Tag: SE Division

APANO to Redevelop Canton Grill Site on SE 82nd

After nearly two and half years sitting vacant, the former Canton Grill property at 2610 SE 82nd Avenue will play a significant role in the district’s transformation. The owners of the iconic restaurant recently accepted the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon‘s (APANO) offer to purchase the 47,265-square-foot site. Next month, APANO staff will begin public outreach and use those interactions to inform redevelopment plans.

APANO’s Community Development Director, Duncan Hwang, explained that acquiring the site became a priority for his organization soon after the restaurant closed. That historic eatery operated near the corner of SE 82nd Avenue and Division Street for 76 years during the height of the car-centric era. Consequentially, the location’s parking lot is four times bigger than the building’s footprint. That underutilized space has the potential to support density housing above additional commercial storefronts. A handful of recent developments in the area embracing a modern mixed-use multistory design. Those buildings feature deemphasized parking and provide pedestrian-scale ground-floor retail units with apartments above. However, those projects are still rare on 82nd Avenue. According to Hwang, the site could just as easily become a chain pharmacy store or another low-density shop. Buying this property allows APANO to secure this site before other groups lock up the parcel for another 50 years. With the guidance of the community, they intend to deliver a building that enhances the district and furthers the transformation of the former highway into a Civic Corridor.

The Canton Grill property sits across SE 82nd Avenue from APANO’s headquarters in the Orchards of 82nd building. That mixed-use project was the group’s first expansion into commercial development through a partnership with Rose Community Development Corporation (Rose CDC). APANO manages the retail space on the ground floor, and Rose CDC runs the affordable housing above. That successful endeavor encouraged the organization to expand further into development. Earlier this year, APANO announced another partnership for low-income housing on the nearby Portland Community College (PCC) campus. “We are also going to be working with Just Future on 120 units at PCC Southeast. Between the Orchards [of 82nd] and PCC, that’s almost 200 units of affordable housing,” said Hwang.

APANO’s development work supports the community’s need for socially guided projects while filling a niche underserved by current programs. “We did a strategic planning process about two years ago looking at needs and gaps for the Asian pacific islander community in general, and one of the gaps was there wasn’t a culturally specific housing developer for this community.” Said Hwang. APANO staff found that senior living and supportive housing did not account for differing tastes in Asian diets or preferred exercise classes. They also found that the physical design of buildings posed a lasting deficit in housing accommodations. “Spaces for family kinds of interaction is a desired, and then also a lot of our elders are shorter, so having cabinets that are better accessible and things like that has also come up as design elements.” APANO hopes its expansion into development will create a more equitable housing market in the region and fill those identified gaps.

APANO purchased the property with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds allocated to the organization by the State legislator. That money was expressly set aside for community-supporting property acquisition, allowing the organization to make a cash offer for the Canton Grill land. Duncan Hwang believes they were not the highest builder but expects that his organization’s commitment to redevelop the property responsibly influenced the Louis family’s decision to accept their offer. “The history and legacy of this family and this site is not lost on us,” said Hwang. APANO hopes to retain the 95-year-old restaurant building that has helped define 82nd Avenue. However, they will use community interest in preservation and the assessed structural condition to determine how the single-story building will fit into the larger redevelopment project.

Montavilla News illustrations on Portland Maps image

The future density of affordable housing from the Orchards and PCC projects presents an opportunity to expand uses for the Canton Grill project beyond traditional low-income housing. Hwang explained that they want to engage in “a real thoughtful conversation about the type of affordability that we want to see at that particular site.” He sees an opportunity for a mix of market rate and workforce housing above affordable retail as a possible use. The revenue from market-rate units can subsidize the affordability of the rest of the project while adding diversity to the area.

Duncan Hwang framed this redevelopment as a blank slate project, emphasizing that public outreach will drive many choices for the property. However, goals for the site will dictate some limits on the housing types considered. “I don’t think there’s any world where we’d build luxury market-rate condo-style things,” said Hwang. “It’s really about how do we maximize community benefit, which definitely includes housing. But how much? I think it depends on the size of a plaza or green space, commercial space, and all that.” 

Regardless of community direction, providing resiliency to the population center will become a vital feature of this complex. That could include a solar panel covered parking structure that would function to reduce energy demands from residents and act as an emergency public charging station in a natural disaster. Resiliency design could also incorporate warming and cooling facilities for use during extreme weather events.

