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New Seasons Market could be coming to Vancouver-Williams corridor – UPDATED

Posted by on January 4th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Image of the new store
from permit application.

Some big development news that will impact traffic on the popular Vancouver-Williams bike corridor in North Portland: New Seasons Market has applied for a permit to build a new store on N. Fremont between the heavily traveled couplet.

According to the permit application filed with the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services (PDF here), the new store would be a one-story, 27,960 square food building with 60 surface parking spaces. The building will span the entire block of Fremont from Vancouver on the West to N. Williams Avenue on the East. The store will go in what is now a vacant lot across the street (diagonally) from the Williams Market and Abraham Fixes Bikes.

Here are some of the elevation profiles taken from the application…

The Williams side:

The Vancouver side:

Here’s the tax lot map:

And a drawing of the layout with parking:

This new store, if it officially moves forward, will certainly have an impact on current discussions to improve bike access and traffic safety on N. Williams Ave. One of the chief concerns many residents have raised about why traffic speeds are so high is that the corridor has lost its vibrancy due to all the vacant lots. This new store would close a huge gap in that vacancy.

New Seasons Market is a locally owned and operated company that is known for its good jobs and good — albeit more expensive than larger grocery store chains — food.

Early reaction via Twitter from two friends of mine that live and walk/bike in the area are mixed.

Joe Clinkenbeard had this to say, “Mixed feelings here too. 1-story bldg taking up the whole block, w 60 spaces? No thanks.”

Steve Bozzone, who is a member of the North Williams Traffic Safety Operations Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee commented via Twitter that, “New Seasons coming to my ‘food desert’ neighborhood? Mixed feelings. Would love to walk to groceries, not looking forward to rent increase.”

What do you think?

[Hat tip to Esther Harlow for sharing the permit application.]

UPDATE, 1/5 at 8:39am: New Seasons just made an official announcement about this new store. Read it below…

New Seasons Market Announces Site for Next Neighborhood Store
Company Leaders Dedicate 2012 to Community Outreach, Planning and Construction —Opening Slated for 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. – January 5, 2012 – New Seasons Market today announced that it will open a store in Portland’s Eliot Neighborhood in 2013. The 30,000 square-foot grocery store will occupy the north portion of the now-vacant site, formerly home to Interstate Bakeries. The nearly three-acre site, commonly known as the “Bakery Blocks,” is bounded by Northeast Fremont Street to the north, North Vancouver Avenue to the west, Northeast Cook Street to the south, and North Williams Avenue to the east, all within the city’s Interstate Urban Renewal District.

The store will bring more than 150 new jobs with healthcare and benefits to the community, along with New Seasons Market’s fun and friendly shopping experience, featuring a wide selection of everyday groceries, locally grown and produced foods, homemade meals, an in-house butcher and a complete line of wellness and homegoods products.

“We strive to build community inside and outside of our stores – by employing local residents, providing goods and services to our neighbors and supporting local and regional producers and suppliers,” said Lisa Sedlar, President and CEO of New Seasons Market. “We are excited to convert this long-vacant site, which is walking and biking distance of homes, schools, offices and transit, into a lively spot that we hope will add to the neighborhood’s vitality.”

“New Seasons’ proposed new store is great news; it will bring fresh, local food and groceries to neighborhoods that last year we identified in the Portland Plan as a food desert,” said City of Portland Mayor Sam Adams.
“We’ve found the perfect tenant and partner in New Seasons Market,” said Roger Collins of Ivy Street Partners. “Our goal is to develop this site with features, services and resources that enhance the livability of the neighborhood and are accessible to everyone.”

Collins is also developing a 155-unit mixed-use project at North Interstate and Skidmore, which is expected to break ground this spring. Leaders of both organizations will work closely with Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, residents, community leaders and the city to finalize the store design and site plans.

The Eliot neighborhood store will be New Seasons Market’s 13th store since opening its first store in February 2000. Updates on the project and key events will be shared on the company’s Facebook page. No date has been set for ground-breaking or the store’s opening.

About New Seasons Market
Founded by three Northwest families nearly 12 years ago, New Seasons Market is proud to be home grown and locally owned and operated. With more than 2,300 employees and 12 stores throughout the Portland-Vancouver region, New Seasons Market is also one of the region’s largest private employers and was recently rated one of Oregon’s Top 100 Companies to Work For by Oregon Business Magazine.

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  • Champs January 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Seems to overlap with the store at Interstate & Rosa Parks, but the urban infill is long overdue.

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    • daisy January 5, 2012 at 10:37 am

      No, that’s about 2.5 miles from this spot, and definitely not easy to get to on public transit either. The closer market is Whole Foods, at NE 15th and Fremont. But this will serve all of N Williams and Mississippi, the neighborhoods easy of I5.

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      • Champs January 5, 2012 at 11:56 am

        At least to me, from Overlook.

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      • matt picio January 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm

        The Arbor Lodge store not easy to get to by public transit? How do you figure? There’s a MAX stop right in front of the store, and a bus line, plus a number of bus lines within 1/2 mile.

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    • Peter O January 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      I welcome a new business there, but hardly consider it “urban infill” to have a single-story building with surface parking. Seems like a lost opportunity not to go at least 3-4 stories with housing above.

      I know banks may be skittish in this economy to finance mixed-use, but there must be PDC or other incentives in this area to build taller.

      Or let’s start talking about minimum densities along our commercial corridors. The single-story foodie boutique shopping mall that is Alberta Street, for instance, really needs more offices and housing above.

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  • RH January 4, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    I’m cool with it. New Seasons is a great local company.

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  • Carl January 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    Exciting to see something go in on a vacant lot. Wish there were a few levels of apartments above along with parking (like the Hollywood Whole Foods).

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    • dmc January 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      Carl sums up my emotions in just a couple sentences.

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      • Andrew N January 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm

        Me too. It is inconceivable to me that a company that claims to be so progressive has such a horrible record when it comes to design. This is an inner city neighborhood; we don’t need suburban-style development like this. I’d be won over if they had partnered with the city to put affordable housing on top.

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        • q`Tzal January 5, 2012 at 10:47 am

          Durn zoning codes make it painful to impossible to mix uses (residential, commercial, industrial) in a fine grained enough texture that it is possible to have jobs in a reasonable walking distance.
          As convert to the way of view from Carfree Cities I believe that this century’s American zoning practices have hamstrung us as much as our economic dependance upon suburb expansion.

          Then there is the extra economic liability seen by commercial mortgage and real estate developers that can not conceive of the re-saleability of a mixed use property. The theory being that if the whole thing is built, people move in above New Seasons then the store fails for some reason the retail front would be unsaleable.

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        • PMC January 5, 2012 at 11:02 am

          Agree but the problem is that there is a demand for the store but not for an investor in the development of a building the size it would take to fill the lot. This may actually help as a developer will build something potentially slightly smaller on the remaining property. keep in mind the buildings in the pearl are on lots smaller than 3 acres.

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        • was carless January 5, 2012 at 8:57 pm

          Don’t forget that the site requires a city design review board approval. That extra process – not to mention the complexities inherent in designing a mixed-use building – does take longer. However, I agree that they should have gone denser. Such a large site… this building will be a tear-down in 20 or 30 years, unfortunately.

          On the other hand, anything will be an improvement for that site.

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          • Mike February 15, 2012 at 12:44 am

            How about more park space? I’m all for increased density, as along as we gain increased open space to go along with it. And that includes in the outlying areas as well. The more dense our city becomes, the more important it is to have more nature, quiet, and elbow room as we go out and about.

