When a former strip club and front for a prostitution ring is torn down in order to build affordable housing, it’s a very good day for the neighborhood.
Even better? When a bunch of small organizations were the ones who bought the property in the first place, because they knew that good piece of land would be better served by a different sort of building.
News has come recently that one of the biggest food cart pods in Portland will be disassembled to make way for new construction. The 10th & Alder block–now ringed with food carts–will become another high-rise building.
This, I made it a priority to snap this picture of the original cart on the block.
These pictures came out darker than I thought. Apparently I took them at the time of day when my eyes register more light than my camera.
These three houses were mostly boarded up from the inside, so I didn’t notice that they had been vacated. They are on Denver Ave., just off of Rosa Parks Way. They are the type of house I love: small house, bigger lot. North Portland had a ton of these houses when I moved here in 2007. There are fewer now. And soon there will be three fewer.
Portland Maps shows an interesting situation for these houses. Two of them are on the same lot (6541 N. Denver) and the lot seems to extend into the third house, though it has it’s own address (6525 N. Denver). The middle house is not shown as having an address, both on Portland Maps and on Google Maps. However, the information on Portland Maps shows square footage for all three houses in the 6541 N. Denver record and there’s no information on the third house in the 6525 N. Denver record, So I’m assuming all three houses are included on one lot.
The lot was last sold in 1977 for $58,500. According to an inflation calculator, that’s about $231,000 of today’s dollars. I’m unclear if that $58k price reflects that it has three houses on it. In June, this lot sold for [and here I must interject via brackets that the number I’m about to type makes me literally nauseous] $1.6 million.
Wait! It seems the $1.6m is for all three houses on the block, plus the former recycling center on the corner. Nausea has slightly abated. Only slightly. My favorite site Next Portland had this to say on 10/27/17 :
Proposed development of a split zoning site, CG and R5. four story apartment building (20 units or more) on the GC portion of the site and 2 new single family homes on the R5 portion of the site. All existing structures on site to be demoed.
By dividing $1.6m four ways, that roughly pencils out to $400,000 per lot.
Four hundred thousand dollars for just the land. That’s before the demo.
And that, friends, is why we have a homelessness problem in Portland.
Fun fact, I first noticed these houses had been boarded up when I saw one of our neighborhood homeless residents sleeping on the porch of the red house.
Onto the houses. This guy is 600 square feet, with a full basement. It’s the corner lot and has a nice big backyard.
This house is 720 square feet with a full basement. The assessment also includes 500 square feet of concrete which you see in the picture. It serves as the driveway for both houses. This is my favorite house of the three, though I think it has the smaller yard.
This house is 720 square feet with a full basement. It is right next to the former recycling center.
The records don’t say, but I’m guessing houses 2 and 3 were built by the same builder. They look very much the same. There’s a good chance house the first house was built then too. They have a lot of the same lines.
The record on Portland Maps only lists 1922 as a build date and it doesn’t specify if that year applies to all three houses. Either way, I will miss their presence.
Here’s a side view of where the recycling center used to be. Portland Maps says this garage (it probably was one before it was the recycling center) was built in 1950. I can’t tell if this property was owned by the same person who owned the houses, but my guess is yes. If so, that person made a tidy profit on this sale.
The recycling center (Far West Fibers) closed soon after China stopped taking plastic from the USA, citing too much contamination. It was too bad, as this was a handy place for me to drop off the plastic that couldn’t be recycled curbside.
Bonus picture! The property at 1936 NE Alberta. It’s a bit of office/shop space in the middle of a residential neighborhood. These are always a fun find for me. They are almost never shops or offices anymore, as our shopping patterns have changed enough that they are not viable as neighborhood shops.
Today, though, I was even more excited to find this detail.
Exposed: the previous shell of the building. It looks like sometime–I’m guessing mid-twentieth century–this building was revitalized to make it more modern. The sides were built out to make the structure more box-like and the brick was added.
If it weren’t a little too dark, you could see the former slanted roof which has been covered by the more modern flat roof.
Despite its office-looking appearance, Portland Maps lists this as a single family residential building. It was bought in 1994 for $135,000 (about $236k today) and was sold in 2017 for $695,000. The owners live on site, so I’m not sure what their plan is. Live in it? Demo and rebuild? It’s a big enough lot they could. There’s nothing on Next Portland’s development map, so we shall have to see.
Either way, I’m glad I got a chance to peek at what was there before.
I snapped a picture of this building and then did some research on what’s happening with it. As usual the Next Portland site was very helpful.
