Tag Archives: Vanport Square

Upcoming Comedy Shows, Classes at Curious Comedy

From Curious Comedy Productions:

Hello Curious Comedy Community!

This week is an exciting one for us here at Curious – above and beyond the prospect of snow!

Thursday, we have our first Fertile Ground show of the festival, Triskaidekaphilia (Just My Luck), a one man show featuring Jimmy Radosta. Using a strange brew of true-life stories mixed with twisted renditions of classic karaoke hits, Radosta recounts his rocky relationship with misfortune. Show at 8pm, Doors at 7:30pm. $10.

Friday, catch a sneak peek of Jean Louis in Communicatos, the duo’s newest sketch show featuring Curious founders, Bob Ladewig and Stacey Hallal. Bonus long-form improv show performed by the Curious Comedy Playas! Show at 8PM, Doors 7:30. $12 advance, $15 at the door.
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Vanport Housing Project to Go Forward

In February of 2010, PDC staff received a proposal from Lisac Brothers Construction, Inc. to develop ten single-family, market-rate homes on the Vanport Phase II site. In June of this year, PDC’s Investment Committee gave staff authorization to begin negotiations with Lisac Brothers Construction, Inc. for the disposition and development of the Vanport Phase II housing project.

The development team of Lisac Brothers Construction, Inc. will retain the Vanport Partners as consultants, with their involvement in the project ending at the start of construction. Once securing control of the land, Lisac Brothers Construction, Inc. would begin the site subdivision process which is estimated to take nine months. While the site subdivision is moving forward, Lisac Brothers Construction, Inc. would simultaneously pursue design and permitting. Lisac Brothers Construction, Inc. estimates construction could begin 12 to 18 months after execution of a development agreement with PDC and completion of all housing units 12 to 36 months after start of construction.

Lisac Brothers Construction, Inc. is a small builder/developer that developed affordable, market-rate, in-fill projects in Portland. Irving Park Townhouses on NE 7th is one example. Lisac Brothers Construction, Inc. is confident that it can obtain construction financing for the proposed project and has submitted a letter of interest from Lewis & Clark Bank to support this.

The development team is proposing to build ten (10) detached, market-rate homes averaging 1,300 sf on separate lots. The homes would be three levels, with the ground level primarily devoted to a garage that would be accessed from the rear through the Vanport Phase I parking lot or in the case of the end units, NE Emerson and NE Sumner. The sales price per unit is estimated to be between $245,000 and $265,000.

PDC Report: Vanport Housing

Vanport Square III Proposal Forgoes Retail

Rendering of the original plan for the "King Commercial Center"

Businesses in the Vanport Square development are concerned about plans under consideration to complete the project on the vacant block at Alberta and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. with an office and clinic instead of retail. Long envisioned as the cornerstone of the partly-built Vanport Square development, Phase 3 has suffered many delays. Originally intended to be anchored by a new grocery store or 24 Hour Fitness, the Portland Development Commission has struggled to attract a commitment to the project.

At one time, PDC tried to lure a call center to locate in Vanport as retailers shunned the site. Once again, PDC appears to be changing its plan for the project and looking to consider development even if it doesn’t result in retail-based neighborhood center that could bring life back to this stretch of King and survival to the isolated businesses already there.

According to KNA’s Alan Silver who attended the last PDC public meeting to mention the plan:

PDC has been approached by two development teams about Vanport phase 3. One proposal would include the Urban League, medical offices, and commercial; the other team includes Jeff Sackett (one of the developers of Vanport Square), and its proposal includes commercial real estate, including negotiations with an anchor tenant whose identity the team is “not disclosing publicly at this time.”

The PDC is ‘gathering information’ on these two proposals at present. It expects to have no funds available to aid developers of Vanport phase 3, who will have to rely entirely on private financing to complete construction.

Vanport Square, aka the King Commercial Center, is the keystone in the future of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the King Neighborhood. Without the original long-term vision being realized, King’s center could be resigned to many years of low property values in a district that does not create a pedestrian friendly environment. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Vanport is caught in a “catch 22” situation where a lack of businesses fails to attact foot traffic. Lack of foot traffic fails to attract businesses. If a proposal is accepted that is not retail based at the street level, the long sought-after connection between the existing Vanport development and the Alberta corridor will not be fulfilled.

The Portland Development Commission has scheduled two informational meetings held December 21, 2010 for Vanport Project Advisory Committee (PAC) members and Vanport Square business owners. A morning meeting will be held to accommodate Vanport Square businesses and an evening meeting will be targeted to PAC members.

The purpose of the informational meetings is to outline the developer selection process and to clarify the role of the PAC in the selection process. As this meeting is scheduled only a few days after the developer’s submissions are due, PDC says they won’t be able to answer a lot of questions about the specific projects; however, they will schedule future meetings as their process develops.

Vanport Phase 2, 3 May Go Forward

KNA’s Alan Silver attended the latest PDC Oregon Convention Center Urban Renewal Committee meeting. For those less wonkish of you, the OCCURA is the urban renewal district that includes most of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd in NE and the Vanport Square project. Here’s what he has learned:

Ray Leary and Jeana Woolley (Vanport Square LLC) originally proposed 16 townhouses for Vanport phase 2, priced somewhere north of $300,000. They’ve concluded that there’s not a market for those at present, and are now proposing to build 8 single-family homes on the site, priced between $260-290,000. PDC is negotiating contracts with Leary/Woolley, and a construction start date of fall 2011 is anticipated.

PDC has been approached by two development teams about Vanport phase 3. One proposal would include the Urban League, medical offices, and commercial; the other team includes Jeff Sackett (one of the developers of Vanport Square), and its proposal includes commercial real estate, including negotiations with an anchor tenant whose identity the team is “not disclosing publicly at this time.”

The PDC is ‘gathering information’ on these two proposals at present. It expects to have no funds available to aid developers of Vanport phase 3, who will have to rely entirely on private financing to complete construction.

As far as OCCURA/Interstate – no one knows when the transfer of prpoerties between URAs is going to happen, and so PDC is writing out its 2010-11 budget for OCCURA knowing that it might have to rewrite it entirely. OCCURA is on a ‘status quo’ budget – anticipating no major changes in its priorities. Interestingly, OCCURA will go on operating even if every parcel in it is transferred to Interstate URA. As long as revenue generated by OCCURA activities continues to accrue to PDC (repayment of loans, etc), then OCCURA will exist to spend that money – and it must spend that money within the original boundaries of OCCURA (Interstate URA can’t access it).

So, we may see something built at Alberta/MLK. Just don’t bet on when yet.

Vanport Project Advisory Committee Meeting

Vanport Project Advisory Committee Meeting
Thursday, May 06, 2010
6 – 7:30 PM

The purpose of the meeting is to update the committee members and interested neighbors on the status of the Phase II housing and the Phase III commercial project and next steps.

Contact:
Joleen Jensen-Classen, Public Participation Manager, 503-823-3352

Location:
Curious Comedy Club at Vanport Square
5225 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd