After eighty-six years, the Stein Haus building at 2366 SE 82nd Ave met its end. The long-shuttered building’s removal makes way for a new building, yet to be announced. The old establishment had a long history in the area, representing the old-Portland bar culture.
Demolition permit 20-187725 issued to the developer on October 9th, and twelve days later, crews razed the structure. The property is owned by the same company that recently completed the Pacific Plaza building adjacent to this lot.
The Stein Haus building existed during the car-centric era of 82nd Ave. Its design attracted attention from moving vehicles, and it pushed far forward towards the street, encroaching on the sidewalk. Any new structure will need to sit back from SE 82nd Ave, creating a safer pedestrian area.
Losing older structures like Stein Haus is always disheartening. However, redevelopment can make way for a better economic and socially enriching future. Hopefully, another business with rich character will occupy this spot.
This November, voters will have an opportunity to approve ballot measure 26-218. Among other transportation-related projects, Metro created this ballot measure to seek funding for ten significant initiatives. A winning yes vote on 26-218 would create a new payroll tax on businesses with more than 25 employees.
A pro Measure 26-218 website, Let’s Get Moving, states that “91% of our region’s businesses are exempt from the tax.” By their account, this would only burden larger businesses that can absorb the added expense. The measure will authorize the Metro Council to impose a payroll tax of up to 0.75%. It would exempt businesses with 25 or fewer employees and local governments from the tax.
Opponents of this measure contend that the increase in payroll taxes will deter job growth and favors public transportation projects when ridership is at a historic low. Other arguments against Measure 26-218 focus on project flexibility within the measure. Although initially focused on specific initiatives in 17 regional corridors located in Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties, project funds will be used at Metro’s discretion. The measure allows the council to remove or add corridors and amend the list of programs as they see fit.
The opposition’s perspective is understandable. Increasing taxes in a rough economic period is rarely a popular choice. However, that difficult economic time is going to cause a budget shortfall to some degree. The region already has road and transit deficiencies that would need to be addressed in the coming years, regardless of the economy. Money from this tax could help alleviate the impact on infrastructure from budget cuts.
The focus on improved public transit will ultimately help employers. COVID-19 has forced people off the roads in the short term. Those workers that can work from home indefinitely were not heavy users of public transportation. Public transportation often serves those who have jobs requiring physical attendance. Increasing the speed and availability of transportation means employers have a more comprehensive selection of people that can commute to their location.
The funding flexibility within the projects could be concerning. If the public were voting on a bond for a specific project, there should be an expectation of fixed budgets and measured results. However, Measure 26-218 is a new tax without a particular end date attached to it or a definition of complete. Spending focus will change as projects complete, and new initiatives will replace them. A requirement of this measure will create an oversight board to review and report on project progress. Additionally, an external auditor will give annual reviews of fund collection and use.
The Let’s Get Moving site has high-level information on what could be addressed by funding from this new tax. Although the ten launch programs below offer a perspective on what Measure 26-218 hopes to fix, the implemented programs will change based on funds collected and need over time.
Safe Routes to Schools,
Safety Hot Spots,
Thriving Main Streets,
Regional Walking and Biking Connections,
Youth Transit Access,
Better Bus, and
Future Corridor Planning.
Specifically looking at the impact on Montavilla, two of the regional corridors run through the center of the neighborhood. Work on Burnside Street will improve safety through added lighting and enhanced crosswalks.
Perhaps the most significant neighborhood improvements will happen along 82nd Ave. The county-owned roadway will receive a much-needed rebuild. Our MAX station at 82nd and I84 will receive attention regarding pedestrian access. Taxes from Measure 26-218 would pay for safety improvements through better lighting, crosswalks, protected bike lanes, and Greenways. Traffic signal upgrades would also be part of work on this project corridor.
Measure 26-218 proposed updates across the TriMet footprint will benefit Montavilla residents. Bus electrification is one of the marquee projects featured in ballot text. Replacing older vehicles with electric models will cut dangerous diesel emissions in our neighborhood and lower our streets’ noise levels.
Voting yes on a new tax is not an easy choice for voters. As a payroll tax, it will not directly impact the individual voter’s income. However, many residents work for companies with 26 or more employees. This tax will affect their employer, and it could change how those companies choose to grow staff. The harmful impact of the tax is unknowable at this point. However, we acknowledge our roads and transportation systems are underfunded for the number of people living and working in the region. Ultimately, having poor infrastructure could hurt our ability to recover quickly from the wounded economy. People desperate for employment will travel further for work opportunities; they will need dependable roads and transit to make those long commutes. Measure 26-218 could be a tool to help with the recovery and hopefully not hinder it.
