Tag: ayco

Indigenous Marketplace on NE Glisan

Starting the weekend of April 9th, the Indigenous Marketplace (IM) will open for monthly events at 432 NE 74th Avenue. The organization supports indigenous artists and entrepreneurs by providing barrier-free, culturally respectful spaces to grow their businesses and educate the public through cultural arts. This year, IM will host its vendors in the large parking lot on NE Glisan Street, thanks to a rental agreement with the African Youth and Community Organization (AYCO).

The Marketplace will open from 11 AM to 4 PM on six weekends throughout 2022. Although intended as an outdoor marketplace, vendors will set up inside the building on rainy days. Next year, venue organizers expect to move out of the Montavilla neighborhood as developers plan to transform the NE Glisan site into affordable housing

  • April 9 & 10
  • May 7 (Saturday Only)
  • June 11 & 12
  • July 16 & 17
  • August 13 & 14
  • September 10 & 11

People interested in joining the mailing list, attending other IM programs, or becoming a vendor at the Marketplace, should complete the organization’s online form. Examples of current marketplace participants are available online at indigenousmarketplace.org/marketplace/. Look for activity at the site starting next weekend, and plan to attend one of the weekend events for a unique shopping and cultural experience in the neighborhood.

Glisan and 74th Affordable Housing Meeting

We All Rise and Related Northwest invite residents and business owners to a public meeting regarding the Glisan and 74th Affordable Housing project. The in-person and online event will take place on April 14th at 6:30 PM. The developer hopes to attain a building permit by the end of 2022, with construction beginning soon after. The City has a website for those interested in following the project’s progress, and the developer produced a one-page fact sheet that includes information about the upcoming meeting. This public forum is the best opportunity for the community to ask questions and voice opinions about this development.

By early 2023, demolition crews will remove the former Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) building at 432 NE 74th Ave. Before that time, the current short-term tenants, African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) and Portland Indigenous Marketplace, must relocate into new facilities. Once crews clear the site, the developer will begin constructing 137 units of affordable housing split between two four-story buildings.

Early rendering of 7450 NE Glisan

Housing at the site will serve families and individuals earning 30% and 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). The site will contain a wide assortment of apartments ranging from studio to four-bedroom units. The smaller structure at the northwest corner of the site offers 41 units of Permanent Supportive Housing reserved for the formerly homeless or people at risk of homelessness. The large “U” shaped building will contain the remaining 96 units intended to serve families. Homes will range in floorspace from 400 square feet to 1,200 square feet, with rents ranging from $507 to $1,616 per month.

Affordable housing is just one part of the support system built into this project. Wrap-around services delivered by Catholic Charities and culturally specific family services through Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) place residents on a path to financial stability and success. Ground floor commercial space on NE Glisan Street will offer a Café with Commercial Kitchen, offering residents culinary and barista training opportunities. Other storefronts in the building support small business incubator spaces.

Glisan and 74th Affordable Housing project’s site plan

The development will provide several community-facing amenities intended to blend the complex into the neighborhood. Developers plan for a Community Garden at the south end of the site, acting as a buffer between the new tall building and the block’s existing single-family homes. The courtyard spaces will include a playground, outdoor grill, picnic seating areas, and a walking path running throughout the property. Onsite parking for residents is included on the main level with access from NE 75th and 74th Avenues, alleviating pressures on local street parking.

Highland Christian Center will host the April public meeting in their Fellowship Hall located at 7600 NE Glisan Street. People planning on attending in person or remotely are encouraged to review the fact sheet before the event. Look for project designs to finalize later this year, with significant construction beginning in 2023.

Developer Selected for NE Glisan Affordable Housing Project

This week, Portland Housing Bureau staff selected the development team for a low-income housing project at NE 74th Ave and Glisan Street. The winning proposal will transform the 1.65-acre property at 432 NE 74th Ave into a pair of multistory apartment buildings. Despite the current tenant’s efforts to secure a place in the new development, City staff did not select a proposal that included that group.

On October 12th, Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) released a progress update for nine Housing Bond funded projects. In 2018 voters approved a 652.8 million affordable housing bond to address the housing crises in the Portland Metro area. The Glisan Street project will receive $19.9 million of that funding, representing one-third of the overall project cost. The housing complex will consist of two buildings, one with 41 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and the other providing 96 units of family housing.

Three experienced low-income housing groups are joining forces to sponsor this development. Related Northwest is the primary sponsor for the project, while the two other groups will provide assistance for residents when construction completes. Catholic Charities will provide case management and services to PSH tenants. Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) will provide resident services at the family housing property.

The PHB project website provides new details regarding attributes planned for the development. Amenities at NE 74th and Glisan include a community room with kitchen, laundry room, playground, picnic area, community garden, bike parking, onsite parking, and a multicultural preschool. The project team is also partnering with Mercy Corps NW to promote small business classes and offer two retail incubator spaces and a café in the ground-floor commercial space. Now that this proposal is secured, project designers will craft the final plans for the site ahead of the building permit submittal.

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) currently leases space in the former Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) studio now owned by Metro. The nonprofit serves East African immigrant and refugee youth. Within a few years, crews will demolish the facility to make way for the 137 new affordable homes coming to this site. AYCO Executive Director Jamal Dar lead an effort to stay at this location, working with REACH Community Development, Sera Architects, Colas Construction, Community Vision, and El Programa Hispano on an alternate plan for the site. In a statement from AYCO, the organizations expressed disappointment in the decision and say they are facing displacement from the community it serves.