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    • wsbob January 5, 2012 at 1:02 am

      Apartments above and maybe even underground parking below, like the Safeway on SW Jefferson is a nice idea, but then…wouldn’t that be a much more expensive and challenging development to take on?

      Safeway, being the nations’ second largest super market chain (facts from wikipedia), can do projects like that, if the prospects are good. New Seasons, a local and privately owned, 10 store chain, is doing well in this bleak economy, just to be opening new single level stores.

      In terms of shopping experience, New Seasons has got really nice ambiance. I like the store out in Beaverton well enough. For deals though, Winco is the place to go. The ambiance is limited to ‘nice and clean’. Much bigger too, so the Williams Ave location most likely wouldn’t meet Winco’s land needs.

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    • Todd Boulanger January 5, 2012 at 10:08 am

      And or parking underneath in the large basement space…

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  • V. Renwick January 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Right now I refer to that butterfly bush lot as “the Wonderbread Wetlands”. I’m sad that the Wonderbread factory did not stay there and Dave’s Killer Bread buy it. I hear he has outgrown his space he is in now. What a waste to tear down that bakery when one is needed. Looks like the Wonderbread outlet will be trashed if New Season’s gets that lot. I knew it would be gone soon enough. One of the few remaining businesses which people of color frequent in the neighborhood.

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    • q`Tzal January 5, 2012 at 11:34 am

      Lease part of the facility to “bakery contractor”.
      If Fred Meyer can have a Starbucks inside it why can’t New Seasons have a Dave’s Bread satellite bakery/distribution point?

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    • fredlf January 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm

      Dude, Grand Central is literally three blocks from this spot. They are a bakery. They are locally owned, use locally sourced ingredients and provide excellent jobs with benefits. And their food is delicious!

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      • are January 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

        dave’s is whole grain and organic

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      • matt picio January 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm

        Grand Central is not locally-owned, they’re regional and headquartered in Seattle. Dave’s is locally owned. In any case, the site sucks for a large bakery because truck access is fairly lousy – and I’m not sure the local neighborhoods would appreciate the increased truck traffic for a bakery.

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  • wsbob January 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Hard to read the writing on the layout drawing, but it appears the parking is located on the side of the store opposite Fremont.

    What accommodation for bike parking will be available at this store, and where on the lot will it be located?

    Any word from New Seasons about the companies’ thoughts regarding bike access and traffic safety on Williams, and how it relates to business the store may be considering will be coming to and from the store by bike?

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    • eli bishop January 5, 2012 at 10:54 am

      i hope the bike parking is better than the one on hawthorne. please: covered parking with room for trailers/longtails!

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      • Allan Folz January 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

        Or the one on Interstate – Rosa Parkway

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  • Schrauf January 4, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    It’s about 75% larger than the Hawthorne store (about 28,000 sf vs. 16,000 sf) with about 75% more parking spaces (60 vs. 37). That all makes sense given the location and lot, but I agree it would be nice if there was a second level of apartments or, something…

    Hawthorne has 90 bike parking spots – I’m sure this store will have as many, given the location.

    One issue will be north-bound people in the bike lane having issues crossing two lanes of high-speed (up to 40 mph) traffic to get to the store on the left side of Williams. Assuming that most likely nothing will change from the current bike lane configuration on Williams.

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    • are January 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm

      traffic shouldn’t be going 40 mph half a block from the light at fremont. but there is already a lot of merging across, with motorists coming off the highway at cook trying to get over to make a right onto fremont.

      i would really like to see the city start talking about transportation impact fees on this entire area, instead of offering only 185k for whatever it is they hope to do on the north williams safety project.

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    • wsbob January 4, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Schrauf…good point about issues bike lane traffic will have to deal with in trying to cross Williams Ave traffic to get to the store. Maybe this is something New Seasons is considering and is working on ideas to address. Good if it did, because with the investment the company stands to making in the city, it probably has some clout with city officials and leaders that could help bring about some good answers to that situation.

      90 bike parking spots at the other store sounds good. Now might be a good time to bring up some numbers relating their use; how many average at any given time, peak usage, etc.

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  • tonyt
    tonyt January 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    They better have a LOT of (hopefully covered) bike parking. They’ll get hammered by rush hour, home-bound bike commuter traffic.

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  • Joseph E January 4, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    It looks like this only takes up 1 square block, or only the north half of the tax lot in the map. So the current thrift store would not be affected.

    I also agree that it’s a shame there is no plans for residential. But does the zoning allow a taller building?

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    • jim January 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      there is a new apartment bldg going up just a few blocks away that is maybe 4 stories? I haven’t noticed any parking spots for that bldg either, more congestion on the sides of the street probably. At least they will have a place within walking distance for groceries.

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    • Joseph E January 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      I checked the zoning; as in the map above, it is EXd (“employment” with a design overlay). Max height is 65″, or about 5 to 6 stories. This store looks like about 20″ tall.

      “The zone allows mixed-uses and is intended for areas in the center of the City that have predominantly industrial type development. The intent of the zone is to allow industrial, business, and service uses which need a central location. Residential uses are allowed, but are are not intended to predominate or set development standards for other uses in the area.”

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    • was carless January 5, 2012 at 9:07 pm

      65′ maximum building height on that site.

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  • noah January 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Between the freeway traffic and the bike lane traffic on Vancouver, I already find it impossible to pull out of Ivy St (my street when I’m staying in Portland) during peak hours. I’m loathe to imagine the situation that’ll transpire when we add parking lot traffic to that flow.

    I’d much rather having housing above small-scale retail on this block.

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    • daisy January 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

      Apparently PBOT is consider traffic lights at Cook and Williams and Cook and Vancouver, because of so many accidents there. That might at least let you scoot over a block to get out more easily.

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      • Steve B January 5, 2012 at 3:25 pm

        Yes, these lights are long overdue and this is considered a high-crash intersection. Unfortunately, PBOT has not come up with the money to pay for them.

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        • matt picio January 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm

          Sounds like a great opportunity to get New Seasons to help pay for them.

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  • maxadders January 4, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I’m curious to see who will end up opposing this, claiming that a big stinking hole in the ground is better than a grocery store that sells healthy food to the neighborhood. Just like how we’d be supposedly be better off without bike improved bike facilities. Sigh…here we go again.

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    • noah January 4, 2012 at 11:52 pm

      Who should support the grocery store even if it provides more problems than benefits for the neighborhood? As I think you’re pretending not to know, it’s all the potential development problems the skeptics are concerned about, not their preference for holes in the ground.

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  • Jimbo January 4, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    This development has been slated for years (back bridge lofts anyone?), we’re lucky it was delayed thus far by the economy. I can’t believe the city isn’t thinking about this when develeping the bike plan for williams? I suppose the city has lost control tho…

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    • jim January 5, 2012 at 12:00 am

      The city has failed to keep pace with traffic planning. The north south commute is bad on all corridors. Some new business will mean more jobs which will help stimulate the local economy, which is what we need. This will be a quality project, I suppose there will be some that are going to argue that it should be more section 8 housing. I don’t know much about that. A local store makes a more livable neighborhood with less required driving though. I hope they use the graffiti proof paint on it.