Montavilla News does not endorse individual candidates or ballot measures
An automobile destroyed another prominent Montavilla bus stop late last week. Friday, September 25th, crews removed the broken bus shelter along NE Glisan near 82nd Ave. The shelter served the number 19 Bus stop in front of the Montavilla Community Center.
Tia York, Public Information Officer for TriMet, confirmed the reason for its removal. “The bus shelter at NE 82nd and Glisan was struck by a vehicle over the weekend and damaged beyond repair.” York went on to say that TriMet does not currently have replacement shelters available to replace the damaged unit.
In a Reddit post, a potential eyewitness to the collision provides their account. “I was heading home with my 6 months old, and someone who was obviously drunk crashed into a bus stop, annihilated it, hit another car, almost hit me and my baby, and then continued to swerve and fly down Glisan like a maniac.”
This location is the second area bus shelter to be destroyed by an automobile. The bus shelter at the corner of 82nd and Burnside received similar damage earlier this summer. That bus shelter was also not replaced.
According to York, TriMet will replace this bus shelter as “soon as possible.” Although TriMet appreciates that the lack of a bus shelter inconveniences some riders, they ask for patience while replacing the damaged structures. York hints at a longer replacement timeline by encouraging riders to “bundle up and carry an umbrella as the rainy season approaches.”
In both incidents, the bus shelters were vacant. However, if this continues to be the site of future collisions, someone is bound to be injured. Perhaps it is time for PBOT to consider placing high-impact bollards near vulnerable pedestrian waiting areas. Hopefully, these types of incidents decrease and remain casualty free.
Pacific Plaza anchors the busy intersection of 82nd Ave and SE Division. The new retail building finished construction this week and is now seeking tenants. This building represents a significant advancement in the area’s redevelopment, as it transforms into a pedestrian-centric commercial corridor.
The retail location, clad in dark brick, features a towering central entryway of glass and metal. Both design elements draw the attention of people passing through the intersection. The building owners, CSS Properties, choose the material and color pallet for this building carefully. CSS Properties “had a really clear idea about the materiality. They are big fans of masonry and this dark-colored brick that they chose… They had a vision about the two street-facing elevations. Break up the massing somewhat with the parapet line.” Said Nathan Junkert, Project Manager with Scott Edwards Architecture. They knew it would be highly visible and wanted to attract people into the structure.
Part of drawing people into the building starts with creating an open area in front of the building. “We carved out a little bit of space around the bus shelter and main entry to respect that public-facing side of the building.” Said Junkert. Extra space at the corner not only makes the intersection safer for pedestrians but creates a comfortable location for people to transition between the building and street.
Pacific Plaza’s use of a double hight center hallway is a distinctive feature for a multi-tenant retail building of this size. Tenants can utilize both the interior and exterior entryways for their business. Having an indoor promenade in addition to street-side storefronts will expand foot traffic opportunities for shops and restaurants in the building. The hallway connects two enlarged entrances on either side of the structure and bisects the building, creating a north and south half.
Currently, the hallway and utility room are the only completed interior spaces within the building. There are no shared restrooms for the property; each tenant will need to create their own facilities. Both halves of the building are continuous, from front to back, and only crushed rock lines the floor. The retail space is left unfinished to allow future tenants the flexibility in creating their store’s layout. Plumbing for water and sewer extends into each perspective space. Electrical service also is stubbed into the building, connecting to each retail location from the meter-bank outside. The structure has entryways to support up to 14 individual retail establishments. However, tenants will likely occupy larger storefront sections and reduce the building’s overall number of shops.
According to Alexi Meuwissen, Director of Marketing and Business Development with Scott Edwards Architecture, CSS Properties are actively seeking specific prospects. “The owners do not have any tenants secured yet, but they are targeting the following: Starbucks, Subway, Verizon, FedEx, and physical therapy.” Building designers envisioned food service as a potential use for this site. “Grease interceptors are already installed. It’s well-prepped for restaurants.” Said General Contractor Jef Krohn with Joseph Hughes Construction (JHC).
