Tag: Kaiser Permanente

Forgotten Parking Lot

The long-unused parking lot at 7601 SE Division Street remains on the market. After selling to investors in 2015, the owner attempted several housing projects on the site. None of those seem to have moved past planning, and the property remains for sale.

Originally this location had an address of 1927 Division Street before the renumbering of Portland streets. The property was owned by the Pickard family as early as 1916. That year, the Morning Oregonian of March 29th and September 7th, listed it as the home address for George B. Pickard.

A few years later, The Oregon daily journal of August 15th, 1922, reported this location as the home of Mrs. Josephine Pickard. That same year Clarence Larsen was said to live at that address by the August 22 Morning Oregonian.

Before the 2015 sale to its current owners, 7601 SE Division Street served as employee parking for the Kaiser clinic. The secure parking lot featured 60 parking spaces and electronic gates on a 40,075 square-foot lot. The property went for sale in 2014 after the Kaiser clinic closed.

The nearby Portland Community college (PCC) considered purchasing it at their July 17th Board of Directors meeting that year. The asking price for the property was one million dollars. Beyond the over market rate asking price, other complications are documented in the PCC Board agenda notes.

“A significant complicating factor is that zoning for the property is uncertain. Staff’s view is that Kaiser’s need to provide for employee parking developed after the clinic’s development. In response to neighbor concerns, it appears that the City granted a temporary zoning change from R2 (residential) to CN2 (neighborhood commercial) to allow the property to be developed as Kaiser employee parking. It appears that this zoning action required that the zoning reverts to R2 upon a change in ownership. It further appears that this rezoning to CN2 occurred via a process that is no longer permitted, so the process for the zoning reversion is unclear.”

PCC investigated the purchase but ultimately declined to move forward. The following year DIG 76th Division LLC bought the property for $525,000 and has sought to sell or develop the site ever since. Capacity Commercial’s current asking price for the property is $4,075,000.

The zoning issue noted by the PCC Board is no longer an uncertainty now that the property is CM2 zoned. That will allow mixed-use for retail, office space, and residential construction. Any development on the property would not require onsite parking due to its access to mass transit.

If the property sells for a reasonable price, this location would be an ideal low-income development. It is walking distance from PCC and on the number 2 TriMet bus line for fast downtown access. At a time when the City is looking to add more affordable housing, letting this unused parking lot remain undeveloped seems like a wasted opportunity.

Interested buyers should contact George Diamond or Nicholas Diamond at 503-326-9000.

BIKETOWN’s Electric Bike Eastside Expansion

The BIKETOWN bike-share program expanded into Montavilla this month, for the first time making bikes available for riders to rent in the area. With the program’s expansion, Portland is replacing the older bikes that first arrived in 2016. The new bicycles are all new pedal-assist electric bikes. These bikes will help average riders make the long trip downtown and back without an excessive amount of effort.

Previous to this expansion of the program, residents would only see the orange BIKETOWN bikes in Montavilla when someone had taken them out of their designated area. Now they can be seen all over the neighborhood, with a concentration around the Portland Community College campus.

The BIKETOWN website and the new BIKETOWN app (iPhone/Android) shows available bike locations near you. Additionally, thanks to a partnership with the ride-hailing app Lyft, riders can now rent e-bikes through the Lyft app. In addition to Lyft, the program sponsors are Nike, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), and Kaiser Permanente.

BIKETOWN begins rolling out the expanded service this month, starting with 500 of the new e-bikes. That fleet will grow the to 1,500 e-bikes over the coming weeks. The 1,000 older BIKETOWN bicycles from 2016 are being removed from service as the new e-bikes become available.

The expanded coverage and new pedal-assist electric bikes come at a cost. The program is increasing its fares at all levels, leading some to question the choice of going all-electric. Regardless of its long term pricing effects, this is a growth opportunity for Montavilla’s transportation options.

We live in a bike-friendly city, and BIKETOWN continues to make that mode of transportation more accessible to all rider. The next few weeks will have summer-like weather, making now a great time to try out the new bikes. 

Expanded travel area in orange. Map by Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Read Patricia Sanders’ The bicycle craze comes to Montavilla for a historical look at bicycles in Montavilla.