Tag: 82nd Ave

A Market Built for Delivery

Recently, a new market opened along SE 82nd Ave. However, it’s not designed for you to peruse their aisle or visit at all. REEF Technology opened this new location at 1133 SE 82nd Ave to host a collection of impulse-focused brands serving the growing online delivery market. These sellers advertise their products for quick local delivery through various app-based delivery services like Uber Eats, DoorDash, Grubhub, and Postmates.

Before the pandemic, Miami Florida based REEF Technology began developing their nationwide network of parking lots into delivery hubs and ghost kitchens. That business grew immensely during the pandemic, as customers moved to pick up and delivery services for their dining activities. According to the company’s website, “REEF helps property owners transform their parking assets into micro-distribution centers, in turn connecting the surrounding community with the goods and services they need.” This Montavilla location features a refrigerator trailer for ice cream and other cold packaged products. Next to that trailer is an unlabeled food cart that can provide cooked meals for a host of delivery restaurants under REEF’s NBRHD Kitchens program.

Unlike other customer-centric businesses, this location opened quietly. In late May, Portland City inspectors marked electrical permit 21-041316 as complete. It covered the installation of a new outdoor 200 amp electrical panel with service hookups for the mobile distribution center and food cart. Between the trailers, a portable toilet provides washroom facilities for the few employees working the site and the stream of gig-workers showing up to collect the outgoing deliveries.

REEF owns and operates Light Speed Market from this site, offering connivance store products exclusively through delivery apps. Other brands listed on the locations signboard are independent companies that sell directly to customers online or through regular grocery distribution. Their partnership with REEF allows them to advertise their products on delivery apps alongside local restaurants and more prominent brands. The growth of this model is an indication that it works for REEF’s partners. Less-known brands gain national exposure through the listings in delivery apps, and restaurants can launch in new locations without needing infrastructure or staff.



An environmental conservation argument could support this model as well. Micro distribution centers placed throughout a city will reduce the distance delivery drivers travel, decreasing greenhouse gasses generated by those vehicles. Additionally, shorter routes promote fossil-fuel-free delivery methods like bikes or electric scooters.

Despite the benefits, parking lot markets and unlabeled kitchens could potentially cause damages to a neighborhood. Established businesses in the area now have to compete against a brand with significantly lower costs. Rent on a shared kitchen is substantially less than staffing a dedicated restaurant. Additionally, these micro-distribution centers and ghost kitchens employ minimal staff and do not add to the vibrancy of the streetscape.

REEF has discovered a successful business model that feeds the growing appetite among customers for instant gratification with little effort. Demand may subside after the pandemic, but this type of delivery-only operation is likely here to stay unless people put away the delivery apps altogether.

New Fire Hydrants on SE 82nd Ave

Beginning last week, crews with the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) opened up portions of 82nd Ave to repair damage to the water main and install two new fire hydrants. Over the weekend, open trench construction diverted all traffic onto the southbound lanes, reducing five lanes down to two. Work focused on a short section of SE 82nd Ave from E Burnside Street to SE Pine Street.

Installation of the fire hydrants is part of the PWB Hydrant Asset Management Plan. However, the project’s timeline moved up to coincide with unplanned maintenance to damaged pipes. “This was an emergency repair to a leaking two-inch galvanized water main,” explained Jaymee Cuti, Public Information Officer with the Portland Water Bureau. With the street opened for leak repair, crews could accomplish both projects simultaneously.

New fire hydrant east side of SE 82nd Ave at 110 SE 82nd Ave.

One new hydrant is on the southeast corner of SE 82nd Ave and SE Ash Street. The second unit is positioned mid-block in front of 110 SE 82nd Ave. The added fire hydrants shorten the distance between fire-engine connection points on 82nd Ave, safeguarding the growing number of businesses in the area by providing continuous water to firefighters.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) assisted the PWB in restoring the roadway to a drivable condition. Construction has disrupted traffic in the area, but the confined work site prevented wide-reaching congestion. All traffic disruptions should clear by Tuesday.

