Tag: 82nd Ave

BPS Completes NE Portland Public Trash Can Rollout

Last month, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) installed trash cans throughout NE Portland, including parts of Montavilla. This latest rollout is part of a multi-year expansion of the City-managed rubbish collection program that started in 2017 with the Jade District. In 2016, Portland City Council voted to expand the city’s public trash can program into underserved areas and increase the solid waste commercial tonnage fee by $1.30 to fund the program.

Because Montavilla spans Northeast and Southeast Portland, the phased rollout of public trash cans occurred in different years. The neighborhood first received new rubbish receptacles south of E Burnside Street in December 2021. A year later, BPS crews began delivering cans to locations in North Montavilla. BPS staff placed units in high-traffic corridors along NE 82nd Avenue and NE Glisan Street. The intersection of E Burnside Street and 82nd Avenue gained three new cans. That addition brings the total to four trash enclosures, including the existing TriMet-owned can on the southeast corner. NE Glisan Street and NE 82nd Avenue also received multiple units adjacent to the bus shelters. Crews installed the remaining Montavilla cans in places identified as problem areas during a 2022 community survey. With trash can expansion work now covering all areas East of the Willamette River, BPS will spend the next two years increasing unit count in Northwest, South, and Southwest Portland.

The density of public trash cans is still insufficient on many streets, and littering will continue. However, this expansion is a significant push forward by the City to provide basic infrastructure for Portland’s residents. Trash cans alone will not prevent street trash, but they will reduce the overall volume of improperly discarded items and make it easier for civic-minded people clean public spaces. Look for the new cans already on the street and report any overflowing cans or other problems online to 311, by phone (503-823-4000), or by email (311@portlandoregon.gov).

BPS created map of NE Portland cans cropped to highlight Montavilla

Correction (March 16th, 2023): The original version of this article indicated that BPS completed its trash can expansion. The city will continue adding new cans in other areas over the next two years.

82nd Ave Draft Concept Shared by PBOT

In an effort to embrace design transparency, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) released a Draft Concept for the 82nd Avenue Critical Fixes project. They want public participation in the design process and created a survey to gather comments on the proposed upgrades. These near-term critical safety and maintenance repairs on 82nd Avenue will break ground in 2024, with crews working through 2026. Although repair work will span the entire stretch of 82nd Avenue, these specific projects focus on NE Fremont Street to NE Schuyler Street and SE Mill Street to SE Foster Road.

The enhancements could include medians with street trees, signal reconstruction, and sidewalk reconstruction or infill. The current draft concept maintains some center turn lanes but also create new dedicated left turn lanes. In some cases, pedestrian islands could prevent east-west automotive traffic from crossing 82nd Avenue at NE Klickitat Street, NE Schuyler Street, SE Clinton Street, SE Lafayette Street, and SE Center Street. PBOT intends to repave much of the project area, and the limited sidewalk construction will provide pedestrians with safe travel to one of the many new signalized crosswalks.

Image from PBOT’s March 2023 Draft Concept Design

Montavilla will receive only a handful of updates as part of this current round of proposed projects. Both sides of SE Mill Street could receive 200 feet of new sidewalk east of SE 82nd Avenue. PBOT also wants to reconstruct 300 feet of sidewalk on the east side of 82nd Avenue between SE Division Street and the mid-block crosswalk to the north, near the Portland Community College Southeast campus. The draft concept contains raised concrete medians on 82nd Avenue south of SE Harrison Street to SE Division street and beyond. Several breaks in the median allow for designated left turns and driveway access. PBOT will attempt to plant street trees in the raised medians where possible.

The two main project sites will cover a 2.5-mile stretch of 82nd Avenue that Portland now maintains. Last year, the Oregon Department of Transportation transferred seven miles of the State highway to the City. Funds acquired during that jurisdictional transfer are supporting these projects. The draft concept released alongside the survey represents an early proposal, and people reviewing it should expect changes based on comments submitted by the public. PBOT’s project team wants feedback from businesses, property owners, and residents on the draft concept design. The survey is open until April 15, 2023, and available in Chinese: 中文, Russian: Русский, Spanish: Español, and Vietnamese: Tiếng Việt.