1727 NW Hoyt was originally built as a maternity hospital, most recently was an office building and has been vacant since 2007. In 2014 the developer applied for a demolition permit, but was rebuffed. The most recent update is from 2015, with talk of converting it to boutique hotel rooms. It’s certainly got good parking for that purpose. However, the time that has passed has me wondering if that is what will come to pass.
There will be a new building at the corner of 12th & Flanders. Looking at the sketch it looks like it will be a lot taller than the buildings that surround it.
The height isn’t as much of a problem as the fact that this lovely tree will be cut down in order to build another tall building.
I don’t always feel sad about big trees coming down. I was downright giddy when my neighbor cut down the large tree that dropped a ton of annoying branches and served as a home for many aphids that dropped sticky substances on the car.
But I’ve always liked the way this tree shades the parking lot and towers over the intersection.
Though it is old, it doesn’t look old enough to be a heritage tree, so we shall eventually lose it.
Here’s the building where I spent nine years of my working life. And as of last week, it’s a building that no longer houses the school I used to work for.
That’s right! After 15 years at this location, The Emerson School has found a new home in Northwest Portland.
In moving closer to get a picture of the “For Lease” sign I laughed at the site of the wagon wheel, which somehow managed to escape both the junk collectors and the movers. I guess the next tenant will get to decide what to do with it. (I don’t think there will be a next tenant. I’m guessing this building will be pulled down.)
A nice time capsule of the color the room used to be (fuscha and turquoise) before Bre repainted it a more soothing color.
I am so incredibly glad I did not have to do anything to facilitate this move (two days of the junk people and five days of the actual movers) and I’m very excited for The Emerson School’s new home.
Stuff is going on with the former Comfy Inn. I first profiled it on the Orange Door website in this post. The motel is even featured in the first three pictures, so you don’t have to scroll far.
In the years since that post, it’s had a stint as some sort of transitional-type housing for women with children. But now, it’s in the process of being disassembled.
I assumed this was going to become another tall mixed-use building, but it seems that that is not the case. My favorite website Next Portland tells me that:
Early Assistance has been requested by DECA Architecture for a project at 8355 N Interstate Ave:
Conversion of motel to apartments. Minor changes include: New walls, doors, lighting, paint, signage, and new finishes.
This is interesting. We shall see what they will charge for apartments in a converted motel. And how will the kitchen situation work?
It was a sunny day–the first in a long time. There wasn’t much to do at work and the Laurelhurst announced that they were changing from a second-run to a first-run theater. My friend S. North and I made plans to see one last movie for $3.00. And I decided to walk from work to the theater.
I’ve recently learned that the reason this building and the Hippo Hardware building (see below) have arcades, is that they were built before Burnside was widened. When it was, the ground floors were pulled back to make an arcade.
You can see the transition a little more clearly in this picture.
Here’s the Hippo Hardware building which has the same feature. This building will be torn down in 2–5 years. Hippo Hardware says their landlord has been awesome for 26 years and continues to be awesome (thus, the long lead time), but that something else will be built here so they will most likely move. Ironically, I rarely walk on this side of Burnside. But construction of a building (probably a building that will look much like the one that will replace the Hippo Hardware building) made me cross the street. Upside? I got some pictures I wouldn’t have normally taken.
Closer to the Laurelhurst Theater, I noticed that the building of Burnside 26 has infringed on the sign of the now-defunct Chinese Restaurant.
I’m not sure how building code allowed that to happen. I’m also impressed the construction people didn’t knock holes in it.
This particular Friday, I took off of work for one of my favorite kind of no-work days: a day with no plan. After blogging, I decided to walk to the ballot drop box to turn in my ballot. That turned into a very long walk, because I further decided to walk down Interstate to take some pictures of some buildings that would be destroyed to build a mixed-use complex. You can read that post here. I also combined this with looking for Help Wanted signs. Not for me, but because Job Spotter pays me in Amazon credit for each one I find. I’ll have more about that at the end of the month. In the meantime, here are my pictures from my walk.
When I moved to Kenton, this block was a KFC. It went out of business after maybe a year. Eventually the building was pulled down and the lot sat with a chain link fence around it for some time. But now: apartments. A lot of them. No parking either, which is unfortunate, as Lombard does not have any street parking, so all of these apartment dweller’s cars will be parked on neighborhood side streets. This is turning our two-way side streets into defacto one-ways because there are solid lines of cars on both sides of the street making it impossible for two cars to pass each other. The city should have started regulating neighborhood parking 10 years ago, but they did not, and so things are going to get very bad before they get better.