Outreach will begin on December 15th with a public forum at APANO’s community space. Staff will also reach out in other ways around the same time. “We’ll have a survey going out shortly as well, and in multiple languages. It’s going to be focused on unit mix, commercial space usage, and the sort of services that you want to see,” said Hwang. They are moving quickly because funding opportunities happen at set intervals. “If we want to maximize affordability and go for low-income housing tax credits, that’s on specific cycles. So we might be able to get into the next cycle next summer.” That deadline may not be an issue if the public supports market rate and workforce housing, but that determination will happen over the next few months, and APANO is keeping all options open. Interested people should look for opportunities to participate in planning efforts on APANO’s website or social media accounts.


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Bicycle and Car Crash at SE 92nd and Division

Last night at 11:17 p.m., Portland Police officers from the East Precinct responded to a crash near SE Division Street and SE 92nd Avenue. At the scene, they found a 47-year-old bicycle rider with life-threatening injuries. The car’s uninjured driver cooperated with the investigation. This collision is one of the first serious injuries sustained on SE Division Street since the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) completed the Outer Division Safety Project.

During the investigation, Portland Police officers closed the eastbound lanes of SE Division Street between SE 92nd Avenue and SE 94th Avenue. Westbound lanes remained open. All of SE Division Street is currently open to traffic again, with only police tape and burnt flares indicating that anything happened at this intersection. The initial investigation determined that the automobile driver, operating a 2003 Toyota Camry, was traveling eastbound on SE Division Street and collided with the bicyclist riding southbound on SE 92nd Avenue. 

Preliminary reports indicate that the bicyclist may have disregarded traffic signals at the intersection before crossing SE Division Street. However, the Police Bureau’s Major Crash Team (MCT) considers weather-related visibility a possible factor. The bicyclist remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. Portland Police will continue the investigation.

If anyone has information about this crash, please contact crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov, attention Traffic Investigations Unit, and reference case number 22-289329.

Police tape on pavement "POLICE LINE DO NOT CROSS"

191 Apartments Proposed on SE Division

The new owners of a large warehouse at 8301 SE Division Street recently proposed a transformation to the 30,000-square-foot property. Last month, Diamond Plaza LLC applied for Early Assistance with the creation of 191 apartment units over 4,390 square feet of ground-floor retail space. A veteran of similar projects, Hoff Construction Group, will manage the site’s development.

Only 50 feet of the property exists on SE Division Street. Most site access occurs along SE 83rd Avenue. The lot is in a Commercial Mixed Use 2 (CM2) zone with a Centers Main Street (m) overlay. That will allow buildings with four stories, except in locations where bonuses allow up to five levels. The M overly requires active ground floor commercial uses with windows and a minimum building footprint covering a large portion of the site. This overlay also limits certain auto-oriented uses and favors compact, walkable design.

Image from Portland Maps

Division Street has seen many recent high-density mixed-use development in the last decade. However, few of those projects extend east past 82nd Avenue. In 2019, Hoff Construction Group completed a similarly sized complex to what designers proposed at SE 83rd and Division. That project at 2595 SE 50th Avenue created the Division Street Station apartment building with a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom units. If both developments are indeed comparable, it could indicate a significant change for this section of East Portland, with the influx of new residents helping fill retail vacancies in adjacent properties like the Pacific Plaza.

Tran’s Auto Body last occupied the green 8,999 square-foot warehouse now at the site. That automotive services company recently ceased operation after two decades. Upon closing the business, Quy Tran sold the SE Division Street property to Diamond Plaza LLC. The Mt. Hood Building Supply company was one of the original tenants of this 1970-built structure, using the large metal building for lumber storage. Its early uses shaped the utilitarian design of the site, and subsequent businesses did not alter it much over the years.

This location’s current configuration reflects an industrial past that now seems out of place next to Portland Community College and the pedestrian-scale retail developments along the street. Converting this location to housing aligns with the efforts of Jade District leaders and other community groups working in this area. Most people should welcome the new mixed-use building if it is approved. 

The current proposal is only in the Early Assistance phase of development. Details of the project will likely change before the owners apply for building permits. However, any significant construction on this site will improve SE 83rd Avenue. That street only has 230 feet of sidewalk along its western edge. Work at this property will create 360 feet of new sidewalk and replace pavement on its eastern side of the roadway, improving the utility of this currently dead-end street. Expect further updates regarding this project in 2023 as designers refine their plans for this transformative redevelopment.

