Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Portland Road Study Moves Quickly on the Mercado Concept

The North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board meets tomorrow, and in addition to the Portland Road project, there are some additional tidbits on the Epping parcel.

Former Rose Gardens Motel on Portland Road
(See history of motel here)
From last month's minutes (agenda and full meeting packet here):
Residential will be installed in the back with the two pads in front reserved for retail development (pads are owned by the Epping family trust). Targeted rental group will be individuals or families earning 60% of median income. Total development costs for the 180 units was opined along with the construction time frame (2018-2019). Anticipated funding will require that the project maintain affordability for 60 years.
That's good to learn about the plan for retail in front along Portland Road. While it won't be mixed-use in a vertical orientation, it will be mixed-use on the horizontal axis. That's promising!

The 60-year horizon is also interesting. Will the construction itself be robust enough to have a reasonable expected life-span of 60 years? New construction is sometimes not high enough quality for a reasonable expectation of several decades of use, and with a low-income housing project, there might be too many cut-corners in order to maintain a profit. That will be interesting to watch, although it may not be possible in any public documentation to assess the quality of design and construction.

With debates around proposals for a lot of ginormous overbuilt and expensive infrastructure going on right now, it's all to easy to fault the City.

So it's nice to see what, on the surface anyway, look like terrific smaller projects move with alacrity.

The City is launching a Community Food Study around the "food hub" and mercado concept generated by the Portland Road Plan. Council approved that Portland Road Plan and - bam! - here is a next step. Does it feel exciting to you? From here it seems like there's a palpable urgency and excitement on the project.

They have a survey out about food and meals for the Northgate and Portland Road area. If you shop, dine, or want to sell here, consider giving your feedback!

New information also suggests Wayside Terrace (at top)
The site analysis for enhanced crosswalks completed the first phase, and the interviews turned up a new site.
[D]ata received from ODOT shows that 4 of 6 pedestrian injury accidents on Portland Road occurred within 300 feet of Wayside Terrace, just north of Bill Frey Drive.
So it looks like the crossing sites will be chosen through a reasonable combination of demand sites and known crash sites. Construction right now is planned for next year.

When you are cranky with the City - and there are good reasons to be cranky! - here's what looks like solid progress to counter some of that mood.

The North Gateway Redevelopment Advisory Board meets Thursday the 6th at 8:00 AM in the Center 50+, Classroom A, 2615 Portland Road NE.   

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