82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association … on parade

The first parade of the season‚ this one’s a Portland Rose Festival Centennial event‚ takes the avenue on April 28. Read all about the organization behind it in our weekly series about East Portland Business Associations‚

Backed by the Royal Rosarians, 82nd Ave. of Roses Business Association President Ken Turner officiates at the grand opening of Joann’s Superstore.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
This association of businesses as started in 1987, and now has a strong membership that includes business members from all sections of the association’s boundaries. They are also very proud to count as members several neighborhood representatives; government representative; non-profit organizations and educational facilities.

This association represents businesses along and abutting the 82nd Avenue of Roses, from Portland International Airport in the north, to the Clackamas County line in the south.

A vision for change brings new name
In 2004, the Associations Board of Directors supported and approved a ‘new plan in direction’ to be undertaken by this business group.

Paul Ellison, manager of Bank of the West at SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Division Street, plants community roses, with the help of Royal Rosarians and staff from Portland Community College Southeast Center.

First part of the plan was to get a wide range support to change the name of the street, making it “The 82nd. Avenue of Roses”. A resolution was passed by the Portland City Council in November, 2004 in which, from that day forward, our thoroughfare would be referred to as The 82nd Avenue of the Roses.

More than new designation
Adding “Avenue of Roses” to this storied thoroughfare’s name may not, by itself, create positive change. It is, however, a significant indicator of the action both neighbors and business are taking to improve this historic, geographic band of East Portland.

Second phase of their revitalization plan was to unite the neighboring residential communities with the business district in an effort to improve the real and perceived image that this area has been labeled with.

Working together, the group undertook the “We Report All Crimes” campaign. Neighbors and business people encourage businesses in the district to display the campaign’s window decals. The result was that several hundred businesses chose to identify themselves with the association, and the anti-crime program.

Mark Schmidt (right) helps organize volunteers, from both neighborhood and business, for the group’s “Window Cling” distribution effort.

Community-minded projects
This association has created projects with the neighborhoods in mind, as well as the businesses. They are designed to increase a sense of community, goodwill and prosperity in and near the district.

For example, all businesses and residences have been encouraged to plant roses on property that abuts to 82nd. Avenue. Co-coordinating with the Portland Royal Rosarians and the Portland Rose Society, eight official ‘rose plantings’ were held in 2006. This number does not include those businesses that planted roses on their own and without fanfare.

Dave Lister and Ken Turner, getting ready to install another Window Cling.

Sign caps designate area
The next effort was securing funding and support to participate in the City of Portland’s sign cap program.

This entailed creating a design, for a metal sign that would depict the Association’s new logo, on all city street signs on 82nd. Avenue.

Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams and Ken Turner admire a new “sign cap”, designating 82nd Avenue as the “Avenue of Roses”.

In late 2006, City Commissioner Sam Adams presided over the official un-veiling of the sign caps.

Come join the parade
In association with the Portland Rose Festival Association, plan now to enter or watch, the Avenue of Roses Parade scheduled for April 28th at 9 a.m. sharp.

“This event is a collaborative effort,” the association’s president, Ken Turner tells us, “involving several neighborhood associations, business associations, and many other organizations. Participants include bands, marching groups, Chinese Lions, the Keystone Kops, Royal Rosarians, Rose Court Princesses, Portland Corvette Club, clowns, and more.”

The Avenue of Roses Parade starts at Eastport Plaza, 4000 SE 82nd Avenue.  The parade will travel north along 82nd Ave.; then west onto SE Yamhill, disbanding at SE 78th Avenue. Presenting sponsors for the event are Eastport Plaza Shopping Center and Washman, USA.

Festivities continue after the parade, with a sidewalk festival hosted by the Montavilla East Tabor Business Assn. and Montavilla Neighborhood Assn.

One significant outcome of this event will be to prove to the broader community that SE Portland has something fun and positive to offer the City.

Member spotlight
Bank of the West‚ Paul Ellison, Manager
Ellison has been a very involved business for over 10 years. This type of time commitment is indicative of the desire of the business community to help mitigate positive change along the 82nd. Avenue of Roses corridor.

Eastport Plaza‚ Ken Turner, Manager
Turner has also supported the entire area by encouraging the healthy development of the entire area.

Washman USA, Portland Community College, Standard TV and Appliance, Banfield Pet Clinic and Bill Bitar, Elmers Restaurant are but a few businesses that have been very helpful in keeping 82nd Avenue viable as a business district.

© 2007 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News Service

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