This week, heavy equipment cleared a small grove of trees at 6 NE 74th Avenue. The work makes way for a pair of two-story Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) proposed for the property. Kova Development recently purchased the 1926-era home in October of last year. Since then, the developer has renovated the original house and substantially increased its livable space.
Fronted on E Burnside Street, the two new residencies will join the recently updated home on the back half of the site. The original home faces NE 74th Avenue and sits close to the sidewalk, occupying less than half the available property. The back portion of the lot previously served as the house’s driveway and parking pad but lacked any notable structures and had become overgrown with small trees and shrubbery.
Remodel work on the nearly century-old house is extensive. Crews replaced the roof that the previous owners had left tarp-covered for years. New windows and siding now wrap the structure, sealing its once porous exterior. The owners removed all interior finishes down to the studs and reworked the insulation, electrical, and plumbing on the main level. A recently approved permit allows for a near doubling of livable floor area by creating habitable space in the basement. Workers will construct two bedrooms with egress window wells, a full bathroom, and a living room on the subterranean level.
Plans for the new ADU units are not yet public. The design and orientation should have a noticeable impact on the property’s appearance from E Burnside Street. Look for ongoing construction activity at the site over the remaining months of 2022. This block should appear more populated by next year, and the neighborhood will have two new homes.
Update: All lanes on E Burnside are open again after crews complete work for the day. Barricades block the gravel-filled hole made earlier.
Today, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) closed the eastbound lane of E Burnside Street from SE 81st to 82nd Avenues. Road signs are directing blocked traffic onto SE 81st Avenue around the construction. The TriMet number 20 bus line is not affected by this closure and is permitted past the detour.
An excavator is currently removing broken pavement and digging a trench along the south curb. Crews have blocked the north driveways for the Chevron gas station and Hong Phat Food Center. However, both businesses have alternate vehicle access along other streets. Drivers should plan to avoid this area while work is underway. Additionally, bikes and pedestrians may need to find safe routes around the worksite.
This article will be updated with information from PBOT staff regarding the purpose and duration of this roadwork project.
Next February, Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy will open a new outpatient rehabilitation clinic for children at 8028 E Burnside Street. This new pediatric healthcare location is the creation of two experienced occupational therapists, Diedra Pine and Maureen Benedict-Lee. A year after launch, the practice intends to add speech therapy, physical therapy, and mental health services. Currently, crews are making minor alterations to accommodate the mix of open activity space and private session rooms.
Before joining forces, Pine and Benedict-Lee had private practices working out of Groundplay Therapy Works, a pediatric occupational therapy clinic in the Hollywood neighborhood. In that facility, therapists run their own business but collaborate when appropriate and share referrals. However, each practitioner is financially independent, limiting the growth potential within that environment.
At Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy, the staff offers a wide range of youth-focused services. They currently see patients seeking help with motor development, communication, social-emotional learning, and sensory processing skills. Patients include children with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing difficulties, motor delays, and difficulties with executive functioning. Future services will expand the group’s offerings even further but accommodating that range of services requires a unique location.
Unlike standard medical offices, the rehabilitation clinic needs communal space and private rooms. “We work with children in occupational therapy, which involves swinging and climbing and moving in a big open space,” explained Maureen Benedict-Lee. That requirement had Pine and Benedict-Lee looking at mostly warehouse locations that did not meet the clinic’s needs. When the pair looked at the location on E Burnside, it instantly felt fitting for their needs. “This space is so incredible for our vision… Warehouses aren’t super finished and nice, so this [location is the] perfect combination of a big open warehouse-type space, and then there are back offices,” said Benedict-Lee.
Although the former Transitions Project building mostly fits the clinic’s requirements, some alterations are needed. The front of the building is one continuous space that previously had a demising wall separating the location into two suites. The therapists leased the whole building but will replace the divider to create two activity spaces at the front. They will also construct a waiting area near the parking lot entrance in the back. Benedict-Lee explained that the office doors leading to Burnside Street would remain locked and only serve as emergency exits. Most activity at the site will occur towards the back of the building at the entrance adjacent to the parking lot. Some window-covering improvements will happen, but the clinic needs to maintain patient privacy. “the blinds aren’t sustainable for the work we do, so we’re taking all the blinds off, but we [provide] healthcare for children, so are our plan is to do frosted windows,” explained Benedict-Lee.
Although the open space is best for working with younger kids, they work with all ages, from toddlers to high school-aged children. “My business partner and I both enjoy working with older children,” said Benedict-Lee. “Space for those older kids is something that we wanted to have in the new clinic. Where we were at previously, you would walk into a really big gym space, and the desks are all pretty small, so it wasn’t as inviting if you’re in an older teen or young adult.” The new space on E Burnside has many private rooms for older patients and other treatments.