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Signaling Updates Begin on 82nd Ave

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) recently installed new speed reader signs on 82nd Avenue near McDaniel High School. These displays provide real-time feedback on how fast motorists travel and alert drivers to “Slow Down” when exceeding the speed limit. In addition to these visible updates, traffic engineers will soon upgrade signal control units at 18 intersections, allowing staff to dynamically adjust red light timing and reduce opportunities for drivers to speed through multiple crossings without stopping.

Most traffic signal equipment on 82nd Avenue is 20 years old and requires manual adjustments to change signal light timing. New traffic signal controllers utilize modern means for managing intersections by interconnecting the equipment with high-speed fiber optic communications. This technology permits PBOT systems to monitor performance remotely in real time and shorten the overall wait time for all people traveling through a crossing. Although vehicles may encounter more stops along 82nd Avenue after these adjustments, it should reduce wait times for pedestrians and cross traffic. Safety enhancements will come from PBOT’s implementation of pedestrian head-start signals at several locations throughout the corridor. That signal timing strategy improves the safety and visibility of pedestrians by giving people a walk signal several seconds before vehicle operators see a green light.

PBOT electrician installing a new traffic signal controller, NE 82nd Avenue. Image courtesy PBOT

These updates are just the beginning of a three-year critical update of 82nd Avenue’s infrastructure. They are part of an agreement reached by State and City officials while coordinating the former State highway’s transfer of ownership from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to PBOT. In Spring, PBOT will continue corridor-wide signal technology upgrades, with pedestrian and bicycle improvements. Plans include improvements to road signage and striping along the corridor. In the Summer, crews will begin construction on six new signalized pedestrian crossings and street lighting improvements along the seven-mile-long road. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will start an 82nd Avenue paving project in the Fall south of the city limits that partially extends into the City of Portland up to SE Faster Road.

PBOT’s Critical Fixes project will continue through 2026 and is the first stage of extensive investments in 82nd Avenue. These upgrades will deliver basic safety and maintenance repairs to the corridor. PBOT, Oregon Metro, and TriMet are developing plans for substantial changes to 82nd Avenue after 2026. Those projects are in the early planning phase but will continue the momentum of safety and shared priority for all modes of transportation along one of Portland’s busiest roadways.

Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the Building a Better 82nd Community Advisory Board and the 82nd Avenue Business Association Board.

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NE Glisan Commercial Complex for Sale

The owners of a three-building complex at 8101 NE Glisan Street have listed the property for sale. The 33,750-square-foot lot contains two warehouses and a single-story office building. Currently, the site is home to Exteriors Design, a full-service general contractor specializing in exterior cladding, and Modern Northwest, a specialty home builder. The land is zoned Commercial Employment (CE) for medium-scale retail and office developments and could support buildings up to 4 stories tall.

The large corner lot is adjacent to the new gas station under constriction along NE 82nd Avenue. The site previously housed Leif’s auto collision repair center. In 2018, Modern Northwest purchased the location and updated the office building. The warehouses are insulated and powered, allowing for a wide range of manufacturing or protected storage. The parameter of the complex is completely fenced and well-protected. Ample parking surrounds each building, and rollup doors provide direct vehicle access.

With an asking price of $2,999,900, the property may take some time to find an interested buyer. Additionally, the real estate listing shows all three buildings as fully leased, so even after a sale, it could be years before any changes occur at this location. This article will update when this property finds a buyer.

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Mia and More on SE 82nd Ave

Today, Mia and More opened along SE 82nd Avenue across from Hong Phat Food Center. Owner Michelle Tran relocated her business from Beaverton to be closer to the thriving Vietnamese community in this area. The shop’s menu features fresh-pressed sugarcane juice, milk tea, fruit smoothies, and Vietnamese street food. Permitting delays and labor shortages pushed back the shop’s launch, causing a five-month gap in operations and leaving loyal customers wondering where they had gone. However, days prior to opening, eager customers begin strolling in, excited to rediscover this unique sugarcane restaurant.