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  • Doug Klotz January 4, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Looking at the site plan, I’m betting the store is oriented to the parking lot, not Fremont. (It does look there’ll be an entrance at Fremont and Williams.)
    Based on their performance at Hawthorne, I expect New Seasons to try to shove onto the public sidewalk many things that should happen on their property: Shopping cart storage, dozens of bike racks, flower stands, etc. At Hawthorne pedestrians have to walk uphill on the sidewalk at one end of the block and downhill at the other end, to accommodate a floor placed too high above the existing sidewalk level. Perhaps they’ll accomplish what they have asked to do on Division St., and shove parking lot landscaping into the public ROW as well.

    It also looks like the city, instead of requiring the reopening of a public N. Ivy Street through the site, is giving them credit for a lane through the parking lot, shown by dotted lines.

    There’s also the lost density and vibrancy a multi-story mixed-use building could bring. (I know, it just didn’t pencil out)

    I hope I’m wrong on all these counts.

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  • Doug Klotz January 5, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Okay, I looked at the pdf. The store has corner entrances at the southeast and northeast corners, so it is oriented to Williams. Give credit for that. The Fremont elevation also shows a lot of windows (and no doors). However, we’ve been fooled before by pretty pictures. These could end up as blank frosted glass, or with signs in them. (See Hawthorne Fred Meyer) With no entrances, there’ll be little activity there. On Vancouver, there is a 100′ long blank wall (one window). To complete the suburban feel, it’s set back behind landscaping.

    How much better a streetscape could be built if (like the original Hawthorne Fred Meyer of 1950) there were small rentable shop spaces around the street frontages, backing up against the big grocery’s “back of store” areas (and then there’s apartments above…)

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  • grumpcyclist January 5, 2012 at 12:13 am

    maxadders: Yeah, if only these people would realize that we know what’s best for them, they could really turn their lives around!

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    • maxadders January 5, 2012 at 12:16 am

      Let us halt all progress whatsover until all wrongs are righted forever and ever amen. It’s better that way.

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      • noah January 5, 2012 at 9:51 am

        Whether this is progress is something under debate.

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        • q`Tzal January 5, 2012 at 11:37 am

          But doing nothing is not the solution.

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          • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 12:30 pm

            Doing nothing is better than picking the incorrect solution, however, because it leaves open the opportunity to make it right the first time.

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            • q`Tzal January 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

              Procrastination is an evolutionarily proven tactic just as leaping to conclusions: neither has consistently been wrong or right.
              The big problem is that the decision is not binary. A range of potential actions dictates outcome matrices that range in to multiple dimensions often with simultaneous positive and negative feedback results.

              Often doing something small and temporary to “probe” the “action” of a complicated system is the only way to understand how to ultimately influence heavily negative outcomes towards the positive.

              Unless you are god and you know what will happen; being a time traveler isn’t good enough as temporal divergence begins immediately.

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            • was carless January 5, 2012 at 9:12 pm

              “Perfect is the enemy of the good”

              Better something than nothing.

              There is one constant in the universe – change.

              I could go on…

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              • q`Tzal January 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm

                It is always the end and it is always the beginning.
                We are on the cusp of the death of all we know and the birth of a new world every second.
                Nature is change.
                One who attempts to stand against the river exerts all their effort and yet still fails to maintain their position.

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            • wsbob January 6, 2012 at 5:05 pm

              ‘Measure twice, cut once’

              More people ought to probably get onto encouraging the developer, which…according to the story update is Ivy Street Partners…to take a look at the multi-story mixed use with underground parking that some people commenting here have expressed an interest in. At least in doing so, they might get some answers about why this single story development was chosen instead of something more elaborate.

              Even if five or so years down the road, building a single story building appears to have been short sighted, someone can knock it down and build it better. Easier to knock down and haul away a single story building than it is a multi-story building.

              I was surprised just last week to realize that quite a large, decent looking single story office complex on Jenkins Rd in Beaverton (north of the mall) had been knocked down. I assume some new building is going in, but don’t know yet what it is.

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  • Maxadders January 5, 2012 at 12:23 am

    …and that was the last time any house in the neighborhood sold for under $300k…

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    • noah January 5, 2012 at 9:52 am

      You’re arguing that if New Seasons doesn’t get built, house prices will go up? I don’t get it.

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    • daisy January 5, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Have you look at real estate in my neighborhood lately? There aren’t that many houses selling for under $300K right now. Those that do are tiny or in need of major work–and plenty that are both tiny and in need of major work are already going for over 300K.

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      • Yule January 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

        ^ True. I’m renting here, but am also looking (tentatively) at staying, …and buying. My sense (after 6 weeks of poking around) is that prices in this area are going up, with or without New Seasons.

        A fixer-upper on NE Cleveland just went under contract – in merely 7 days! I guess it was a bargain at $250K, and I bet it’ll get flipped after a rehab. Looking at records on Redfin and Zillow, I’d say it’s a trend for the entire ‘hood, and sellers are asking +/- $250K-300K (sometimes less if the house has serious issues around foundation/ envelope) for fixers. Six to 7 months later, those houses return to the market at asking prices of $500K or more…

        Aside from fixers, houses that are sort of move-in ready (but still needing plenty of updates), but that aren’t “flippers” (completely rehabbed), are at the $400K mark (at least).

        As for condos, newer ones are at over $200 per square foot, sometimes a lot more. Condos in former SFHs / strata conversions (there’s one on Beech, across from “The Albert,” the four-story wood-frame on Williams, which is currently going up opposite the planned New Seasons) are cheaper (the strata unit on Beech is currently at $115 per sq.ft.). But new construction is pricey. As someone else on this comments board pointed out, the Eco Lofts on Williams are one example, and the building I’m renting in has condos at about $270 per square foot. That looks like a bargain compared to where I previously lived (in Victoria BC), and it’s a lot cheaper than the Pearl, but nearly $300 per square foot is not exactly inexpensive, either.

        Call it gentrification, call it economic development, but it’s a neighborhood in transition. That said, I think the transportation issues will affect this neighborhood at least as much. I’m a newbie here, but MLK, for example, doesn’t strike me as a different neighborhood because of ethnic make-up, but because it’s a way more car-oriented arterial than Williams / Vancouver. Cars, and how a city accommodates them, really affects neighborhoods. So, with that said, I’m totally in agreement with everyone here who argues that you need to ensure priority for the cyclists on the Williams / Vancouver corridor – and I don’t even ride a bike myself right now! (I do like being a pedestrian, though, and think that life at 5 to 10mph is a lot more interesting than at 5x that much – if you want a vibrant neighborhood.)

        Sorry about the epic length of this reply, btw! Should take this to my own blog… 😉

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  • John Lascurettes January 5, 2012 at 12:53 am

    I’m a bit worried with the cluster of crazy commute tangle that happens in the perimeter of that block every morning and even more so every evening. To add such a highly-trafficked destination smack dab in the middle of an existing high-traffic snarl is a bit unnerving.

    I love New Seasons and like that it’s coming to the neighborhood (though I fault them for no live or work space above as well), however it’s not going to help the stressful snarl that exists there (for all modes).

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  • jim January 5, 2012 at 6:35 am

    they need a traffic light at the road where cars go on and off the fremont bridge

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    • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 8:49 am

      Or just make it a restricted (official use only) exit. Or just remove the entire Fremont Freeway (I 405 east of I5) since it’s kind of useless.

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      • matt picio January 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm

        “Kind of useless” – why do you say that? The Fremont spur sees a lot of traffic each day. Remove that, and you’ll increase traffic on a number of other side streets.

