If you couldn’t be at the Grand Opening, not long ago, see what you missed. And, learn what makes this housing development rather unique in East Portland.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
For many youngsters and teenagers today, the ancient looking Georgian-style building set on the knoll at the corner of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Sandy Blvd. just looked like a creepy haunted house.
Prior to 1983 that building ‚Äì the Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children ‚Äì served polio victims; and later young burn victims and those needing orthopedic care for sixty years. While many uses for the ten-acre site were floated, a residential development called Heights at Columbia Knoll finally got the nod from the city.
Ribbon cutting starts an all-day party
After year of building, the project officially opened its doors on June 9 with a grand celebration featuring speeches, music, food and fun.
Their event started with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Portland’s commissioner in charge of housing, Erik Stin told eastPDXnews in an exclusive interview, “This is a sign that the neighborhood is becoming revitalized. What we have here is a ‘community’ within a neighborhood. There are seniors, very young in day care, and low income people at this facility. I love it that people of all generations can live in one place. It is such a gorgeous spot; it will become one of Portland’s favorite places.”
Portland Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, dignitaries and guests gathered as the “official” ribbon is about to be cut by one of Heights at Columbia Knoll’s owners, Mark Miller.
After the ribbon cutting, Miller told us, “For seniors, this kind of housing development is unusual. It allows people 75 to 90 seniors to live in a luxury style, even if their means are 60% of the median income. Lower income seniors, on fixed income, can have some very fine housing and common elements.”
In total, the development will house 208 seniors and provide 118 family units.
Reception provides hospitality for all
Throughout the senior housing building, the staff of Heights at Columbia Knoll arranged entertainment and activities for all who attended.
In their main dining room, full-course hot dinner was served to all of their guests. It was clear, all who attended this grand opening had a grand good time.
¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News