At the corner of 76th & SE Stark where Beet’s Auto Repair once existed, developer Randy Rapaport is proposing a “work-force housing” project. He presented his idea to the Montavilla Neighborhood Association on Thursday, June 22. This discussion will also be on the agenda for the METBA luncheon meeting on July 11 from 12 – 1:30 pm at the Flying Pie Pizzeria, 78th & SE Stark.

David Beet was present at the meeting to explain his rapid departure from the neighborhood due to health reason and to lend his support to the project.

Rapaport’s intention is to create a public / private partnership with the City of Portland to develop a mixed use building with a 4,500 square foot grocery store on the ground level and 60 apartment units above. The plan includes 25 parking spaces – 10 for shoppers and 15 spaces for residents.

The Mt. Tabor Villa apartments is geared to people who earn 30 – 60 percent of the Median Family Income (MFI). In other words a person working full time earning minimum wage could afford to live here. Rates would be determined by income.

Rapaport broke down the costs:

Studio –  $500 – $850

One bdrm – $550 – $850

Two bdrm – $700 – $1050

Three bdrm – $850 – $1200

This would be subsidized housing or public housing. Rapaport plans to include energy efficiency details and construct a quality building. He said that if this project is approved it could partially be paid for by the current $250 million bond the city has for housing.

Montavilla neighbors like the idea of affordable housing in the community. The grocery store met with mixed reviews although everyone did agree that a full scale store is lacking here.  As with much of the new development happening in our City, the low ratio of parking spaces to apartments is a source of frustration as is the added traffic to neighborhoods.

Rapaport also talked about the future of Montavilla and the plans to increase density here by 1,000 units over the next ten years. He said that developing this particular corner is not a matter of if but rather when.–NT 

Historic District Roundup

Christmas came early for those who love Portland’s annual street light show. Peacock Lane’s nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, unanimously approved by a state preservation committee, is moving toward final decision by the National Parks Service which administers the program.

Peacock Lane’s nomination was spurred by the threat of demolition of one its quintessential cottages. While the home still stands, new construction is underway on a lot split from the property.

Across Stark Street in leafy Laurelhurst, residents responding to a survey of interest in National Historic District designation overwhelmingly voted to pursue nomination. Nearly 85% of 1800 responses supported the idea.

The Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association Board has instructed a citizens committee to develop a nomination timeline, prep a budget and bring a recommended bid to the LNA Board for review, according to resident John Liu who says intense research lies ahead. “The expectation is that this will be a LNA-led nomination effort, with the large majority of expenses paid through new money raised through fundraising, and a substantial reliance on volunteers.”–MP