By Midge Pierce
Green Zebra Grocery is doing its bit to put a jolly, sustainable face on SE 50th and Division’s construction corner with an announcement that it will be the anchor store for a planned 126-unit multiuse apartment building. The building will fit into Portland’s goals for basic services within a 20-minute walk for neighbors.
Scheduled to open in late 2017, the 7000 square foot market, boasts indoor seating, “lots of space” for kombucha and growler fill-ups, plus catering and speedy delivery service via Instacart.
The grocer’s philosophy of healthy, affordable, local food where possible and grassfed beef is welcomed by neighbors who currently face about a mile walk to the nearest New Seasons. (Note: the ex-CEO of New Seasons, Lisa Sedlar, founded Green Zebra.)
“We believe in supporting our regional food economy and give first preference to local growers and producers”, the store’s announcement proclaims.
Added traffic and construction will not be welcome along this beleaguered stretch of urban renewal. In keeping with its sustainable philosophy, the store plans to limit parking to 17 cars while providing twice as many spaces for bikes including 24 covered slots for rainy days.
Residents shake their heads about insufficient parking. One commented, “People don’t give up driving just because the grocer told them to.”
As for the new development, current information indicates it will have 40 underground car parking spaces and 140 bike spaces. Balconies and patios will provide some relief to the big-boxscape along Division.
The fate of the foodcarts behind the site was unknown at this writing.
82nd high speed transit
Despite rumors that a pushback from the Jade District may force the new highspeed bus rapid transit project (BRT)to cross from SE Powell to Division at 50th or 52nd streets, the preference by the at-large community remains crossing at 82nd St.
The proposal calls for a half-mile connection to link downtown via Powell, crossing at some point to Division, and then on to Gresham and Mt. Hood Community College.
Early designs presented at a January meeting show it is feasible to run BRT on 82nd Ave. with various scenarios.
At the high end of the design spectrum, pedestrian, bike and traffic flow improvements would be considered. This option would result in significantly higher cost than a minimum build design and a property impact that may include removal of some 20 buildings.
Despite the 82nd Ave. nod from community groups such as SE Uplift, three options for the crossover remain on the table: 50th Ave., 52nd Ave. and 82nd Ave. Support for 82nd is based in part on emerging shopping markets and existing high transit ridership along the route. A major design constraint is area congestion.
If 82nd Ave. remains the preferred route, designs for bike routes, bus platforms and pedestrian improvements will begin this spring.
To vote your preference and to learn more about BRT on 82nd Ave. go to 82ndAveProjects.org.