New hydrants shown as red dots, existing hydrants are blue dots
New fire hydrant east side of SE 82nd Ave on the southeast corner of Ash Street
PBOT owned LeeBoy Asphalt Paver
Crews repairing roadway

Officials Tour 82nd Ave Ahead of Improvements

Today, three elected officials toured SE 82nd Ave to highlight proposed safety investments coming to the roadway. Thanks to United States Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the recently passed US House infrastructure package contains $5 million for 82nd Ave safety improvements. These federal dollars will join $185 million in State and City funds previously committed to 82nd Ave improvements as part of the jurisdictional transfer of the State-owned highway to the City of Portland.

State Representative Khanh Pham and Portland City Commissioner JoAnn Hardesty joined Rep. Blumenauer on the July 9th walk from SE Hawthorne Blvd to the APANO offices on SE Division Street. Positioned on the sidewalks of 82nd Ave, members of the procession observed the failing infrastructure and talked about future repairs.

Along the journey, Comm. Hardesty and others address the concern that gentrification often follows transit improvement projects. The group agreed that 82nd Ave projects need to consider their impact on existing residents and businesses to minimize displacement. Preventing community upheaval was a concern echoed later by Rep. Blumenauer at the press conference that followed today’s tour. “There is a significant amount of wealth to be generated by doing it right, but we have to do it… so it doesn’t displace and drive people away.” He called for projects to “reinforce the elements of community” and kickstart developments that serve all income levels.

At the press conference, the speakers celebrated the infrastructure improvements coming to the roadway. Better lighting and enhanced crosswalks will provide residents near this street the same safety other Portlanders have within their neighborhoods. These upgrades join public transportation developments designed to make living along 82nd Ave feasible.

These infrastructure improvements make the area suitable for more density housing projects that use the untaped real estate above commercial spaces. Rep. Pham expressed dismay at the number of “Mega Storage Units” being created along the roadway. Rep. Blumenauer agreed that those facilities negatively affect community-building efforts. He explained that Self Storage businesses allow companies to hold onto land and generate some profit while they wait for the value of the property to rise, creating “black holes in the community.”

Rep. Blumenauer is a longtime believer in East Portland’s potential. Years ago, he aggressively pressed for PCC’s to expand into the Southeast, with the desire to create social destinations. Much of 82nd Ave’s transportation move people through the area instead of bringing people in. “82nd Ave is the highest volume of transit in the city [and] it has been a lost opportunity for as long as I remember,” Rep. Blumenauer recalled. Fortunately, investments coming to the highway will create the safe spaces people need to live, walk, and build their community. 

Early next year, 82nd Ave will become part of Portland’s network of roads and begin receiving upgrades to make the street safe and modern. Last month, the Oregon legislature approved $80 million in funds that will partially pay for 82nd Ave’s transfer to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. It was one of the last obstacles to overcome ahead of next year’s jurisdictional transfer.

Rep. Blumenauer praised the work of Rep. Pham and Comm. Hardesty on their efforts to move the decades-long transfer process near completion. It required countless hours of negotiations before State and City staff agreed to the terms of transfer. However, the agreement would have stalled if not for an influx of federal recovery funding. Years of work needed to coincide with the right timing for infrastructure investments. Today’s events represented an acknowledgment that supporters won the fight for change on 82nd Ave. Now, efforts will shift to enacting projects that build up the community without pushing people out.

82nd Ave Changing Hands in 2022

Yesterday, The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) and the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reached an agreement to transfer jurisdictional responsibility of 82nd Ave by January 2022. This State Highway running through the geographic center of Portland is in poor condition and requires significant investments. The roadway’s deferred maintenance costs were the primary blocker to Portlands adoption of 82nd Ave into PBOT’s portfolio of streets. This new agreement establishes a price for those repairs and an outline for funding that work.