The Mia and More brand originated in Kent, Washington, several years ago. The owners license the name to other independent store operators across the country and supply licensees with sugarcane sourced from trusted farms in Vietnam. The Beaverton location was the first Mia and More in Oregon and is the only store offering this fresh-pressed Vietnamese treat in the State. The original site was a suitable location to introduce the brand to Oregonians. However, Tran knew SE Portland would be a better location, and with the lease ending in Beaverton, she decided to move. They secured this location in the Annex building and applied for the permits in March 2022. The original storefront closed in July for what was supposed to be a month-long transition to the new space. “The permit took six months, and after that, I had to deal with contractors. They are just so busy that they wouldn’t show up on the day they said,” explained Tran. To speed up construction timelines, Mia and More staff opted to build a smaller kitchen space, forcing them to cut some food items from the menu. They also ditched plans for a walk-in freezer and went with free-standing units. Those choices and an understanding permitting office who provided a temporary occupancy certificate allowed the business to reopen before the end of the year.

Mia and More has seven part-time employees working alongside Tran’s family at this location. Many of the staff are college students taking advantage of the flexible hours. During winter, they will open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. seven days a week. In the summer, they plan to extend that time to 9 p.m. when the sunlight lasts into the evening. Tran noted that customers do not walk around on 82nd Avenue during the darker hours because it can feel less safe. She was grateful that the building owners invested in the storefront’s appearance and security. “The landlord did a lot of improvement in the building, so now at night, all the lights are on, so it’s bright, and you feel much better.”

The Mia and More staff are excited to see the returning customers from Beaverton and the new customers from the local Vietnamese community that did not make the journey to the original space. However, Michelle Tran is also hopeful that an expanded audience of Montavilla residents will enjoy her drinks. “We want to get some more non-Vietnamese people to check us out and see how they like it,” said Tran. Located at 326 SE 82nd Avenue, Mia and More is within walking distance from SE Stark and NE Glisan Street. They are in a soft opening period as the staff becomes accustomed to the new facility, but people are welcome to swing by any time and try something new or find that sweet drink you have been missing.

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82nd Ave Site Planning Listening Session

This Thursday, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) will host a site planning and community listening session for two future housing projects on 82nd Avenue. This collaborative meeting will feature conversations regarding the former Canton Grill site at 2610 SE 82nd Avenue and the addition of housing to Saints Peter & Paul Episcopal Church at 247 SE 82nd Avenue. The in-person gathering has limited space and requires registration ahead of attendance. For those unable to attend, a survey is available in EnglishChineseVietnamese, and Spanish.

After two years of vacancy, the site’s owners accepted APANO’s offer to purchase the former Canton Grill property last month. That historic eatery features a car-centric design with a parking lot that is four times bigger than the building’s footprint. That underutilized space has the potential to support density housing above additional commercial storefronts. Although APANO has a history of working on affordable housing projects, this site could host housing options for various income levels.

Since 2020, Saints Peter & Paul leadership has pursued opportunities to reuse church property to reflect the values of their congregation and the wider community. Recently they selected affordable housing developer ROSE Community Development to lead the enhancement of the faith organization’s site. They intend to provide homes, community, and services for underserved people. Beyond just housing, they envision transforming the 28,000-square-foot half-block into a community hub in alignment with the transformation of 82nd Avenue.

The December 15th session will explore the use of two sites by listening to the public’s ideas for how they should redevelop these spaces and collectively create two new community hubs. The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Orchards of 82nd building at 8188 SE Division Street. Participation in the Thursday evening session and survey will help both developments meet their shared goals of making 82nd Avenue safer, greener, and more accessible.

Site Planning Survey

Update – December 14th, 2022, 2:40 p.m.: A previous version of this article indicated that APANO purchased the Canton Grill site. It has been updated to reflect that APANO’s offer to purchase 2610 SE 82nd Avenue was accepted. We regret the error. 

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82nd Ave Pawn Shop Becoming Pot Dispensary

The Hawker’s Locker at 933 NE 82nd Avenue will become Chronix Dispensary early next year. One of the long-time property owners, Patrick Butler, has joined forces with cannabis veteran David Schwimmer forming Greenmonkey LLC operating as Chronix Dispensary in this location. Crews are actively building a new storefront, upgrading the exterior, and creating a new look for the shop.

David Schwimmer lives on the East Coast but has family ties to Portland. He was impressed with Portland’s culture, finding it a “cool town and a fun place to visit.” In 2017, he opened Ivy Cannabis with his son Matthew Schwimmer. That company operated a retail marijuana store at 11850 N Center Avenue until they sold to Wild West Emporium last year. David Schwimmer still owns the Hayden Island building that previously housed his store and now rents it to Wild West Emporium.