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    • noah January 5, 2012 at 9:55 am

      They should certainly do something about it. Unfortunately, I think we’re locked out of any major reconfigurations for a while, since they spent those millions on that dumb expansion of the off-ramp a few years ago. (IIRC, they extended the sparsely-used second lane much farther up the ramp, while all the traffic still backs up in the left lane.)

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      • Ron January 5, 2012 at 9:57 am

        You’re completely wrong about that project. Traffic used to back up almost on to the bridge itself during the evening commute. Now folks have an option to jump out of line and make a right turn around the hospital. I’m there all the time and the back ups are never as bad as they were.

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        • noah January 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

          Fair enough, but traffic still backs up badly enough, and it was a missed opportunity to make a more systemic fix.

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          • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

            Can’t really do that without reducing the number of cars. Can’t really reduce the number of cars without getting CTRAN to stop sucking. Can’t really get CTRAN to stop sucking without Clark County on board. Can’t get Clark County on board if the solution doesn’t involve being able to drive an oversized gasoline wheelchair alone.

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  • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 7:16 am

    I’m OK with this, except, why New Seasons? Why, literally, the most expensive, whitest option possible, in what is among the most diverse and poorest neighborhoods in Portland? Seriously, 7-Eleven is cheaper, and that’s saying something!

    Almost anything would be better and more in character with the neighborhood.

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    • Laurel January 5, 2012 at 8:49 am

      There’s a Whole Foods over on Fremont & 15th, only a few blocks away. Is that less white or less expensive? The fact that New Seasons is a local company means the money spent there is more likely to be invested back into the local economy. New Seasons is a step up from Whole Foods, if we’re talking strictly what benefits the neighborhood more.

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      • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 8:57 am

        No, it’s not less white, nor less expensive. New Seasons/Zupans/Whole Foods/QFC are also the least likely to hire folks from within the neighborhood, and the least likely to be able to sell to people within the immediate community. Locating high-end stores where people can’t afford to shop there is up there with opening a rehab clinic or porno store next to a primary school.

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        • daisy January 5, 2012 at 11:05 am

          Why won’t New Seasons hire people from the neighborhood? And who do you think actually lives in this neighborhood?

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          • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

            New Seasons has a certain look and feel they go for. That happens to be Lake Oswego. The folks in North Portland? Not “Lake O” enough.

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            • JRB January 5, 2012 at 12:06 pm

              Not true. I see many African-American folks shopping at the 33rd and Killingsworth store and and they are also well represented among the staff.

              By calling it the whitest store you imply that people of color don’t care where their food comes from, their health etc, but are only interested in the cheapest option. If you want to demonstrate how down you are with folks in the ‘hood you should pick a better tarkget.

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            • was carless January 5, 2012 at 9:20 pm

              You, sir, are racist.

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              • JRB January 6, 2012 at 8:01 am

                You, sir, are guilty of an ad hominem attack. Do you have anything of substance to say?

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            • sara January 5, 2012 at 11:02 pm

              Um, I beg to differ. I think they cater to the community. There is a gal with a beard who works the Arbor Lodge NS deli counter. Doubt you would see that in Lake Oswego.

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              • middle of the road guy January 10, 2012 at 5:59 pm

                Funny to me that people will chide others when it comes to comments on minorities…..but a comment on anyone who lives in Lake O? Totally okay.

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        • wsbob January 5, 2012 at 12:00 pm

          I’d guess that New Seasons is speculating that the neighborhood’s demographic that’s been characterized as low income, is gradually changing to a higher income. The company is willing to take some risk that a customer base within the neighborhood will develop.

          New Seasons is quite a small company. The physical size of the store the company’s planning to build is small compared to the size of stores that can afford to offer goods at rock bottom prices.

          If I lived in this neighborhood, I probably wouldn’t be shopping there, because of the higher prices it charges. I’d probably be trekkin it over to Safeway, which is still more money than Winco.

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      • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 9:01 am

        If Portland really cared about livability, it’d stop trying to price people out of the cost effective neighborhoods in terms of housing and nearby grocery access.

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        • Chris I January 5, 2012 at 10:18 am

          How is Portland trying to price people out? Did Grocery Outlet apply to build a store at this location? No. New Seasons did. This is the free market at work, buddy.

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          • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 11:01 am

            Putting a luxury grocery store in a neighborhood isn’t going to make the rents stay stable or go down, that’s for sure. And the free market also thinks slavery is the way to go, but that doesn’t stop it from being morally reprehensible.

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            • Chris I January 5, 2012 at 12:40 pm

              At least you didn’t compare New Seasons to Nazi Germany… I was afraid there for a minute.

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              • q`Tzal January 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

                Godwin’s Law:
                how refeshing 🙂

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              • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 1:25 pm

                Godwin’s Law is a noninvocable universal constant, something Chris provided supporting evidence for.

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    • thefuture January 5, 2012 at 8:50 am

      I agree with you sort of but what other option is better? First off, Zupan’s is actually the most expensive most exclusive option. 7-Eleven? Are you saying that people in this neighborhood just want to buy alcohol, cigarettes, and junk food cause that’s all it sells!? Safeway, QFC, etc are supposed to be cheap but you end up paying for the heavily advertised products sold by national brands which drives up the prices. Trader Joe’s would be a nice option in terms of store size and price point, but I think it can be accused of targeting a certain demographic too. Tough call.

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      • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

        No, I’m not saying anything about selection, just price point with my 7-Eleven comparison. Trader Joe’s misses the point by not really carrying anything people outside Little Bohemia or retired ex-hippie boomers (not to mention it falls into the low end of the “expensive” category).

        Would it seriously kill folks to think outside the granola box for a second and maybe think that a Grocery Outlet or similar would be a better fit?

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        • thefuture January 5, 2012 at 9:25 am

          I think we’re on the same page, and again agree TJ’s is targeted towards a certain demographic. I do like the model of smaller selection to keep the store a reasonable size, and cutting out the added cost of massive advertisement built in to so many products at Safeway type stores. The food selection would need to have a much broader appeal though.

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        • Ron January 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

          You ought to open something. Sounds like you know the grocery business pretty well…

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        • daisy January 5, 2012 at 11:01 am

          I think suggesting that Grocery Outlet would be a better fit is racist or classist or something. Poor, black people also enjoy high quality foods. Also, a Grocery Outlet would bring in way more cars than a New Seasons will.

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          • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

            You took the example literally. It doesn’t have to be a Grocery Outlet (though they do also carry high-end stuff, their selling point is clearing distribution closeouts, not necessarily low-end garbage). Could be a Thriftway, IGA or a Roths or some other low-cost, high-quality grocer.

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          • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 11:27 am

            this makes a mockery of portland’s desire for social equity. its like a slap in the face of the thousands of people who are having a hard time affording the huge increase in rents and property taxes in this formerly diverse neighborhood.

            i also think you should spend some time at grocery outlets before you start accusing *other* people of racism. i much prefer grocery outlet to yuppie green-washing groceries.

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            • Ron January 5, 2012 at 11:32 am

              Wow! My guess that the folks who end up with jobs at the store and the contruction workers who get to build it won’t feel like they’re being slapped in the face. But do continue with the melodrama.

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      • Greg January 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

        Actually Trader Joes looked at the site directly adjacent to this lot nex to LV’s and decided not to do it at the time due to a lack of other businesses and the land is superfunded from the old automotive shop that used to litter the corner.