After years of negotiation, both parties assessed 82nd Avenue’s transfer cost at $185 million. Included in that sum are enhanced signals, lighting, ADA-compliant curb ramps, pavement repairs, and stormwater management. The total also contains money for urgent sidewalk and pedestrian crossing upgrades already approved last month. Three budgetary sources will provide the funds needed. A commitment from the legislature dedicated to fixing the most pressing safety and maintenance needs will supply $80 million. Another $70 million comes from an investment from ODOT and a $35 million commitment from PBOT.

This agreement is a significant achievement for a process that has taken over ten years to negotiate. It follows a deadly year for pedestrians crossing 82nd Ave. Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty has focused her recent effort on fixing this roadway and placing its responsibility into her department. “The pedestrian deaths that have occurred recently are unacceptable but preventable with proper investment in safety infrastructure improvements. Portland is ready to take ownership of 82nd but will need adequate State funding to get it into a state of good repair. I’m appreciative of ODOT and the Portland Metro area legislators that have agreed these deaths are unacceptable, and am hopeful we can get the State funding needed to bring change to one of the most important streets in our City.” 

Legislative approval needs to be in place before this agreement can move forward. Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and Oregon Representative Khanh Pham championed the deal between City and State. With their endorsement and growing support within the legislature, this plan seems likely to succeed.

Despite the substantial investment coming to 82nd Ave, work will only tackle projects ignored over years of neglect. To fully modernize the roadway, additional funds are required. That investment is far more likely to occur under PBOT’s ownership, making this jurisdictional transfer an essential first step to revitalizing the area served by 82nd Ave. Within a year, 82nd Ave could transform from a forgotten State Highway to a future community corridor of Portland.

Family Auto Sales at 82nd and Stark

Hood To Coast Auto Sales is relocating to the car lot at the corner of SE 82nd Ave and Stark Street. Owners Lindsey Barber and Matt Barber started the business two and half years ago in its current location near NE Sandy Boulevard and NE 138th Ave. Having outgrown that building, the couple and their two employees will relocate to Montavilla sometime next month.

New signage and banners at 428 SE 82nd Ave reflect the pending change to Hood to Coast Auto Sales from the location’s previous occupant. For many years the site housed an RV resales business. The Barbers signed a three-year lease on the property but are already looking to becoming long-term occupants of the space. Matt Barber expressed his excitement for the move into an active and welcoming community.

Matt Barber brings nineteen years of automotive experience to his business. However, his partnership with his wife is what shapes the company most. “We offer a family atmosphere where people will not hound-dog you when you step onto the lot,” explained Barber. The company values a hassle-free shopping experience where quality used cars sell at a reduced price.

The new location’s opening date depends on transferring the phones and inventory of used vehicles across town. Look for the car lot to fill up soon, but until then, a listing of the cars for sale is available online at hood2coastautosales.com. Call them at 971-347-3195 with specific questions, or drop in as soon as they are open. 

Lower Speeds on 82nd

Yesterday, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) approved $3.35 million to address safety concerns on 82nd Ave. Those funds will pay for updated signs displaying a new lower speed limit and enhance pedestrian crossings at select locations. Work will begin immediately and complete sometime this fall. This effort is in response to a string of deadly collisions between motorists and pedestrians.

A primary component of the pedestrian safety plan centers around reducing the speed limit on 82nd Ave. The change will span Portland’s stretch of the Oregon highway from NE Killingsworth Street to SE Clatsop street, dropping the speed limit from 35 to 30 mph. The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) recently deployed a similar tactic on NE Glisan Street. Part of the allocated money will pay for replacing speed limit signs along the roadway and digital speed feedback signs to alert drivers if they are over the limit. Portland Police will enforce the new speed reduction as soon as crews post updated signs.

NE 82nd Ave crossing at Pacific Street. Image from Google Maps

Funds will also enhance some pedestrian crossings across 82nd Ave. In Montavilla, two existing crosswalks will receive updates to make them safer. ODOT crews will install new rectangular rapid flashing beacons at NE Pacific Street. Those lights activate when people press a button, indicating their intent to cross. On the other side of the neighborhood, ODOT will install enhanced lighting, new signs, and additional striping at Hawthorne Blvd’s intersection with 82nd Ave. Although not as effective as flashing beacons, it will create a more visible crossing environment.

