Apartment building to replace empty Division Street store

See what is planned for the site that is now the home of the Jade/APANO Multicultural Space …

At a meeting here, at the Jade District/APANO Multicultural Space, interested people had the opportunity to “weigh in” on the redevelopment of the site.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A little over a year after they moved into the empty furniture store, the Jade District Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative and the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) are now working on a plan to redevelop the corner of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Division Street.

>> See one of the first major functions at what they call the Jade District/APANO Multicultural Space, last year: CLICK HERE.

In one of the two breakout sessions, participants tossed out ideas for the ideal building; other expressed concerns about the project.

On April 9, the organizations called for a community forum on affordable housing – and also to discuss the plans for redeveloping the corner.

After self introductions, participants were invited to join one of two groups to discuss the pros and cons of some of the development ideas put forward for the site.

“ROSE Community Development Corporation (ROSE) was selected by Metro as a developer and owner of a mixed-use development for this area,” said Executive Director Nick Sauvie.

“Today we’re hoping to get feedback from the community about what they like to see here, so that we can incorporate this into our design,” Sauvie told East Portland News.

After they’ve finalized a design, ROSE will begin putting together a funding package for the redevelopment project, Sauvie added.

ROSE Executive Director Nick Sauvie and SERA Architects facilitator Gauri Rajbaida listen to neighbors’ concerns about erecting a four-story building at the site.

After learning of the plans to build a four-story building on the site, some of the neighbors who live next to the property expressed deep concerns.

“It looks as if this building will be towering over what was once our private back yard,” a neighbor said. “People who live there will be staring into what was once our private space.”

Another homeowner with a yard abutting the development expressed their distress about possible loss of property value.  “We’ve invested our lives and our house here. I guess we’d better sell before this building is built, right?” was the comment.

No designs or plans have yet been created for the redevelopment of the corner, says Jade District Steering Committee and APANO Board member Anita Yap.

“This is only the first meeting to talk about the redevelopment of this furniture store site,” pointed out Jade District Steering Committee and APANO Board member Anita Yap.

“This is the first meeting to share the design and financing ideas with the neighborhood.

“Both organizations have been working in this area for the last two years, dealing with anti-displacement issues, and organizing in the community,” Yap said. “We’ve been doing research in the community. We’re looking with a real intentional focus regarding development. This is the first time we have been able to do that with the site.”

SERA Architects Travis Dang facilitates a group discussion.

In the other workgroup, some participants said that parking in the area was a critical issue.

“It looks as if there are a handful of parking spaces for as many as 40 [apartment] units,” said an attendee.

Sara Architects facilitator Travis Dang replied, “We’re looking at designs for a transit-oriented corridor; postulating that many of the people to live and work there will be taking mass transit, bicycling, or walking to and from the center.”

Most people walk, bike, or take public transit to their facility, says APANO Associate Director Duncan Hwang.

APANO Associate Director Duncan Hwang, J.D. added, “The essence of this is creating a community for people here who are being priced out of the area.

“Most of our people walk or bike here. We realize that this is one of the most dangerous intersections in Portland, which is why we’re also working to make improvements in that area,” Hwang added.

Within a few months, ROSE will produce preliminary designs and drawings for the new development, Sauvie said.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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