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    • Racer X January 5, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Actually it could have been worse (higher cost) Zupans,etc…

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    • A.K. January 5, 2012 at 10:28 am

      I use to live just off of 7th by Irving Park, and hated that the only walkable (or quick bike/drive) grocery store was the whole foods up on 15th. Going to the Safeway over by Lloyd Center required a bike or car, as it was a little far to walk with an arm full of groceries.

      I can see why New Seasons wants to be there – with a Whole Foods just up the road, it is obviously a good location (it’s the same reason why fast food spots tend to cluster together).

      However, if I were still living over there I’d like to see something a bit more affordable, such as a Trader Joe’s. I know it’s not “local” or as sustainable, but food costs half as much at TJs as it does at Whole Foods/New Seasons.

      It would just be nice to have a reasonably-priced option in that area, is all I’m saying. I make a decent living, but shopping for everything at New Seasons/Whole Foods would blow my grocery budget. I go to those places when I’m looking for stuff for a specific dinner for example and want the highest quality, rather than buying all my staple foods there.

      Just my opinion.

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    • sorebore January 5, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      How about a Krugers market so we could buy produce without the middle man New Sleaseons markup. I am old and ugly and do not need New Sleaseons to cruise folks while I shop!

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    • are January 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      seven eleven is cheaper because they sell junk.

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    • was carless January 5, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      I’d like to respond:

      1) Its not illegal for Blacks, Hispanics or Asians to shop at New Seasons.
      2) 7-11 doesn’t actually carry food, unless you consider Twinkies and beer are their own food group!

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      • sorebore January 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

        I was at one time an asst. dpt. manager of a News Seasons. On the week of our opening a new property, a lovely women in her sharp business attire flagged me over away from my task to thank me personally for hiring African American youth for positions in my department. At this time all hiring was done by my supervisor and more accurately, human resources. In my thirty some odd years plying my trade all over this country, I have never experienced this. It is of my opinion that there are unique race issues here. And it may not be illegal for any race to shop at N.S., but few of the folks you mentioned do. It’s whiteyville, sorry.

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    • Lisa January 5, 2012 at 10:53 pm

      Ugh. I can barely afford to live in my own neighborhood, and now this? Isn’t Whole Foods enough just 12 short blocks away? We don’t need more access to unaffordable food and ridiculously expensive sundries. When poor people were able to live here easier, we had more options for food shopping: locally owned markets with cheap options, lots of inexpensive taco shacks like 2 Pesos. A WinCo would have been nice. They’re worker owned.

      Who are all these people that can afford to buy real estate in this neighborhood? How can they keep 3 New Seasons and 1 Whole Foods afloat? They must be eating a whole lot of $4/lb apples and $5 baguettes.

      I’m not so worried about bike access. It will always be ok. But I need to bike regularly around Whole Foods and New Seasons in Northeast, and so many drivers are dangerous zombies around those stores. There must be something in their ocean-caught happy Salmon or “humanely slaughtered” hormone free veal that makes them that way. Interstingly, a whole lot of them drive Priuses or newer expensive SUVs.

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    • Dave January 9, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      Most people just base their opinions on what they buy frequently. Someone who buys a lot of meat will have a different take than someone who buys mostly produce and bulk foods. I look at a little differently because I’m a professional in the grocery industry with a total of 21 years experience with four local markets. New Seasons is not the cheapest store, but it’s not the most expensive either. Zupan’s is way more expensive. Whole Foods is certainly not cheaper. Food Front and all the other co-ops are more expensive. New Seasons is actually comparable with Fred Meyer. If you want cheap go to WinCo.

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      • are January 10, 2012 at 7:15 am

        there are many items on which the Alberta Co-op is cheaper than the nearby New Seasons

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      • RH January 10, 2012 at 11:41 am

        I agree. For me, News Seasons has helped me buy more produce and bulk items to save a bit. I do check their ads and shop their specials too. Their meat quality is 100 times better than Freddy’s….but costs more, so I just buy a little less of it.

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  • Chuck January 5, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Is this the death knell for Williams being reduced to one lane of auto traffic?

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    • Oliver January 5, 2012 at 8:51 am

      It’s certainly the end of the left side bike lane.

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      • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 9:02 am

        You might be able to get some cheese to go with that whine at the New Seasons. Seriously, has anybody here been to Eugene? Just about any street in Eugene with dual bike lanes is a lot higher volume with crazier drivers than Williams, and it’s still a good ride.

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        • Chuck January 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

          I lived in Eugene for 5 years 5 years ago and remember no such thing. And Portland, being about 5 times as large as Eugene, ain’t Eugene.

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          • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 10:55 am

            You might want to visit Eugene again sometime; you sound like you haven’t been around Oregon’s second-largest metro area in a while.

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            • L.Y. April 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

              I second that…Eugene’s bike strategy has been in place for a good 20 years at least and is constantly expanding and improving. I don’t think its streets are any wider than Portland’s. How does a person spend 5 years there without knowing this??

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        • Oliver January 11, 2012 at 2:43 pm

          funny thing, one of my favorite products at NS is the Muria Al Vino cheese. It comes pre-wined.

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  • Richard Risemberg January 5, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Around the corner from me in Los angeles is a Ralphs megamarket with a grand street entrance right on Wilshire and underground parking. This is in one of the more expensive areas of the city. Lots of walk-in, bike-in, and even bus-in shopper traffic. If we can do it in Mid-City Los Angeles, you can do it in Portland.

    How about suggesting this: underground the parking (with entrances from the secondary streets only), and build a mixed-use development on what would have been the surface lot. Boost bike parking, and contract with a bicycle delivery service to reduce traffic impact and allow a variance for less parking (assuming that you, like we, have minimum parking requirements).

    New Seasons could own and operate or lease out the development on the other half of the lot for additional revenue.

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    • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 10:56 am

      Richard Risemberg
      If we can do it in Mid-City Los Angeles, you can do it in Portland.

      To put it in Jon Stewart’s terms: “You’re not helping.” You just made the best argument against doing anything possible in one single sentence.

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      • Richard Risemberg January 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm

        No idea WTF you mean by that. Is it that LA is the “anti-Portland,” so our example is automatically suspect? Oddly enough, in a city dominated by big developers we have won small victories such as that Ralphs, the 2010 bike plan, an effective and growing rail transit system, and others–by getting organized and being steadfast in our efforts–directing them to the city rather than just whining to each other about problems.

        Is it because our neighborhood has high land values? It’s also 23% African American, comprises mostly renters, and hosts a large number of Black owned businesses. Rents on my own block vary so that, despite the land valuations, poor andupper middle class people live side by side–without any government manipulation. We also have a very low crime rate,, lots of local jobs, and a WalkScore of 98. Several brand-new mixed-use buildings have gone up in the last four years, with at least one more on the way. new bike racks have been installed all along the Mile, and the rush-hour bus/bike lanes will soon be built here.

        In Los Angeles, in what I call “Ground Zero of Carmageddon,” often in the face of opposition from the business and motorhead communities.

        In what way is using the progress in LA as an example of success against “business as usual” an argument against doing anything?

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        • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 12:50 pm

          Oregon is Californicated enough without help. So using anything Californian as an example of the way to do things flies in the face of Oregonian individuality, especially given that a lot of Californians refuse to assimilate to the local culture, and thus act more like tourists that forgot I 5 will take them back home. A lot of truly bad ideas and stupid planning have been shoved through with the “it’s the way we did it in California” excuse. Orenco’s window-to-wall crackerboxes are the eponymous local example; if we wanted Valencia, we know where to find it, no need to make the same terrible mistake twice.

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          • Richard Risemberg January 5, 2012 at 1:11 pm

            Believe it or not, we have changed, perhaps even grown in California. Learned from our experiences, and those of others. Can’t Portlanders do likewise?

            And it is VERY amusing to hear you talk of “Oregonian individuality,” and in the very same sentence bemoan Californians’ alleged refusal to “assimilate”!

            What other groups of citizens will you describe as refusing to assimilate? Some things are hard to change….

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            • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 1:23 pm

              Californians are the only group that really stick out like sore thumbs here, for being die-hard sheeple that refuse to let bad habits die. We do learn from experience, and experience has shown California exists largely to serve as a warning beacon for the rest of the continent.

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              • Richard Risemberg January 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

                I now understand that, simply by living in California, I have become a member of a group of readily-identifiable second-class citizens!

                At least in Portland.

                Fortunately I’m not so identifiable as some, for whom life in Portland must be really difficult. I was in fact up there for a while last year, with my bike, and managed to “pass” successfully enough that I was even asked for directions by locals!

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              • Matt January 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm

                You’re starting to sound real bad. I, as an Oregonian, really have no idea what you’re ranting about. And, yes, you’re ranting.

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              • was carless January 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm

                Must be a Jersey thing. Talk about a hater…

                Portland has more in common to LA than probably any other city in the United States; albeit about 10 times smaller than the LA area.

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              • sorebore January 6, 2012 at 9:17 pm

                how the hell is that?

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            • JRB January 5, 2012 at 2:13 pm

              Richard, you are undoubtedly intelligent enough to know that you cannot stereotype the entire poplulation of a state because they live there, so I won’t bother stating the obvious, but please figure Paul, I think he moved here to Portland a couple of years ago from Jersey.

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              • JRB January 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm

                Sorry, meant “forgive” not “figure”

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              • sorebore January 6, 2012 at 9:19 pm

                Why not, Oregonians AND Californians do it every day if you tell them you are a from the South. just sayin’.

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        • was carless January 5, 2012 at 9:31 pm

          I don’t think that NE Portland has high enough land values or population density to justify building underground parking garages. However, maybe in the future – this city is still growing, like LA.

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  • Lenny Anderson January 5, 2012 at 8:55 am

    I was disappointed when New Seasons put the parking lot of their Interstate store right next to the new MAX station. In conversation with the then NS president I was told that NS was not interested in partnering with TriMet, Metro, or PDC to combine housing and a more transit friendly design. Rhoter blamed the banks.
    If Zupans, Whole Foods, and Safeway can find a way to do urban market development that combines housing and below grade parking, surely New Seasons can as well. This site is within the Interstate Corridor URA, so public resources are available. That said, a food market sure beats a hole in the ground, and yes, I think you can forget putting Williams on a diet, as least south of Fremont.

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    • esther c January 5, 2012 at 9:50 am

      New Seasons may be in a lot better shape financially because they’re not tying up large piles of money in the housing market, building condos etc.

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      • Chris I January 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

        While I would love to see mixed development here, I have to agree with you. Fred Meyer made the exact same decision with their new Burlingame store.

        The silver lining it that this parking lot will be prime real estate for infill in the future. As the area around the store increases in density, New Seasons can always expand the store and add roof parking, or build condos/retail with parking in the basement.

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        • jon January 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm

          except that was a remodel of a store dating back to the 1950s so you couldnt just add floors on the roof, this is a completely new build

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          • Doug Klotz January 7, 2012 at 6:59 pm

            The new Safeway to be built at SW Barbur Blvd. and Capitol Hill Road is a better example. It, in fact will have parking on the street level, and the store one floor up, mostly over the parking (although there will be uncovered parking at the nose of the triangular lot). Besides the zoning requirement to bring the building up to the street, I think the limited size of the lot for the new giant Safeway they wanted to build was a driver of the two-story design. Unfortunate that, again, it’s not mixed use, but at least it doesn’t have a lot of surface parking.

            The Safeway being rebuilt on Hawthorne is partly over parking for similar reasons. It has a giant facade that looks like a two story building, but it’s just a facade.

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  • Jeff TB January 5, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I think that all the people bypassing MLK and I-5 will have one more reason to do so. There is no way that williams will go on a diet now (though that was always unlikely).

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    • Chris I January 5, 2012 at 10:24 am

      I was under the impression that Vancouver suburbanites avoided luxury grocery stores, and all other things related to Portland culture…

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  • A. L. Venable January 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Sorry, but those attempting to speak for the entire “diverse” (code word: brown people) population who live in this area, just stop.

    The gentrification argument needs to die since it’s well past outrage time. Besides, the reason the N/NE area was so populated by blacks was because of redlining. So, if people are opting to move elsewhere, more power to them. I like my neighborhood and the racial mix. And I’d hate to think that someone white is looking at me with pity because I choose to continue living in this area.

    I live up the street from the proposed store and I cannot wait for it to open. Finally a NS within walking distance! Depending on what you choose to buy, it can be more expensive, but it’s a better quality of food, especially the produce and meat. I appreciate that I can buy items from local farms year-round and this will be a great complement to the King Farmer’s Market.

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    • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 10:59 am

      A. L. Venable
      Sorry, but those attempting to speak for the entire “diverse” (code word: brown people) population who live in this area, just stop.
      The gentrification argument needs to die since it’s well past outrage time. Besides, the reason the N/NE area was so populated by blacks was because of redlining. So, if people are opting to move elsewhere, more power to them. I like my neighborhood and the racial mix. And I’d hate to think that someone white is looking at me with pity because I choose to continue living in this area.

      They’re moving, alright, to a state that doesn’t make them feel like pariahs at every opportunity. Hence a record 92% white population now.

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    • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 11:37 am

      it could be code for people who do not make any where near the median income (regardless of the color of their skin).

      it could be code for new seasons pioneering and enormous contributions to gentrification in this city:

      imo, starbucks has done no where near the damage that new seasons has done to the livability and diversity of our city.

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      • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 12:34 pm

        Agreed; Starbucks might be moderately high-end, but their basic cup of joe is still cheaper than most donut shops and almost all convenience stores. And for foodservice, they don’t pay bad.

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      • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        Also, agreed about “code for people who do not make anywhere near median income.” I struggle to come close, though I’m red, not brown. Either way, still part of the “8% not white” part of Oregon.

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    • spare_wheel January 7, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Historical redlining is an excuse for gentrification.


      This has got to be the most ridiculous justification of gentrification I have ever heard.

      And yet you write about it being too late to prevent gentrification. Is gentrification a problem or is it not a problem. Make up your mind, please.

      I should also note that some of the people living in this neighborhood have lived in PDX for a long time and do not have high paying jobs. Based on your comments I wonder whether you are a recent transplant to both PDX and this neighborhood. Perhaps you did not witness what happened in the Alberta “arts district over the past 15 years or so.

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  • Geoff January 5, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Let’s look at it this way. New Seasons wants to open a new store. They could select a site in the suburbs, on a large arterial, where zoning or business strategy would require a much larger parking lot than the proposed 60 spaces. In Gresham, the zoning code would require a store of this size to have a MINIMUM of 82 parking spaces. Instead, New Seasons has chosen to locate on a site in the city, with easy access for people by bike, bus, walking, and cars. Personally, I think this will be a net benefit for the city.

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    • noah January 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

      The way you suggest we look at it represents a false choice. New Seasons isn’t like an industrial employer who needs to expand capacity just somewhere, and could do so in the cheapest, most convenient place. It depends on the right demographic mix in its locale. Boise/Eliot has that mix now, and that’s what makes the location desirable to New Seasons.

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      • Geoff January 5, 2012 at 10:03 am

        OK, instead of Gresham, let’s use Lake Oswego as an example, which I assume has the “right demographic mix”. Lake Oswego also would require a minimum of 82 parking spaces.

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        • Christie Stilson January 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

          I actually work at the Lake Oswego New Seasons store. I’ve worked at New Seasons for over 11 years. We have a store … at the base of Mountain Park. It is a shopping center for Columbia Outlet store and other shops. And as for demographics … my German grandfather bought property on the other corner of Fremont and Williams in about the early 1930s. It was a automotive parts store for dozens of years. The neighborhood then was mostly Germanic. We still own the building. I also worked at Boise School in the 1970s so have a lot of connections with the community and New Seasons!

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          • Greg January 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

            If you are refering to the gas station with food carts can you please clean that mess up. It was much better when it was just a showroom for the failed condos.

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    • jon January 5, 2012 at 9:52 am

      they would never locate a store in gresham

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      • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 11:00 am

        Yup, not trendy to spruce up a neighborhood that could use the help when you can gentrify an affordable neighborhood.

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  • esther c January 5, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Another consideration is New Seasons has a good reputation as an employer.

    A locally owned business that sells wholesome often locally produced food. I’m not sure I understand what all the complaining is about. They’re not letting each and everyone of you personally design the store to your own taste?

    Its not like they’re trying to build an oil refinery there. Seriously though, be glad its not a gas station, or fast food.

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    • noah January 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Go ahead and make the stoic argument against every opposition movement that arises. We shouldn’t complain, because at least this isn’t Sudan, right? Meanwhile, let the rest of us try to determine what we’re going to be stuck with in our neighborhood for the next half of our lives.

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    • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 11:40 am

      an employer that has ZERO unionized employees. an employer whose major share holders/investors have been involved in extremely dodgy environmental practices. an employer whose owners previously sold out their beloved local chain to what is now whole foods. i could go on…

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      • lupin January 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm

        and an employer who has kicked to the curb many, many local farmers and business’s (Sammy’s flowers) in order to do business with bigger organic farmers and business’s because it cost them less. One long time local farmer use to sell his blueberries to them but like many small local farmers was let go when they could find cheaper prices with larger farms in Washington… he went out of business after loosing this big contract. they talk local but only do so when it is in their best financial interests. We have lots of local, small business’s in the neighborhood that will be in direct competition with the big ‘local’ box store New Seasons.

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    • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 11:47 am

      To be fair, an oil refinery would be hiring family wage jobs.

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      • Sigma January 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm

        In this thread you have compared new seasons opening here to both slavery and an oil refinery, with the strong implication that this is worse.

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        • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 1:08 pm

          More like, no better.

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          • Sigma January 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm

            A new seasons in the neighborhood is the same as having slaves. An oil refinery in a residential neighborhood has no worse impacts than a grocery store. Got it.

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            • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm


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              • Sigma January 5, 2012 at 3:33 pm

                I don’t think that word means what you think it means. I pretty much directly quoted Paul, and he agreed with me.

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      • Ron January 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

        And family killing pollution, but that really isn’t the subject is it?

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  • xor bitwise January 5, 2012 at 10:02 am

    re: apartments. it is just a guess on my part, but i suspect (given my experience with the city on such matters) that getting the permits etc to change the usage of that space to accomodate apartments would be prohibitive. also, new seasons is not a landlord like that — it is not their business model. (perhaps others stores that have done that DO have that model. or lease space from a building which has other tenants, like the zupans on belmont.)

    anyway, i suspect there are a heap of reasons why new seasons doesnt want to also run an apt complex, despite how “good” (arguable anyway, especially given the glut of new building going on around there) it might be “for the area”.

    i definitely am on the “glad it is going there” side of things, even tho i mostly liked the butterfly bush wild kingdom. new seasons treats its employees comparatively well and has its head in the right place, imho. i suspect they will be offering jobs to folks in the area to per usual; which aint so bad.

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    • jon January 5, 2012 at 10:17 am

      yeah theres no demand for apartments now in the city with the lowest apartment vacancy rate in the country.

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      • Sigma January 5, 2012 at 12:14 pm

        They are a grocery store. Why on earth would anyone expect them to start building apartments?

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  • jon January 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

    How dare one criticize the greatest business ever run in the history of the world, St. New Seasons (genuflect now) which can do no wrong!!! We shouldn’t question anything about them because we should be so honored to be in their magnificent presence.

    And to think people were concerned before this store proposal that a bike lane would cause gentification. A New Seasons here is like dropping an atom bomb of gentrification on North Williams.

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    • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 11:41 am

      more like a neutron bomb. the houses will still be there (spruced up and painted lovely new colors).

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    • sorebore January 5, 2012 at 2:10 pm

      AMEN JON!!! sweet P-town and the flip flop rational.

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  • Chris I January 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Could this be considered Bike Oriented Development? It’s at least part of the equation…

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    • esther c January 5, 2012 at 6:15 pm

      I see lots of bikes parked at the Interstate New Seasons when I shop there. The clerks all know how to load up panniers, balancing the load between two of them etc.

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  • Jeff TB January 5, 2012 at 10:35 am

    Chris I
    I was under the impression that Vancouver suburbanites avoided luxury grocery stores, and all other things related to Portland culture…

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    I wasn’t refering only to people commuting to Vancouver. But, now that you bring it up, I see many washington plates during the commute at our neighborhood Interstate NS. I would expect the same at the Williams store.

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    • esther c January 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm

      When I lived in the ‘Couv I shopped at the Interstate New Seasons all the time. It was even my routine to stop there on the way to my noon shift to pick up my meals for work.

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  • daisy January 5, 2012 at 10:44 am

    PBOT is considering installing lights at Cook and Vancouver and Cook and Williams, based on the high number of accidents. I heard about this during the N Williams project discussions.

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  • daisy January 5, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I live only a few blocks from this location, and I think it’s fantastic news. The closest large grocery stores are the Safeways on Broadway and MLK, and neither is terribly easy to get to on bike because of their locations; at least the MLK Safeway is an easy trip on the #6 bus. The Whole Foods is fine but expensive, and I love that a large, local store is opening up here. I also like that there are other New Seasons somewhat nearby, if that means that folks will be biking here rather than driving from far outside the neighborhood.

    And while people are questioning why New Seasons would open up in a poor, diverse neighborhood, I guess I’d respond that it’s great that New Seasons is *investing* in my neighborhood.

    I also hear that Wal-Mart was scoping out the possibility of opening up small, in-town grocery stores, and was really worried we’d end up with some experimental Wal-Mart in my neighborhood. Ugh.

    This is going to be a huge improvement for my neighborhood and my family.

    I only hope that they look really carefully at Cook and make sure it’ll be easy for kids who cross Williams and Vancouver to get to the neighborhood elementary school on the bike/foot lane along the Fremont Bridge on-ramp.

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    • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

      >This is going to be a huge improvement for my neighborhood and my family.

      but not so much for the people in your neighborhood who are having a hard time paying for their rent or property taxes.

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      • Sigma January 5, 2012 at 12:16 pm

        Wrong. Property taxes go up 3% every year and this won’t change that. See measures 5 and 50 for more information.