NE 82nd Ave crossing at Hawthorne Boulevard. Image from Google Maps

When looking at the multi-million-dollar investment by ODOT, it appears on the surface that safety is the State agency’s top concern. Transportation safety advocates applauded the immediate action. However, Portland City staff are not satisfied with the meager investment when compared to the $200 million in repairs and safety upgrades needed on 82nd Ave. In a 2018 memorandum of understanding, ODOT and PBOT settled on the $200 million number as part of a plan to transfer ownership of the currently state-owned roadway. Legislation to move that transfer forward is progressing in Salem.

The $3.35 million spent on these updates is a short-term bandaid to the notoriously dangerous road. Much more work is needed and hopefully coming. However, if these improvements can make 82nd Ave a little safer for pedestrians, it is worth the effort. Look for changes to begin soon and note the lower speed limit when driving on the highway.

PCC’s Twenty Year Facilities Plan

Today Portland Community College (PCC) launched a survey seeking input from students, staff, faculty, and the community regarding the college’s four campuses. The survey results, coupled with feedback received from online workshops, will help shape the facilities plan, guiding the future investment and priorities over the next ten to twenty years.

James Hill, the PCC Public Relations Manager, explained that they are interested in hearing from all people who interact with the campus, including neighbors. “In addition to ensuring the physical space supports the communities we serve, we are also interested in input to help PCC provide a more welcoming and inclusive place to learn, teach, work, and visit.”

The online Visioning Workshop for Montavilla’s Southeast Campus is scheduled for Thursday, April 22. It begins at 9:00 AM and runs through 10:30 AM. You can Register on Zoom for the meeting. However, Hill encourages residents of the neighborhood to participate via the online survey, which is available at the project website www.pcc.edu/fp2. Questions will ask for priorities regarding buildings and the outdoor areas with a focus on increased accessibility.

When all the data is collected, PCC will share the results via the project website, providing a summary of what they gathered at the campus workshops and through the survey. Participant’s input will inform the planning team while they draft recommendations for future development at each campus. Later this year, PCC will seek community input again on draft recommendations and ideas through another online survey. The team will refine the proposed plans based on community input and publish a final report at the end of 2021.

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

82nd Ave Auto Lot for Sale

An auto and van sales lot located at 1515 SE 82nd Ave is for sale. Currently, the home of Jeff Baldwin Auto Sales, the property owner is seeking $1,800,000 for the 3,908 square-foot lot. The listing includes an automotive service shop and a 1916 era home currently used as the sales office.

Listed by SVN Bluestone & Hockley, this property spans the west edge of 82nd Ave from SE Clay Street to SE Hawthorne Blvd. Existing zoning for the property would encourage another auto sales or auto-centric business.

It would be ideal for the community to see this property bought and developed into something other than an auto sales lot. Construction at this site would trigger sidewalk improvements through the 82nd Avenue Plan. It is unknown if the property sale will cause the current tenant to close or relocate.

Large Cleanup on 82nd and Glisan

Last Saturday morning, 53 volunteers gathered in Montavilla Park to collect litter in the neighborhood. SOLVE and Detrash Portland coordinated the event with local support from the MNA Clean Team. Crews walked along NE 82nd Ave and NE Glisan street, filling 63 bags of trash.

By the end of the event, an estimated 750 pounds of trash piled-up at the park, waiting to be hauled away. Residents of Montavilla and volunteers from all over the city participated. With the success of this event, plans for future SOLVE cleanups along 82nd Ave are underway. Those cleanups will occur with the support of the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association and the Montavilla Neighborhood Association. Interested volunteers should watch the SOLVE events page for those cleanups and others like them happening throughout Portland. 


Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the NMA Board