It is easy to envision restaurants in this location because of its history of housing eateries. This site had previously been the decade-long home to the Hung Far Low restaurant. Over its history, this corner lot supported a hundred years of successful business in Portland. That constant occupation and redevelopment complicated construction when digging drywells for the project. “When we did dig this thing up, there was so much stuff underneath this building that had been here for hundreds of years.” Said Krohn.
Further complicating the construction of the building was its proximity to the building at 8245 SE Division Street. That structure is within 14 inches of Pacific Plaza’s east wall. Being so close to the building prevented them from installing brick veneer from the outside of the building. That restriction required switching building materials from a standard steel frame structure to a structural brick wall on that side of the building. “We had to lay all the brick from the inside,” explained Krohn. Scott Edwards Architecture had to adjust the plans as the project was underway. “We had to think on our feet,” described Junkert. The outward appearance is indistinguishable between the two types of wall construction. However, it was an example of the unseen challenges they faced.
Another difficulty for the project came from COVID-19. This project completed in just over seven months, despite being in the middle of a pandemic. During the crisis, steel suppliers shut down, forcing builders to seek out new sources. Workplace safety policies frequently changed during the project, creating delays from adjusting to safety rules and sourcing different protective equipment.
Regardless of challenges, the project team is pleased with the timely delivery and quality of what they have created. Buildings replaced as part of 82nd Ave’s revitalization can create some public concern. There is an understanding that new structures are shaping the maturing character along the street. Junkert expressed his desire that the building’s placement and design will complement the neighborhood. “We are hopeful that occupying the corner and building out the street frontage will have a positive effect on 82nd and the Jade District in general.”
More people are living near this section of town, and not just driving to it. The building is a successful compromise between 82nd Avenue’s history as a car-centric street and its future as a pedestrian-friendly community space. Pacific Plaza has a healthy amount of onsite parking, accessible from 82nd Ave and SE 83rd Ave. Despite parking availability, this building focusses on pedestrians. Every side of this development has large windows and entrances to the property. It will have activity in all directions and encourage people to travel through and around the building.
CSS Properties had ideas of what type of businesses would fit here when the project begin. However, COVID-19 has shifted those expectations towards a greater variety of possible occupants. They are willing to work with any interested tenant and are devoted to making the building suitable for prospective businesses.
Pacific Plaza represents an accelerated transformation of both 82nd Ave and SE Division. This area once had only business lining the street, and they catered to automobile access. With the opening of the Orchards of 82nd apartment building at this intersection, the area is firmly a community of residents and businesses. The shops of Pacific Plaza should expect local customers to travel on foot and create an establishment serving those customers’ needs. They have an opportunity to further transform these cross streets in a positive direction by providing services for both residents and visitors.
Board members reviewed the works of artist Hector H Hernandez at the September 14th Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) meeting. Hernandez is the preferred candidate to create Montavilla’s newest piece of public art. MNA is working with Jacksons Food Stores to create a tile-mosaic as part of the new gas station and store at 515 NE 82nd Ave.
The mosaic will be part of a new Pedestrian Plaza at the southeast corner of the property. It will face the intersection of NE Glisan Street and 82nd Ave and create a barrier between the gas station and the plaza area. The task of finding an artist from the community, and working with Jacksons Food Stores to commission the project, is the responsibility of board member Adam Wilson. Wilson sought community input at previous MNA meetings and searched within the Portland art community. Hernandez became the preferred candidate, based on the project requirements and his portfolio.
The initial specification for the project calls for a four-foot by forty-foot mosaic. Jacksons Food Stores is willing to commit $10,000 towards the artwork. However, that may be insufficient for the size of the project. The artist estimates the costs closer to $20,000. MNA board members reviewed Hernandez’s work at the meeting and expressed a desire to find a solution to the funding gap.
Hector H Hernandez’s work includes many public murals in Oregon. Consequently, Hernandez has experience in creating artwork with direction from neighborhood associations and private businesses. In an email interview with Montavilla News, Hernandez described his approach to this type of project. Through a process of investigation and communication, Hernandez seeks to “creating an emblematic piece of artwork that will enhance the neighborhood aspirations and dreams.”
This piece of public art will last many years on a marquee corner, and its selection will comment on the neighborhood. As the selection process moves forward, there should be more public opportunities to view the design options. Follow the MNA Facebook for updates on this project and to share your opinions.
The dilapidated building at 2366 SE 82nd Ave is set to be demolished in the coming weeks. CSS Properties LLC owns this building and the new Pacific Plaza building next door. It is being removed ahead of a future development project at this site.