Allen Grieser ran Hawker’s Locker for many years at this location and jointly owned the building with Patrick Butler. According to David Schwimmer, he is in the process of buying Grieser’s stake in the property. However, ahead of that transfer, the new team of Schwimmer and Butler is busily transforming the space. “We’re planning on going with a kind of Jimmy Buffett or an island relaxed state cool vibe,” said Schwimmer. They are entirely reworking the interior and rebuilding restrooms inside the 3,500-square-foot storefront. The building will receive new exterior siding, and they intend to replace the chainlink fence with something more inviting. “Our plan is to take [the fence] down and put more of an ornamental one up but still protecting [the building] to some extent. Although we haven’t settled on what type. That’s one of the things that’s gonna be going in at the end.” Said Schwimmer.

David Schwimmer noted that the large parking lot has opportunities to support complementary businesses. If allowed by licensing requirements, the dispensary owners intend to provide space for outdoor dining next to the shop. “There’s some plans to do some other things with food venues or something to attract people. There’s space there to set up some food carts,” explained Schwimmer.

Look for continued construction at the property on NE 82nd Avenue over the next two months, with store branding appearing closer to opening. The owners anticipate greeting customers early in 2023 but acknowledge that delays happen, and they will have a more firm date after the project progresses further.

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APANO to Redevelop Canton Grill Site on SE 82nd

After nearly two and half years sitting vacant, the former Canton Grill property at 2610 SE 82nd Avenue will play a significant role in the district’s transformation. The owners of the iconic restaurant recently accepted the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon‘s (APANO) offer to purchase the 47,265-square-foot site. Next month, APANO staff will begin public outreach and use those interactions to inform redevelopment plans.

APANO’s Community Development Director, Duncan Hwang, explained that acquiring the site became a priority for his organization soon after the restaurant closed. That historic eatery operated near the corner of SE 82nd Avenue and Division Street for 76 years during the height of the car-centric era. Consequentially, the location’s parking lot is four times bigger than the building’s footprint. That underutilized space has the potential to support density housing above additional commercial storefronts. A handful of recent developments in the area embracing a modern mixed-use multistory design. Those buildings feature deemphasized parking and provide pedestrian-scale ground-floor retail units with apartments above. However, those projects are still rare on 82nd Avenue. According to Hwang, the site could just as easily become a chain pharmacy store or another low-density shop. Buying this property allows APANO to secure this site before other groups lock up the parcel for another 50 years. With the guidance of the community, they intend to deliver a building that enhances the district and furthers the transformation of the former highway into a Civic Corridor.

The Canton Grill property sits across SE 82nd Avenue from APANO’s headquarters in the Orchards of 82nd building. That mixed-use project was the group’s first expansion into commercial development through a partnership with Rose Community Development Corporation (Rose CDC). APANO manages the retail space on the ground floor, and Rose CDC runs the affordable housing above. That successful endeavor encouraged the organization to expand further into development. Earlier this year, APANO announced another partnership for low-income housing on the nearby Portland Community College (PCC) campus. “We are also going to be working with Just Future on 120 units at PCC Southeast. Between the Orchards [of 82nd] and PCC, that’s almost 200 units of affordable housing,” said Hwang.

APANO’s development work supports the community’s need for socially guided projects while filling a niche underserved by current programs. “We did a strategic planning process about two years ago looking at needs and gaps for the Asian pacific islander community in general, and one of the gaps was there wasn’t a culturally specific housing developer for this community.” Said Hwang. APANO staff found that senior living and supportive housing did not account for differing tastes in Asian diets or preferred exercise classes. They also found that the physical design of buildings posed a lasting deficit in housing accommodations. “Spaces for family kinds of interaction is a desired, and then also a lot of our elders are shorter, so having cabinets that are better accessible and things like that has also come up as design elements.” APANO hopes its expansion into development will create a more equitable housing market in the region and fill those identified gaps.