A SE Division Party on Saturday

TriMet will host a grand opening celebration for the new FX2-Division bus line this Saturday. Activities will span three festival locations in SE Portland and Gresham. Each site features entertainment, prize giveaways, and food vendors. Attendees can take unlimited free rides on the new articulated FX buses along the route between noon and 6 p.m. on September 17th. The new service begins regular operation on Sunday the 18th, offering high-capacity and fast bus service along Division Street. Montavilla residents should arrive to the event at the SE 82nd and Division stop near Portland Community College, located at 2305 SE 82nd Avenue.

Raimore Construction partnered with TriMet for this Grand Opening Celebration. The construction company is the prime contractor for TriMet’s Division Transit Project. As a minority-owned firm, this project represents the largest contract awarded to a certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise in Oregon. It is a notable success for the City’s Inclusive Contracting initiatives.

Raimore Construction President Jeff Moreland speaking, TriMet Interim General Manager Sam Desue, Jr and Division Transit Project Director Michael Kiser left. April 3, 2021

TriMet posted full schedules for each event location on its website. Guests are encouraged to take the bus between each celebration site at OMSI Station, PCC Station, and the Gresham Farmers’ Market. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute to a giant “paint-by-numbers” mural project. Event coordinators placed sections of the mural project at each of the three event sites. Cascade Behavioral Health building on SE 42nd and Division will host the completed public art project.

Attendees should plan a long day exploring SE Division Street and experiencing the new FX bus service. Drivers in the area should anticipate a change in bus operation beginning tomorrow as the new extended transit platforms go into service with more frequent service. Bus riders not attending the events should plan for higher than usual usage of the number 2 bus route. However, the new higher-capacity vehicles should accommodate the surge in demand.


Title images courtesy of TriMet

Disclosure: The author of this article servers on the Board for a group partnering with TriMet on this event.

Lane Closures at SE 92nd and Division

Today, road crews closed multiple lanes of traffic along SE 92nd Avenue and Division Street to repave the intersection. Over the last several weeks, workers have reconstructed corner curb ramps at this junction as part of the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOTOuter Division Safety Project. This fresh layer of asphalt will smooth and level the roadway, erasing the rough seams caused by recent construction.

All users of this intersection should practice caution and patience while navigating this area. Drivers should expect delays as crews divert traffic around the worksite, and pedestrians may need to detour to other crossings. PBOT expects repaving work to continue through Friday, August 12th.

Repaving and New Signals on SE Division

Road crews repaved a section of SE Division Street between SE 87th and 82nd Avenue this week. Workers redirected traffic, reducing the road to one travel lane in each direction and closing some side street access. This current activity marks the final stages of the combined TriMet Division Transit Project and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOTOuter Division Safety Project. Over the next month, repaving efforts will continue up to SE 92nd Avenue, and crews will activate new traffic signals on SE Division Street from SE 80th to 174th Avenues.

Initially, the two projects lacked ADA corner ramp restoration and repaving between SE 82nd to 92nd Avenues. PBOT was issued additional funding to repair the pavement in this area and enhance sidewalk accessibility. Crews will complete the final striping along the corridor after completing the pavement restoration this summer.

PBOT Posted schedule for reaming SE Division Street work

As part of its project, PBOT added many new or improved traffic signals to enhance safety for pedestrians and vehicles crossing SE Division. Within the Montavilla area, crews from Raimore Construction built three new controlled intersections and upgraded older signals at SE 92nd Avenue. Traffic lights at the new controlled intersections are in various stages of completion. SE 80th Avenue and Division Street is complete, with new lights hung on pole-attached mast arms. The lights are shrouded with Signal Head Covers, awaiting activation.

Signaled intersection at SE Division and 80th Ave

Signal work is needed at two of the new traffic-light-controlled intersections. SE Division and 89th Avenue, along with SE Division and 84th Avenue, are awaiting traffic head installation. Based on PBOT timelines, staff should activate all three new controlled intersections sometime in July. Traffic signals will turn on in sequential order, from east to west. The change may catch some regular commuters off-guard, as it will break up previously uninterrupted thoroughfares, requiring greater driver attention to the road.

Signaled intersection at SE Division and 89th Ave

After repaving work completes, painters will re-stripe the road and add protected bike lanes in each direction of SE Division Street. The enhanced cycle route spans SE 80th to 174th Avenues and utilizes vertical delineator wands, raised dividers, and some parking lane buffer zones.

Signaled intersection at SE Division and 84th Ave

Expect lane closures and delays as repaving work continues over the next two weeks. Later this month, drivers should prepare for new traffic-light-controlled interactions to become active in the area. By the end of summer, crews should complete all work on SE Division Street, and in September, rapid bus service will begin on the new Trimet FX line.