Demolition Permit 20-187725 seeks to demolish the restaurant and bar. The application notes this is on the “same lot as [a] single-family residence currently being demolished under 19-253142-RD.” That earlier demolition occurred months before making room for Pacific Plaza trash enclosure.
This building once was home to the Stein Haus bar and would have become the Last Drop Bar. However, those plans changed sometime after the COVID-19 shutdown. The demolition will bring an end to a unique building from Portlands past, but its replacement is part of 82nd Ave’s needed transformation. That change will help make the area walkable and a comfortable place for people to live and work.
Two demolition permits for Montavilla Park were recently submitted. Application 20-159559 and 20-159551 seek to demolish the park’s wading pool and picnic structure. Currently, these structures are fenced off.
Mark Ross, Media Relations with Portland Parks & Recreation, explained that this work is in preparation for a replacement picnic structure. “Portland Parks & Recreation must demolish and remove the existing shelter which had become unstable. The bureau plans to replace it with a similarly sized shelter. The wading pool is not functional and cannot be used per State regulations which went into effect some years ago.”
The picnic structure is visible from NE Glisan Street and is adjacent to the children’s play area. This corner of Montavilla Park is dark and uninviting in its current condition. The demolition should clear the way for needed upgrades to the park.
Top photo is courtesy of Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland, OR.
Two new demolition permits have been submitted for the corner of 82nd Ave and NE Glisan. Both demolition sites are part of a new combined lot at 611 NE 82nd Ave. The permits reference an alternative address of 621 NE 82nd Ave and could become the final address of the replacement gas station being built.
Application 20-152293 seeks to demolish a restaurant and remove surrounding concrete sidewalks, ramps, parking lot asphalt, and wheel stops. No basement is onsite, so minimal fill will be needed when removing the foundation. The site will be cleared of all debris and utilities will be capped. This location had most recently been a Pizza Hut restaurant.
The linked demolition permit, 20-152279, will demolish the Jacksons Food Stores and carwash. Removal of the Shell fuel canopy, with concrete dispenser islands and gas pump equipment, is part of this application. The 96 square foot trash enclosure, concrete sidewalks, ramps, parking lot asphalt, and wheel stops are all being removed from the site. Similar to the other demolition, the site will be cleared of all foundations and utilities will be capped.
Demolition and construction could have been worked on in phases for this project. However, it seems that the site will be cleared of all structures prior to construction. The replacement fueling station will have more pump stations and a new connivance store. The store will have walk-in refrigerators and freezes, as well as a kitchen. These features could indicate the connivance store will house an in-store restaurant.
When completed, this will be the largest gas station in Montavilla. It will reshape the corner, mostly along NE 82nd Ave. The change will likely be positive for the area. The new gas station placement could make for safer pedestrian use of sidewalks around the site. Currently people using the bus stop or crosswalks at this location, have to contend with vehicles crossing over the sidewalks in close proximity to where people stand. The longer lot will allow for vehicle access away from the heavily used corner, giving a buffer for pedestrians.
Construction at this site will also help modernize the sideways. Sidewalk width should be increase as part of the 82nd Ave walkability improvements, and is trigged by construction of this size.
Although this will still be a car centric project, pedestrians should see some benefit. If done well, the new gas stations should add to the general revival of NE Glisan as a walkable business district.
Active construction is well underway at Pacific Plaza, on the corner of SE Division and 82nd Ave. Much of the steel frame has been constructed and the metal studwork is filling in the gaps. Near 80% of the roof work has also been constructed.
The building at 2464 SE 82nd Ave was little more than early foundation work back in February, when Montavilla News first reported on the project. Now the size and impact of the project is apparent to all that pass through the busy intersection. The project will pick up momentum quickly from here on out, until the building is ready for tenant buildout.
No new tenants are yet known, but this prominent location should attract interest for one of the ten storefronts being built. Below are several pictures documenting the progress.
One of the two Family Fun RV locations along SE 82nd Ave, is noticeably devoid of any RVs. They have consolidated their inventory of new and used RVs to the 333 SE 82nd Ave location. All branding and signage remains up, however the lot looks empty.
When reached for comment, a representative from Family Fun RV said the 1027 SE 82nd Ave location is still in use as a service location. He further explained that due to the current social distancing in effect, they have decided to keep only one location open to shoppers.
It is Family Fun RV’s intention to reopen the 1027 SE 82nd Ave location for sales, and balance the inventory between both locations. However this is dependant on when restrictions are lifted.
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