This was a one-story building that sat unused for all of my time living here. In the last year or two, it was pulled down. And now its a lot with a chain link fence. It’s right across the street from the Rosa Parks Max stop, so I’m assuming it will become a mixed-use complex soon, though there isn’t anything on Next Portland.
Here is another thing that affects street parking. Putting a six-unit apartment building on a lot where one house was. This takes a structure that most likely had off-street parking and turns it into one that will probably bring 5+ cars parked in the street. I know that the idea is that we are so great at transit that one doesn’t need to own a car, but the reality is that we are pretty good at transit and most people do own cars. When my company conducted focus groups of one part of the city where the no-car thing is supposed to be easy, all but one of the 21 people had cars. Some had more than one car per household Yet all were living in an area that is being built up without parking because supposedly no one needs cars. I’d like to see a better system, one that doesn’t assume free street parking for people who do have a car and don’t have on-property parking. (And that includes my own household, one with no off-street parking, two people and one car.)
I would guess this guy is a scrap metal dealer as his truck and trailer are always loaded with metal things. Incidentally, he lives in a four-unit, one story apartment complex, the type that are being torn down to build 24+ unit places that he probably could not afford to rent. Here’s hoping that his complex doesn’t get sold to developers.
This used to be the site of the bowling alley. It will now be mixed-use apartments. Early on, a sign posted showed a swimming pool was included, but I’m not certain that will be part of the final product.
A very specific photo taken for a person who doesn’t actually read this blog, this is the front office of Edge, our old gym. It’s now an auto repair place. I was surprised to see how hip it looks. Also, I’m pretty sure that’s the same couch that was there when Edge was there. Either they bought the exact same kind and color (it’s Ikea, so that’s a possiblity) or Edge left it.
This was a home with a storefront facing Interstate, and a Taco Time. It is now a pit. It will soon be more mixed-used apartment buildings. I’m sad that I didn’t take a picture of either of the previous buildings, because the house/storefront was fairly unique to Interstate, and the Taco Time was in good shape. It was a leftover landmark from the time before Taco Bell became ubiquitous, a.k.a. my childhood.
This was, once upon a time, a single story building that had a convenience store–or maybe a cigarette shop?–in it.
I can no longer remember what used to be here. Maybe a house. These are not-so-new (but not older than five years) and are, according to the flyer, not apartments you can rent, but a LIFESTYLE. Cue the eyeroll. Zillow estimates they are $1075 to $1565, which gets you no parking and no washer/dryer, or a laundry room. The website recommends using transit, but the person writing the copy clearly isn’t interested in taking transit, as they mention the #72 and the #4. The #72 is close by. The #4 is far, and shares a stop with the #75. They entirely skip over the #44, which is between the #72 and the #4.
Also from the website: Our controlled access building offers a sleek, well-lit focal bike storage area. Your bike will be art, not just transportation on two wheels!
This has been here the longest of the buildings on this post. It used to be the site of the Camelot Motel. It is income-restricted (I think) and the mixed-use part of the building house the offices of Proud Ground, which is the organization that made it possible to buy our home.
This style of infill apartments drives me crazy. I would love if they could design something more complicated than: box.
Here’s an update on the spot I featured in February 2017. My new favorite site Next Portland tells me this will be a 4-story, 30 unit apartment, with no parking. The kicker? The two adjacent lots are also being developed into a “new 3-story multifamily apartment building with 19 one-bedroom dwelling units” and also quite possibly a “new 3-story 6-unit development” That side street went from one 8-unit apartment and one home, to 49 for-sure units with a possibility of 55. That’s a lot of people and their needs to add to 1.5 blocks. Again, I’m for density, but what I don’t see, is the city addressing the parking issue. While this is built right on the Yellow Line Max, that does not mean that 50+ units will be rented to people without cars.
Looking down the block on Dekum.
From that same site. This is the kind of thing a certain type of people will look at and mutter about government over-regulation. I found it delightfully inventive.
And there’s yet more construction on Interstate! This is going to be 51 units of affordable housing. Finally, we get to the affordable housing! Now known as Charlotte Rutherford Place, this will have, “51 new units of affordable housing …serving low-income households earning up to 60% of the median family income, with a portion of units reserved for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. On-site resident services will include culturally specific recovery and employment support through partnerships with Miracles Club, NARA, and the Imani Program.”
There will be on-site surface parking, but I’m guessing that means about 10 spaces, not enough for all units, or even half of them. Again, the city needs to get out in front of the parking thing. When I lived in Boston, all the neighborhoods had permit parking. At any rate, it’s nice to see a small iota of affordable housing, among all the other developments.