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|Articles - April 2013|
|Monday, April 01, 2013|
Page 3 of 4
Boosting low-income and minority business entrepreneurship is one goal — and challenge — associated with outer east side redevelopment efforts. Attracting the private market is another. And while a still-sluggish economy makes it difficult to lure outside investment, the roadblocks go beyond financing.
In the 1990s, urban pioneers began fixing up Victorian and Craftsman homes in and around the Alberta and Belmont Main Street districts, paving the way for the inner-city renaissance. East Portland, by contrast, is sorely lacking in attractive, pedestrian-friendly environments, a key factor in the development of thriving close-in business districts. Instead, an overabundance of uninspired 1990s townhomes and dangerous highway-like arteries characterize East Portland — for example, seven of the city’s 16 most dangerous intersections are located in the Powellhurst neighborhood.
Such infrastructure deficiencies have not escaped the attention of Hales, who, like the PDC’s Quinton, says he aims to redistribute public resources for street improvements and other amenities more equitably throughout the city. “We are going to be looking with an equity lens at everything we do, and that includes geographic equity,” he says.
For Hales, trying to mitigate problems facing East Portland looks something like redemption. In 1996, as Bureau of Planning chief, Hales helped pass the Outer Southeast Community Plan, which rezoned a nearly two-mile stretch of 122nd between Foster and Division for apartments, townhouses and other multifamily dwellings. As a result, the neighborhood’s population jumped 34% from 2000 to 2010, and the number of renters increased by 72%.
Responding to resident complaints about the surfeit of housing — and lack of businesses — the city recently rezoned about 20 acres along 122nd Avenue allowing commercial activity. But Hales now faces criticism for trying to scale back sidewalk improvements in the area, a move that has sparked community outrage, especially after a 5-year-old girl was killed in February while crossing Southeast 136th Avenue.
There may also be a limit to what the public sector can do to lure the market east. Kevin Cavenaugh, a developer known for his innovative mixed-use projects in central-city neighborhoods, says rents aren’t high enough in the outer east side and that government programs alone won’t solve the problem. “Before moving to East Portland, builders have to be convinced good tenants will follow,” says Cavenaugh. “Will 24th & Meatballs locate in Lents? Will Noble Rot go out to 92nd?” he asks, referring to trendy dining venues that have located in his developments. “That’s the really interesting question, philosophically and practically.”
At least one well-known Portland business, New Seasons, may be ready to take the plunge. Grocers typically need the right mix of population, density, income and education level, and those demographics can deter food retailers from opening stores in East Portland neighborhoods, says Don Forest, New Seasons director of real estate.
But Forest says New Seasons “stretched those parameters” by opening stores in the (then) relatively poor neighborhoods around Killingsworth and Interstate avenues. Declining to be more specific, he also suggested New Seasons may soon open a store on the outer eastside. “There is a demand for a grocer east of 205, and we hope it’s us.” In March the Grocery Outlet beat New Seasons to the punch, opening a store on Southeast Division and 122nd Avenue, one of several East Portland neighborhoods the U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified as “grocery deficient.”
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
BY DIANE BUISMAN
Some common misconceptions employers have about marijuana.
Thursday, September 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Two businesswomen, two iconic food brands and one food-obsessed city. We thought this sounded like a recipe for good conversation. So in late August, Oregon Business sat down with Wendy Collie, CEO of New Seasons Market, and Kim Malek, owner of Salt & Straw, to discuss their rapidly expanding businesses and Oregon’s trendsetting food scene.
Friday, November 14, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Oregon entrepreneurs reveal their favorite caffeine hangouts.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Cylvia Hayes, tabloid vs. watchdog journalism and the looming threat of a Cascadia earthquake.
Thursday, October 02, 2014
Oregon Business magazine has named the sixth annual 100 Best Nonprofits to Work for in Oregon.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
Bob Dethlefs, CEO of Evanta, balances work and play.
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