New Signal and Crossing at SE 80th and Division

Update – Crews recently installed the traffic signal mast-arm poles on the southern corners of SE 80th Avenue and SE Division Street. Soon workers will return to install the remaining two poles. Then city staff will place the new control box, signals, and LED street lights planned for this intersection. Within the next few months, this busy crossing will become available to pedestrians and cyclists who have struggled to use this space safely.


Update March 11th 2022 – Crews recently completed the south side curb ramps and sidewalk reconstruction at SE 80th and Division. Work has moved across the street to the north side of SE Division Street, spanning Portland Community College’s vehicle entrance. After concrete work completes, signal and painting specialists will add traffic control lights and new crosswalks to the intersection.

Southwest corner SE 80th and Division
Southeast corner SE 80th and Division

Original Article Published January 21st, 2022

Starting January 31st, crews with Raimore Construction will begin road work at the intersection of SE 80th Avenue and SE Division Street. This project adds traffic signals, marked crosswalks, and other safety measures for bikes and pedestrians. Work will continue through March, causing limited traffic delays in early February. This enhancement is part of the continuing Outer Division Safety Project between SE 80th to 174th avenues.

Portland Community College’s (PCC) southeast campus interrupts SE 80th Avenue at SE Division. The school’s parking lot entrance roughly aligns with the 80th along the college’s Division Street frontage. Currently, the intersection lacks signals, marked crosswalks, and ADA-compliant curb ramps.

PBOT bid document for SE 80th Ave and SE Division St with phase notes

Updates to this intersection will reconstruct all four street corners and provide gaps in the previously uninterrupted traffic flow. Crews will install new curb ramps, add high visibility crass-walk paint, and apply green-striped bike crossings where the SE Division bike lanes intersect 80th Avenue. This new crossing point creates additional connection opportunities to the 70s Neighborhood Greenway project scheduled to run through this area. Four signal poles will support eleven new traffic signals, providing aid to cyclists and pedestrians traversing the busy street. 

Around January 31st, crews will excavate a trench across SE 80th Avenue on the south side of SE Division Street. Cars turning onto SE 80th from Division Street or connecting with SE Division Street from 80th may experience lane closures. Between February 7th and 9th, trench work across SE Division at SE 80th will close down sections of SE Division street. However, traffic will be permitted in both directions during this work, with occasional lane diversions. Crews expect to close portions of PCC’s south parking lot entrance for a few days between February 10th and the 25th.

Pavement markings showing placement of new ADA curb ramps on southwest corner

Road flaggers will direct traffic during work hours, and plans strive for minimal impact on automotive traffic at the intersection. Work is scheduled between 7 AM and 3 PM, avoiding impact to the evening commute. In March, crews will install signal poles at the corners and complete other remaining work. This later construction should not affect vehicle traffic. However, pedestrians and bicycles may have minor detours.

Portland Bureau of Transportation engineers designed these infrastructure improvements to safely move all modes of travel through an increasingly active intersection. Commuters along SE Division have grown accustomed to this type of construction activity as the multi-year-long improvement project nears completion. When driving through this area, use caution and plan for additional travel time during work hours.

View from PCC parking lot south entrance looking across SE Division down SE 80th Ave

Affordable Housing at PCC SE Campus

At the end of 2021, Portland Community College (PCC) applied to the City of Portland for Early Assistance on a housing project located at 7705 SE Division Street. That process helps developers submit building permit applications that successfully meet City standards. The proposed development would construct approximately 100 affordable apartments within a single four-story building at a maximum height of 45′. Planners expect to provide around 30 surface parking spaces for the residents.

PCC acquired the property from the German American Society in May of 2010. Kaiser Permanente maintained a lease for the one-story building on the site until 2014. Midway through 2015, PCC began the process of demolishing the building and adding vehicle stalls to the existing parking lot. The area currently serves as auxiliary parking for the college and extended green space for the campus.

Image from Google Maps 2014

Last year, PCC staff worked to develop a twenty-year facilities plan for the educational institution’s properties. During that evaluation, PCC determined that portions of the school grounds should support low-income affordable housing. Instead of student-only dormitories, they opted to focus on attainable housing open to the public. From internal surveys of students, PCC staff learned that housing insecurity is a significant concern. They also observed that students often spread their education out over many years with inconsistent enrollment. Consequentially, PCC determined that tying housing programs to school affiliation would not help alleviate the housing insecurities among the student population. Instead, they feel creating more affordable housing inventory would provide better results.

