Tag: 8827 SE Division

Summer Fires Potentially Linked to Mt Tabor Arson

Three individuals suspected of committing arson in Mt. Tabor park last summer face charges related to fires started in Montavilla. Sophie Peel’s Willamette Week article outlines a series of offenses revealed by the Multnomah County grand jury indictment of the accused. In some cases, these incidents caused significant damage and loss of property.

Together, the three 18-year-olds face 14 charges, including three counts of arson in the first degree, six counts of arson in the second degree, four counts of reckless burning, and one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device. However, the sole Montavilla resident in the group of defendants received the brunt of the blame. He stands accused of all 14 charges, while his purported accomplices face only two counts.

Shed fire at Harrison Park August 10th, 2022

An infographic in the Willamette Week article lists ten incidents, with seven in Montavilla. It includes a Creative Science School mattress and vegetation fire, a box truck fire at SE Hawthorne and SE 85th Avenue, a dumpster fire near 8827 SE Division Street, and a fire next to 8316 SE Taylor Street. Also among the more severe damage listed is a shed fire inside Harrison Park and an abandoned structure fire at 2336 SE 92nd Avenue. The article did not include the portable toilet fire at Harrison Park, as it appears not to be part of the indictment. However, some area residents believe the fire is related, having occurred around the same time as the shed fire.

Accessory structure fire at 2336 SE 92nd Avenue

According to a September 12th, 2022, statement by Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s office, the accused individuals “each admitted to involvement in starting the fires” at Mt. Tabor Park during a Portland Police interview. These recent charges include only one criminal event from the initial questioning, with the majority of arson charges occurring in Montavilla. After the investigative focus on the three suspects, the number of malicious fires in the neighborhood dropped substantially, and residential angst about this issue subsided. This indictment should provide closure to several concerning incidents from last year.

Portable toilet fire at Harrison Park Summer, 2022

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Seafood Export Company Tries to Open on SE Division

A vacant and often tagged building on SE Division Street may soon become a new seafood export facility. The single-story commercial building at 8827 SE Division Street has sat empty since Hubcap World closed in 2017. During those years, miscreants have targeted the building, covering it with graffiti and breaking windows. Past attempts to rehabilitate the property failed to materialize. Now, a new business hopes to repurpose the 1949-era wood-frame building, but upgrade costs could halt the project.

Ken Yu, with Kaly Designs, is leading the permitting process for the currently unnamed seafood export company. Yu explained that his client owns Longs Seafood Market at SE Powell and 92nd Avenue and wants to open a separate business focused on shipping domestically caught shellfish abroad. The Powell business is “a retail store, but this one is gonna be strictly for wholesale distribution, mainly for exporting overseas. It’s not selling inside the US.” Said Yu.

Yu has worked on similar seafood export redevelopments in this area, with one completed recently down the street from this location. “It’s kind of a trend, people starting to export US seafood overseas. Apparently, there’s a demand for that,” remarked Yu. This new business will focus on lobsters, oysters, and other crustaceans packed live and flown to their final destination. “They put oxygen in there and then put in dry ice, and then they ship it overseas to Hong Kong, China, [and] Vietnam,” explained Yu.

The new seafood export company has limited funds for building repairs. They are only leasing the property, with most of the startup funds dedicated to the seafood tanks, freezers, and refrigerator units needed to run the operation. Plans for the structure are focused on repairs to the exterior of the building, patching holes, and making it watertight. If they make significant changes to the building, the City may require more upgrades than the business can afford. “This is an old building, so if you do anything structural here, there can be a seismic upgrade and all that,” said Yu. Consequentially, the lease on this property is contingent on Portland Official approving the Change Of Occupancy from Mercantile to Storage, along with the minor repairs needed to open in this location. Otherwise, this site will not work out. Yu said that the property owners ran into similar issues two years ago when they intended to remodel the place, and those required updates caused them to abandon that work.

Ken Yu and his client are now waiting for the permitting process to move forward. They hope that the City will approve this project faster than other recent projects. In those cases, receiving a permit has taken over a year. Delays and forced structural updates could make this location less desirable for the business. The property is otherwise an ideal site for the seafood exporter, with vehicle access from SE 89th Avenue and a wide-open interior. If things work out, this vacant building will be in use again, with consistent maintenance and minor updates to its appearance.

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Division Street Building Rehab

Early Assistance request 20-217421 seeks to revitalize the single-story commercial building at 8827 SE Division Street. The application indicates the building will house two offices. Currently boarded up, the building now has a heavy coating of graffiti.

The 1949 era wood-frame building was purchased in mid-2017 by Jian Zhuang Ma and Ximei Huang. The owners have a history of creating restaurants. However, this looks to be an investment project. It is early in the development process, and uses for the building could change.

The building will be renovated inside and out, with some of the structure demolished. The building’s front will receive new entryways for each of the two office units. Further modernization will come from upgrades to power systems thought the building. Two new restrooms will bring the building’s total to three.

New parking and landscaping will accommodate onsite stormwater management. The project description mentions Public Works Permits (PWP) for both SE 89th Ave and SE Division Street, indicating new sidewalks and curbs could be part of this development. In this area, SE 89th Ave does not currently have sidewalks on the street’s west side.

This site is adjacent to the proposed Kimberly Apartments. If all planned buildings advance to construction, SE 89th Ave will become a more vibrant and urban street. With luck, both projects will move forward in 2021 and enhance this section of SE Division.