Cement masons are currently reconstructing and improving the sidewalk around the nearly 100-year-old retail building at 6834 NE Glisan Street. This work will increase the sidewalk corner, extending the curb’s edge into the parking lane and shortening the crosswalk distance across NE Glisan Street. The infrastructure enhancements are part of a multi-year tenant improvement project for Green Front Dispensary and should create a safer pedestrian realm.
In 2021, Green Front Dispensary began work on hardening the building’s security and providing other internal upgrades to the space. The permits call for the installation of a reinforced cinderblock storage vault and bullet-resistant walls around the cashiers. It also created a new entry vestibule, limiting direct access to the main sales floor. These security measures speak to the constant threat to employees working in a cash-only business. Workers at other dispensaries have died during robberies, and many marijuana businesses have looked for ways to protect staff by implementing security designs pioneered in the banking industry.
The high cost of these internal updates has an external community benefit. When a permit’s valuation is thirty-five percent or more of the assessed value of improvements on a site, the property owner is required to make updates to the public right-of-way if the infrastructure is not currently meeting city standards. The sidewalks surrounding the building lacked ADA-compliant curb ramps and had substandard curbs.
This reconstruction project will create sidewalks that offer the high level of safety and accessibility that the city now requires, along with enhanced aesthetics. Earlier plans for this sidewalk segment showed four street trees distributed around the building. The current layout only offers two large tree wells for the existing juvenile trees planted previously. Regardless of lower tree density, these sidewalk updates should enhance the area for customers and the general public. Depending on the weather, look for the sidewalk to reopen in the following weeks.
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Murals are sprouting up along NE Glisan, expanding the character transformation of the street. Shopfronts on Glisan between NE 68th Ave and 82nd Ave have enhanced their appearance over the last few years. The addition of public art on these buildings further drives the artistic reinvention of the street.
Some site developments are incorporating art into the project at the design phase. The new gas station and convenience store on the corner of Glisan and 82nd Ave will feature a tile-mosaic mural when constructed. Other businesses are adding their public art at varying times after opening.
The Pie Spot is the only shopfront in the new Rocket Empire Machine food hall that fronts on NE Glisan. They have added a mural depicting a pink flamingo sitting atop one of their pies.
Green Front Dispensary recently completed a mural on the NE 69th side of their building. The work is a creation of Voxx Romana. Its rich reds and shimmering gold color are easily spotted while traveling NE Glisan.
Although these are just a small number of artistic expressions coloring NE Glisan, it is not hard to imagine other businesses on the street adding murals to their locations. These building embellishments not only attract the eye, but it also sets a positive tone for the people who live and shop along this street.
Perhaps a troubling sign of heightened crime, Green Front Dispensary has boarded up their windows. Over the last few weeks, individually covered windows indicated damage to the storefront. Now the whole store is covered in painted plywood, ahead of rolling shutter installation.
A popular cannabis retail location, Green Front Dispensary, is located at 6834 NE Glisan Street. They appear to have reacted to repeated window damage through fortification. Although calls and emails have gone unanswered, the exterior modifications indicate a chosen path to address the vandalism.
The artistically painted wood coverings are similar to what other closed businesses have had to resort to during the pandemic. However, Green Front Dispensary is open while boarded up. The housing and track of exterior rolling shutters are visible on the edges of the window frames. These devices are standard security measures for retail locations needing protection.
Likely the wood covering will come down soon, and the exterior rolling shutters will protect the windows at night. It is unfortunate that any business would need to resort to this level of protection, but it may become common for neighborhood businesses if vandalism becomes more brazen.
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