Over eight years, Pine and Benedict-Lee established relationships with patients and professional institutions. Those connections will follow the pair to this new business. “We definitely have a client base, and we have connections with pediatricians and schools and other providers, so that will continue,” said Benedict-Lee. However, Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy has the capacity for many more clients. Maureen Benedict-Lee lives in the Montavilla neighborhood and likes the idea of supporting the children in the area. “I’m really excited about being a resource here and would love the community to access us and use our services.” She explained that there are not many other clinics offering similar services in this area, and this location worked out perfectly to fill the gap.
The Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy team expects to grow to six occupational therapists, with three speech therapists. They also see a need to add a part-time mental health provider to the staff. That level of expansion will likely occur after their first year in this new location. However, they are building out the facility to meet those growth goals. Benedict-Lee explained that only half the space would open by February 1st due to anticipated construction delays. They hope the remainder of the work will be completed in March but acknowledge that even minor renovation work is experiencing months of delays.
Look for construction activity to increase over the next few months as crews prepare the space for the clinic staff. The building should be fully operational by spring, with plenty of patients and their parents accessing Whole Circle Pediatric Therapy’s resources. Parents interested in knowing more can visit the company website or Facebook page, and staff are reachable by calling 503-502-7515 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just before noon today, Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) responded to a fire in the Hartzog & Bristol Apartments at 9205 E Burnside Street. The fire started inside a second-story unit with limited spread to other residences. The two-alarm fire is now under control.
Observers noticed smoke coming from the roof of an apartment in the complex and notified 911 around 11:46 AM on November 16th. By 12:04 PM, fire crews closed NE 92nd Place from E Burnside to NE Everett. No injuries from the fire were reported. Crews are cleaning up now, and some residents have already returned to their apartments in the affected building. The quick response of PF&R limited the fire’s spread and minimized property loss.
Yesterday, crews from BIKETOWN installed new bike-share stations on SE 81st Ave just south of E Burnside Street. Its construction follows another recently built unit on NE Glisan Street west of 80th Ave. When completed, the 81st Ave location will house docks for up to six e-bikes available to rent through the BIKETOWN mobile app.
Last June, a survey conducted by BIKETOWN gathered community input on where to place new electric bicycle (e-bike) docks as part of the program’s East Portland expansion. A few months later, that survey data and other factors are guiding the placement of these stations. The BIKETOWN bike finder map currently shows the new station on SE 81st Ave as available for use. However, no bikes are listed there, and the stand is missing the vertical sign that displays user instructions. This bike-share location is near Walgreens Pharmacy on the road behind Hong Phat. The station’s proximity to the number 20 and 72 TriMet bus lines should reduce excessive walking for riders not directly on the bus route.
Several blocks north from the uncompleted station, BIKETOWN staff finished an identical installation on NE Glisan Street. Crews completed this location last week, and it is fully operational. Workers placed the docks on the sidewalk in front of Glisan Dental, away from traffic. The SE 81st Ave docks sit in the road’s parking lane, relying on white traffic delineator posts to protect the parked bikes.
BIKETOWN docking stations are simple installations that securely hold locked bikes. They do not provide any charging for e-bikes. Instead, BIKETOWN offers these locations as a reliable place for customers to find and return bikes. Throughout the week, staff redistributes bikes to these locations after collecting units left in remote areas. Each e-bike has a removable battery pack that employees can replace before putting them back out for use.
Since the expansion of the BIKETOWN network in late 2020, sightings of the iconic orange bikes throughout Montavilla and greater East Portland have increased. Often they are found secured to signposts and fences. The installation of more bike docking stations will transform the scattering of transportation options into a reliable network of mobility devices. Their new consistent location gives residents the confidence to bridge the transportation gap for short trips without a personal vehicle. Businesses near the docks should also see a boost in visitors, as patrons can expect to find a bike ready for them when they head home. Look for these docks next time you plan a short trip around Montavilla and see if an e-bike can enhance your mobility.
This fall, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is installing 182 new public trash cans throughout Southeast Portland. The cans are emptied twice a week, paid for by the City. From now until August 1st, city staff requests that residents and people working in the area complete a can placement survey.
Last year, Montavilla News and the Montavilla Neighborhood Association conducted a similar survey. The results from that initiative are already submitted to BPS and do not require resubmittal. Data collected now will include areas beyond the neighborhood boundaries to encompass E Burnside Street to SE Clatsop Street and the Willamette River to I205.
Within the brief survey, participants can drop multiple pins where they think BPS should place new cans. There is also an opportunity to ask for specific areas to be exempt from trash can placement and provide additional comments. When completing the survey, participants can choose to subscribe to a project-updates email list.
