorp purchased an industrial property composed of three metal-clad buildings at 9380 NE Halsey Street. In 2018, the power utility cleared all structures from the property and now proposes the construction of a new distribution substation at this Interstate 84 adjacent site. When completed in 2026, this location would increase capacity for Pacific Power’s customers and meet the increasing demand placed on the power grid.

Pacific Power, a division of PacifiCorp, provides electricity to Montavilla properties north of SE Stark Street. Although located just outside the neighborhood’s boundary, this distribution substation will play a critical role in maintaining the local power grid as service demands increase. “The purpose of the new substation is to increase capacity to serve customers, further improve reliability, and plan for growth. These are all long-term goals,” explained Tom Gauntt with PacifiCorp.

Portland Maps

Energy experts project that the region’s power demands will jump as developers construct new buildings and people upgrade existing properties. During the October 6th Design Commission Hearing, Commissioner Samuel Rodriguez noted that developers anticipate building transformers to increase in size by 20 percent to accommodate new Electric Vehicle (EV) charging requirements. He, and other commissioners, also acknowledged environmentally conscious design would increase power system demands. Many builders will rely entirely on electricity as they remove carbon-emitting natural gas appliances and heating systems from buildings. The increase in power-efficient devices has improved the burden placed on the power grid. However, taking over the work of natural gas, installing EV charging capacity, and the increased use of air conditioning will require more electricity than we currently use.

Pacific Power engineers are just now beginning the planning and permitting process for the distribution substation on NE Halsey Street. Final plans for the project are years away from completion. However, this addition to the power distribution network should be online in advance of demand, allowing for environmentally responsible shifts in construction and new electricity service for an increasing population.

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

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