AYCO site plan not selected by PHB

In a prepared statement regarding AYCO, Metro representatives expressed appreciation for the early partnership between the two organizations. “They have been a wonderful partner in our early phase community engagement for the new affordable housing to be built on this site, helping us to reach and engage with immigrants, people of color, people with low incomes, and people with limited English proficiency.” However, that early cooperative work and preexisting lease did not guarantee that the AYCO would secure a space in the new project. “Metro has been clear with AYCO, throughout the process of temporary leasing and community engagement, that the project/developer selection process would be a competitive one. We understand they have hoped and worked hard toward being able to build their Dream Center as part of the development of this site. Unfortunately, the proposal they were a part of was not selected.”

The Portland Housing Bureau received five proposals, each comprised of different developers and community support organizations. Jamal Dar and his team have over a year to secure a new home for the nonprofit. Ideally, they will find space in the area, near the community they have served for years. Metro looks forward to possible collaborations with AYCO in the future and will celebrate with them once their Dream Center comes to fruition.

Image courtesy PHB

The subsequent phases of development at the site will center around creating construction plans and securing building permits. Until demolition begins, AYCO will continue to operate out of the old broadcast facility. Changes at the site are over a year away, but the affordable housing these new apartments will provide could not arrive soon enough. Keep an eye on the PHB website for updates on the project and expect the site to house residents by the Summer of 2024.

AYCO Hosting Vaccine Clinic July 5th

Tomorrow, African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) will host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. In a partnership with Walgreens Pharmacy, the community group seeks to supply vaccination opportunities for the people they directly serve and neighbors still needing their shot. Located at 432 NE 74th Ave, the medical staff will dispense both the Johnson & Johnson single-dose shots and Pfizer’s two-dose shots. Those receiving Pfizer will schedule a second dose at a local Walgreens before leaving.

The event begins at 10 AM on Monday, July 5th, and runs until 5 PM. People are encouraged to signup in advance via the event registration link or through the QR code below. This popup clinic is an excellent opportunity to receive the vaccine on a day that many have off from work due to the Independence Day holiday. 


Presentations at Next MNA Meeting

Next Monday, three groups will present information on projects that are shaping Montavilla’s future. Representatives from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO), and Metro will discuss their plans at the February 8th Montavilla Neighborhood Associations (MNA) meeting. Attendees will learn how they can participate in the process and hear details regarding the neighborhood improvements.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM via Zoom. Event registration is found at the MNA website or directly through this link

The first presenters are sharing plans for an improved NE Halsey street, from 68th to 92nd Ave. Nicole Peirce, Capital Project Manager for PBOT, will present information regarding safer intersections and better access for non-motorists. Joining Peirce is the project manager for the 70s Bikeway project. Both projects cross through Montavilla and will vastly improve universal mobility in the area.

Jamal Dar, Executive Director for AYCO, will share information about his group’s mission to offer support services and youth mentoring for the African immigrant and refugee community. This organization serves a growing population of people with East Africa origins in their recently opened center on NE 74th Ave.

Metro representatives Choya Renata and Patrick McLaughlin will present information regarding proposed low-income housing at the former TBN Site. Two years from now, Montavilla will gain 120 to 150 new households on NE Glisan Street. In a partnership between Metro and the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB), the former Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) site will transform into affordable housing. Metro will present their community outreach process at the meeting and further outline the project’s scope.


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

AYCO Opens Center at TBN site

African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO) recently relocated to Montavilla on NE Glisan. Located at 432 NE 74th Ave, the group offers support services and youth mentoring for the African immigrant and refugee community. The expanded space obtained through this move allows their programs to grow, even while social distancing during COVID-19 restrictions.

Executive Director Jamal Dar founded AYCO in 2009 with an emphasis on athletics and mentoring. Over its first decade, the organization expanded its offerings to include health and education services. Added support for families continued the programs’ growth trajectory, supporting parents and people caring for special needs children.

AYCO seeks to strengthen a sense of cultural identity within the immigrant community while facilitating integration. Like the community they support, many of the team at AYCO immigrated from East Africa. Staff leverage that personal experience to guide newly arriving families adapting to this country. Their youth programs develop academic and team-building skills in a culturally familiar environment. Health services provide assistance navigating healthcare and disability resources, understanding the language and culture of those seeking support.

In 2015 AYCO opened its first location at 1390 SE 122nd Ave. That space allowed the organization to expand the services offered substantially. However, with increased community need, that location became too small. The building on NE Glisan offers the room need to grow the organization further. The new Center’s increased footprint will feature a gym to help the children embrace athletics beyond soccer and basketball. The new location also allows for a clinic to support children of all ages and abilities.

AYCO leased part of the single-story building from Metro, which acquired the site from Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). The previous owners used the building as a TV studio and broadcasting facility before selling the property in late 2019. Metro plans to develop the site two years from now and sought short term tenants. “The building where AYCO is leasing space will eventually be demolished, and the new housing that will be built in its place will prioritize families and households with very low incomes.” Said Constantino Khalaf, Senior Communications Specialist with Metro.

Metro happily made space in the building available for AYCO, reducing the rent to support the group’s efforts. “We’re excited that such a great, community-serving organization can use the space during these early stages rather than let it sit vacant.” Explained Khalaf.

Regardless of the short-term lease on the space, Dar looks forward to the site’s pending development. He intends to become a tenant within the new development’s commercial area when completed. NE Glisan Street is close to the community AYCO servers, and Dar feels it will be an ideal home for his organization.

When the pandemic’s risk has subsided, Dar hopes to interact with the Montavilla community more. Until then, his organization plans to continue to their outward community engagement through support for the hungry and unsheltered. Look for the location to become more lively with youth activities over the coming months, and visit the AYCO website if you want to know more about the organization.