Image from Google Maps 2015

Human Solutions and Bora Architects+Interiors are assisting PCC with early-stage planning. Efforts to design the building will begin next year. However, preliminary work masses the building towards SE Division Street with a green buffer zone along SE 77th Avenue. Designers are considering stepping down the building on SE Sherman Street to help blend in with the residential scale of that street. Apartments should range in size from studio units to three-bedroom family residences.

For the next twelve months, developers will continue to work with the community and design a housing project that serves residents, PCC, and the surrounding community. Final plans should materialize during the Summer of 2023, with construction following in Fall 2023. Interested community members should keep an eye out for future engagement opportunities.


Article cover image from Portland Maps

SE 82nd and Division Bus Stop Rebuild

Update – Crews have partially completed the bus stop reconstruction on SE Division Street at SE 82nd Avenue. Their progress reveals a design change for this station that will route bike riders behind the bus shelter instead of keeping bikes on the roadway. In this design, pedestrians will need to cross the raised bike lane to enter the bus platform.

Project documents from 2019 indicated that this location would implement a Pedestrian Bypass Station design, but work completed to date suggests workers are creating an Island Station. Consequently, crews are relocating the crosswalk signal currently in the middle of the future bicycle path. Despite this station’s changes, designers have maintained the sidewalk cutout to support replacement street trees near the bank building.

The final design will become apparent within the next few weeks as concrete work completes. As one of the last stations constructed in the Division Transit Project, it signals the imminent arrival of faster bus service. Look for TriMet FX™ (Frequent Express) service to begin in September 2022.


Original article published March 5th, 2022

This week, crews working on the Division Transit Project closed off traffic lanes on 82nd Avenue and SE Division Street as they demolished the intersection’s northwest corner. Workers removed two trees, a Trimet number 2 bus stop, and the drive-through exit driveway at Bank of the West. Soon TriMet will construct a new rapid bus station at this site and plant two new trees behind the bus shelter.

Bank of the West has two entry points to the financial institution’s parking lot, one on SE 82nd Avenue and another on SE Division Street. When the bank reworks their parking lot, drive-through ATM users will turn left, head back into the parking lot, and use either of the two remaining exits. Previously, users of the drive-through ATM could turn right and drive out onto Division through a third exit-only driveway. The longer articulated busses used in the Division Transit Project require more curbside space. Consequently, TriMet shifted the bus platform further west, blocking the drive-through exit path.

TriMet design plan for Division Transit Project. X marks removed trees and O indicates added trees.

This corner has ample sidewalk area, allowing TriMet to use its Pedestrian Bypass Station design. In that platform configuration, people walking past the stop have clear space to travel behind the waiting bus riders at the shelter. Additionally, this design allows bicyclists to ride past a parked bus in a separate lane to the left of the stop.

TriMet Pedestrian Bypass Station design

This latest TriMet work is one of the few reaming reconfigurations needed before the Division Transit Project begins service. Some limited use of the new bus stops will start in April, with full rapid bus service commencing later this year. A temporary number 2 bus stop is located less than 300 feet to the west form the construction site. Use cautions near this intersection and expect some delays over the next month.

2040 Portland Freight Plan

Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) staff are in the midst of updating the City’s Freight Master Plan adopted by the Portland City Council in 2006. The 2040 Portland Freight Plan seeks to create a strategic road map for investing in urban freight infrastructure in Portland. This update allows the city to rebalance the commercial demands on the roads with the City’s Vision Zero and environmental goals. PBOT created a survey for Portlanders to help identify intersections, streets, curbs, bridges, ramps, and neighborhoods where people experience urban freight-related safety and mobility concerns.

Montavilla is a neighborhood surrounded and bisected by urban freight movement. The I84 and I205 freeways create its north and east borders, while 82nd Avenue, NE Glisan Street, SE Start/Washington Streets, and SE Division Street all carry substantial commercial traffic through the community. Businesses and residents in the neighborhood can provide unique perspectives to the survey, helping PBOT meet its goal of creating a safe, equitable, efficient, and sustainable urban freight system.

Participating in the PBOT survey is the public’s best opportunity to shape the next 20 years of freight activity in Portland. The results from the PBOT survey, along with extensive reports and analyses, will form the final Plan. Other guidance will come from the 2040Freight Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and multiple supporting documents developed throughout the planning process.


Title image courtesy of PBOT