New development in Lents Town Center announced

Discover the historic, but unlikely, place where a new housing development is being planned in this area of outer East Portland …

By late last year, this historic building. the Odd Fellows Hall, built in 1913, will have been transformed into the newest residential development of Palindrome Communities, in Lents Town Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

After years of demolition and new construction in Lents Town Center, there haven’t been any new development projects seen underway recently.

> CLICK HERE to see our early 2019 article
“Neighbors comment on Lents Town Center”.

However, at the meeting of the Lents Neighborhood Livability Association (LNLA) held recently in the Community Connections Center at New Hope Church on Mt. Scott, a new project was revealed.

Some of those coming to the meeting expected to hear more about the new project that is being considered for the large field south of the Wattles Boys & Girls Club, along SE 92nd Avenue.

Talking about their latest project on the drawing boards is Palindrome Communities Director of Development Westin Glass.

“No, that project is still in the conceptual stages; I’m here to share information about a different development project in Lents,” announced Palindrome Communities Director of Development Westin Glass before the meeting started.

“I’m here talking about a project on the corner of SE 92nd Avenue and Ramona Street – it’s called ‘5802 Lents’ – centered in and around the Odd Fellows Hall building,” Glass told East Portland News.

Westin Glass unveils Palindrome Communities’ new 5802 Lents project.

“There, we are creating 47 units of housing,” Glass continued. “We are keeping intact the Odd Fellows Hall building, which was constructed in 1913 – but we will renovate the interior of that building, and then build a new structure around it. It’ll look like one building when it’s done, but three quarters of it will be new construction.”

If you were standing on the west of SE 92nd Avenue looking southeast from SE Ramona Street, you would see an empty lot where the new construction will go up. That lot is empty now because a building there, ravaged by fire in 2015, has been demolished. [CLICK HERE to read about this fire]

This artist’s conception of the 5802 Lents project shows how this iconic corner in Lents will be transformed. Courtesy of Palindrome Communities

“These will be mostly one-bedrooms and studio apartments; and on the ground floor, there will be about 3,400 sq. ft. of commercial space, which we’re hoping will be a neighborhood market,” Glass described. “The idea is to stay with the character of the neighborhood, and make it a residential human-scale development that enhances the neighborhood and Lents Town Center.”

Here’s a graphic of Palindrome Communities projects in Lents Town Center, looking west from the I-205 Freeway. Courtesy of Palindrome Communities

Palindrome Communities developed the former New Copper Penny site into Oliver Station East and West. “We also have redeveloped the building in which the new Humdinger Pizza and Shifters Bar is located. And, as well, just north of Ramona Street, we have the Zoiglhaus Brewing Company in a building that has been remodeled to offer space to food tenants, a cocktail bar, and upstairs event center,” described Glass.

Also, across from Portland Fire & Rescue Lents Station 11, in the former location of the carpet store, Palindrome is planning an indoor/outdoor public dining pavilion – that space will continue to be the location of the Lents International Farmers Market, we learned.

During the meeting, Glass made it clear that the drawings and renderings he was showing on his computer were preliminary, and subject to change. The City of Portland permitting process, budgetary issues, availability of materials, and other factors, can all contribute to changes in the design, he told the group.

Palindrome Communities representative Westin Glass shows where the newest project to be developed will fit in.

“Our strategy for development in Lents Town Center is more than just one building; but instead, revitalizing the whole district,” Glass exclaimed. “We’re looking for projects that are both good for us, and good for the neighborhood; these projects reinforce the neighborhood, and help the whole neighborhood to be a lot better.”

If things go as hoped, they plan to break ground in February of next year, with the new development move-in ready by November of this coming year.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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