APANO purchased the property with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the organization by the State legislator. That money was expressly set aside for community-supporting property acquisition, allowing the organization to make a cash offer for the Canton Grill land. Duncan Hwang believes they were not the highest builder but expects that his organization’s commitment to redevelop the property responsibly influenced the Louis family’s decision to accept their offer. “The history and legacy of this family and this site is not lost on us,” said Hwang. APANO hopes to retain the 95-year-old restaurant building that has helped define 82nd Avenue. However, they will use community interest in preservation and the assessed structural condition to determine how the single-story building will fit into the larger redevelopment project.

Montavilla News illustrations on Portland Maps image

The future density of affordable housing from the Orchards and PCC projects presents an opportunity to expand uses for the Canton Grill project beyond traditional low-income housing. Hwang explained that they want to engage in “a real thoughtful conversation about the type of affordability that we want to see at that particular site.” He sees an opportunity for a mix of market rate and workforce housing above affordable retail as a possible use. The revenue from market-rate units can subsidize the affordability of the rest of the project while adding diversity to the area.

Duncan Hwang framed this redevelopment as a blank slate project, emphasizing that public outreach will drive many choices for the property. However, goals for the site will dictate some limits on the housing types considered. “I don’t think there’s any world where we’d build luxury market-rate condo-style things,” said Hwang. “It’s really about how do we maximize community benefit, which definitely includes housing. But how much? I think it depends on the size of a plaza or green space, commercial space, and all that.” 

Regardless of community direction, providing resiliency to the population center will become a vital feature of this complex. That could include a solar panel covered parking structure that would function to reduce energy demands from residents and act as an emergency public charging station in a natural disaster. Resiliency design could also incorporate warming and cooling facilities for use during extreme weather events.

Outreach will begin on December 15th with a public forum at APANO’s community space. Staff will also reach out in other ways around the same time. “We’ll have a survey going out shortly as well, and in multiple languages. It’s going to be focused on unit mix, commercial space usage, and the sort of services that you want to see,” said Hwang. They are moving quickly because funding opportunities happen at set intervals. “If we want to maximize affordability and go for low-income housing tax credits, that’s on specific cycles. So we might be able to get into the next cycle next summer.” That deadline may not be an issue if the public supports market rate and workforce housing, but that determination will happen over the next few months, and APANO is keeping all options open. Interested people should look for opportunities to participate in planning efforts on APANO’s website or social media accounts.

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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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Annual 82nd Ave Dining Event

Last week, the seventh annual Around the World in 82 Dishes began along the entire length of 82nd Avenue in Portland. The business district’s promotion runs for two weeks, concluding on November 6th. The event highlights a wide selection of dining destinations on 82nd Avenue with a focus on multicultural flavors found along the busy roadway. As an incentive, the event organizers created a contest that enters participants into a drawing for multiple $50 gift cards.

Although any food and drink-related business on 82nd Avenue is eligible for the contest, a group of Montavilla eateries are featured participants in this year’s event. Most of the food carts at The Yard at Montavilla are on that list, along with Sebastiano’s. That level of participation yields increased promotional exposure and includes free digital menu services from Foodi-Menus. Ads for the event are currently running in local news publications like Willamette Week and the Portland Mercury, along with Instagram. Koin 6 News featured the event last Wednesday, showing off foods from vendors at the neighborhood food cart pod.

The contest is just one part of this event, presented by the 82nd Avenue Business Association with funding from the American Rescue Plan and Portland’s Bureau of Transportation. The two-week-long food celebration focuses on the diversity of Portland by exploring tastes from cultures across the globe. Many establishments are owned by immigrants that bring their culinary skills and enthusiasm to the foods they serve. Around the World in 82 Dishes seeks to spotlight those businesses and bring people out to East Portland during the traditionally slow season for restaurants.

The appreciation of food alone is not the only motivator for people to participate. The contest for $50 gift cards is a strong incentive to draw people out to the district, even during rainy weather. Interested contestants can use the BabbleBuy mobile app to find locations and post on social media with the hashtags #82ndFoodies and #82Dishes. Those who want to avoid using the mobile app can post on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or TikTok using the two hashtags.

There are only a few days left before the event concludes, but that leaves plenty of time to get out and visit your favorite location or experience someplace new. Keep up to date on the event at 82dishes.com, and bookmark that site to stay informed about next year’s Around the World in 82 Dishes.

Disclosure: Montavilla News is a member of the 82nd Avenue Business Association and the author of this article serves on the board.