With a limited number of trash receptacles available for the Southeast, it’s essential to use local knowledge to place cans where they will receive the most use. Northeast Portland is slated as the next trash can expansion area, rolling out just a few months after Southeast. Look for a similar survey for that area later this summer.
Disclosure: The author of this article serves on the NMA Board
Over the weekend, TriMet crews replaced a broken glass panel at the NE 82nd Ave and E Burnside bus stop shelter. The central panel was damaged, causing the bus shelter to closed temporarily. The replacement glass came from a surplus supply and was not cleaned before installation, making the replacement almost undetectable.
Located near the Walgreens store, this bus shelter recently received a digital sign upgrade. Fortunately, the new sign was not damaged by this recent incident, despite being near the broken panel. TriMet’s quick work completed in enough time that Monday morning commuters were unaware of the weekend’s damage.
Around 7 AM this morning, a one-block section of East Burnside Street was closed due to downed power lines. Portland Police Officers barricaded both traffic lanes for the 7000 block of the roadway, allowing PGE crews to remove the energized cable safely. Traffic was allowed to pass by 7:50 AM.
Power lines feeding the duplex at 5 NE 71st Ave became dislodged from supporting mounts and fell across E Burnside Street. PGE cut power to several homes during the repairs, still underway. This latest incident is one of many infrastructure disruptions caused by the recent winter storm. Tree limbs damaged by heavy ice continue to fall, causing damage to suspended cables and property. Repair crews are only now catching up with work orders and restoring regular service.
TriMet installed a new bus shelter on E Burnside Street near 82nd Ave. It replaces one destroyed by a car crash in late June of this year. The new structure is no longer on the corner, moving a few feet away from 82nd Ave and closer to the bus stop.
Vehicle collisions with these shelters along 82nd Ave are becoming common. The relocation of the bus shelter could prevent similar accidents from causing injury to waiting riders. This bus stop serves the westbound 20 bus line at a heavily use connection point in TriMet’s network. Users of this stop will appreciate the restoration of weather protection after many months without it.
Dina Stanzione and Steve Rice are deep into their first Montavilla project together. The couple is looking at a multiyear renovation of the 1896 era house, located at 5 NE 78th Ave.
The corner house now has a crimson red coat of paint and new front railings with updated pillars. Early in the renovation, they added a fence to both the north and south border of the house. The interior is now the primary focus of construction, but COVID-19 has held up permits. “I was days away from seeking my permit in March when the permit office closed. I am still awaiting the permit as of July 5th, but it is in the works, and we hope to have it in hand in the next few weeks.” Wrote Steve Rice.
Phase one for this building required undoing years of undocumented work and replacing antiquated utilities. “The house had been turned into an unpermitted duplex,” explained Rice. They are working to return it to a single-family residence with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. Rice has gutted the interior, removing the damaged plaster from the walls. The exposed walls allowed for the replacement of the outdated mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems throughout the house. Replacement energy-efficient windows have been installed, particularly along the front of the house.
Continued interior work is waiting on the permit process. That work will adjust the layout of the house. “We are redoing the floor plan to open up the kitchen/dining room on the first floor and adding a bedroom on the second floor that had been used as a second kitchen.” described Rice. Upstairs, they will create a master bedroom with attached master bath and walk-in closet.
Making a comfortable layout in the house is important for both Dina Stanzione and Steve Rice. They will be living in the house together for several years as they complete all phases of construction. After work completes on the main house, they will move in and start phase two. Prep work on the second phase has already begun in the basement. “All of the low hanging stuff in the basement has been tucked into the joists in preparation for basement remodel,” wrote Rice. When completed, the house will have three floors of habitable space.
Sometime after completing the house remodel, they want to add a detached Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU). “We are also hoping to build an ADU on the extra parcel that faces Burnside further down the line,” remarked Rice. Currently, only a driveway and older detached garage occupy the back half of the lot.
Selecting this house for renovation was not based on business alone. Dina Stanzione lived down the street from this house for nine years. Each time she drove past it, she wondered if anyone would do something with the house. “When it went up for sale in 2019, I got very excited… We did a walk-through, and it felt like a really great opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.” Explained Stanzione. Steve Rice, her boyfriend, owns Build & Paint Portland. They agreed that this house would be a great joint project, with Rice running the renovation work.
Whatever affection they have for this house, the plan is to sell it. Rice explained that after a few years, they would be “selling it in order to find the next Montavilla house to renovate.” Living in the houses as they renovate it, is an interesting model for rehabilitating houses. It is one that should turn out quality homes that are designed for living and not a quick sale. At nearly 125 years old, it is exciting to see the house saved and refreshed. Look for continued work and an eventual listing of this house in years to come.
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