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        • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

          an increase in RMV ensures a continuous train of 3% increases in TAV. this is very difficult for people living on a fixed income or working hourly wage jobs. less propsperous areas typically had stagnant or falling RMVs. changes in property values have forced thousand of people to move from north portland.

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          • Sigma January 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm

            I own a house in this neighborhood, and trust me, taxes are going up 3% every year regardless of whether this store gets built. Measures 5/50 reset TAV to 1990 levels, and there’s still a lot of catching up to do. My assessed value, for example, is a healthy 6 figures below what I paid for the place. That’s typical-you can look it up on portlandmaps and see for yourself. Taxes will go up 3% every year until the law changes.

            3% is pretty much in line with inflation, so even people on social security shouldn’t be priced out. Of course SS had no cost of living adjustments during the recession, and even though home sale prices dropped, taxes still went up 3%, each year.

            What’s wrong with home values going up, anyway? The black gentleman across the street from me who paid something in the mid 30s for his house 25 years ago has got himself a hell of a nest egg.

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            • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

              i would hope you can agree that residential housing should not be a speculative asset. you also missed my entire point about underprivileged neighborhoods. they typically have stagnant or even falling prices which is precisely what makes them affordable. measure 47 provides a great illustration of this: some of the poorest areas of portland are now taxed at ~70% of RMV while the wealthiest (irvington )are taxed at ~50% of RMV. (makes me proud to live in this great limousine liberal city.)

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      • Chris I January 5, 2012 at 12:47 pm

        Rents may increase more than 3%, but property taxes cannot. If they already own their home, they have nothing to worry about except more money in their pockets if and when they choose to sell.

        If you are looking for a cheap place to live, that will stay cheap for some time, I hear there is space in Rockwood. It’s close to MAX, and Burnside has bike lanes.

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  • RH January 5, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I find it intriguing how numerous ‘equitable’ meetings spread out over numerous months involving numerous people not makeing any decisions gets pushed to the side and then suddenly out of nowhere New Seasons comes along …a store which would gentrify the neighborhood significantly more than restriping some bike lanes…

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    • Sigma January 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm

      New seasons is a private company. This is allowed under current zoning so no “process” is required. PBOT has to vet its actions with the public. This probably also explains why PDC-subsidized housing was probably DOA to new seasons.

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      • RH January 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm

        I was trying to show how meaningless it is to have equitable discussions if any business can open up wherever they choose that goes somewhat against all the arguments the equitable groups are talking about

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        • was carless January 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm

          Well, thats pretty much the point. In Capitalist America, anyone can start a business pretty much anywhere zoning allows it. No need to bribe the local communist party dear leader to allow it.

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    • daisy January 7, 2012 at 8:14 am

      Actually, the neighborhood association has been involved with the process of trying to recruit a grocery store to that exact location. In fact, people in the neighborhood were asked what they hoped to see on that lot, and the most common answer was a grocery store. This might be news to folks outside of the neighborhood, but many inside the neighborhood were encouraging this. So you won’t be hearing from outrage from people who hoped for this exact outcome.

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      • wsbob January 7, 2012 at 11:47 am

        daisy…That’s great information, and you’ve raised an excellent point…neighborhood residents working through their neighborhood association to have their voices more clearly heard.

        During some of the neighborhood meetings where discussion of a grocery store for this site came up, do you know whether or not people representing New Seasons or the Ivy Street Partners developer have given a presentation for the new store? Or whether a presentation is on the neighborhood association schedule?

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  • jason b January 5, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I think this is fantastic news. Perhaps a little selfish as a homeowner in the neighborhood but it will add to the growing vibrancy of the Williams/Vancouver area. I bike commute Williams daily and I see no issues with this market affecting my ride.

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  • Paul January 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    This was my old neighborhood market. I liked the fact that where a parking lot would normally be, there was tons of room for bike parking and public space, with car parking underground, and apartments or office space above.


    Perhaps some nice public space and parking above like they did on Hawthorne? There are just so many better ways to use this space than car storage. Incredible.

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  • GlowBoy January 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Echoing John Lascurettes and others above, this will have a huge impact with respect to bicycling, simply because of the enormous increase in traffic volumes always generated by a new New Seasons store. Pick any of their urban locations (and some suburban ones, like Cedar Hills), and you’ll see near-gridlock conditions in their parking lots and often on the streets approaching the entrances.

    At least Williams and Vancouver are one-way streets, which will reduce the usual problem of traffic backing up behind vehicles waiting to turn left across oncoming traffic into the lot. But in general it’s the same story at many of their locations: Hawthorne, Division, Sellwood, Concordia, Arbor Lodge all get pretty messy on weekends and evenings, and many of the gridlocked drivers are oblivious to the cyclists trying to snake through the mess.

    I’m a NS shopper myself and see this as a good development overall, but we need to keep the screws to NS to make sure they make this as bike-friendly as possible. I don’t think that necessarily means limiting parking, though: a lot of the problems at NS locations are due to the scarcity of parking. The way to get people out of their cars is with carrots, as their existing locations clearly prove that sticks don’t work.

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    • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      I think the Cedar Hills Crossing location has more to do with trying to shoehorn a big box shopping center in what was previously almost exclusively boutique shopping, and before that, Beaverton Airport. Other big box anchors in the same shopping center include Powell’s (formerly Borders), Dick’s, Winco, Best Buy, Office Depot and Sunset Lanes.

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      • JRB January 5, 2012 at 2:04 pm

        Powell’s is a big box anchor? How do you define a big box store?

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        • Alexis January 10, 2012 at 5:48 pm

          Well, the original Powell’s location, as it occupies one full square block with multiple stories, is pretty much the definition of a “big box”. 🙂

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          • Doug Klotz January 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

            Actually “big box” retail stores are generally thought of as one-story, windowless boxes surrounded by parking lots. (It doesn’t have any frills like windows, it’s just a big box). They’re rarely multiple stories.

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        • wsbob January 11, 2012 at 1:10 am

          I think the term ‘Big Box’ has come to be used rather loosely. Paul Johnson’s comment up above a bit names stores like Office Depot and Best Buy as big box stores, which I’ve heard referred to by that term many times before.

          They got that term in part because of their strategy of putting a vast selection of specialized merchandise into one big store, which consequently put a lot of small independent retailers of the same types of merchandise, out of business. Haven’t been in there for ages, but kind of think Sunset Lanes, the bowling alley, wouldn’t qualify as a big box.

          At Cedar Hills Crossing, I don’t think New Seasons is a major contributing factor to the traffic gridlock on Hall between Cedar Hills Blvd and Hocken, because it’s not a big store. Hall didn’t use to connect CHB and Hocken across the mall parking lot. Once the city made that connection, people that weren’t customers of any store in CHC started using it as a cut-through, contributing to periodic gridlock.

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    • wsbob January 5, 2012 at 1:44 pm

      At the Cedar Hills Crossing shopping complex, New Seasons (27,960 sq ft) is the little dog compared to Winco (probably around 90,000 sq ft). The traffic problems past the store and through the shopping complex parking lot may be more due to the whoever’s responsibility it was to develop a good traffic flowing plan for the connecting section of Hall Blvd to Hocken, than it is to traffic coming to and from New Seasons.

      The travel dynamics of the Beaverton location are very different from the Williams Ave location.

      New Seasons store out on Williams probably will though, have a considerable bearing on traffic in the area, for all modes of travel…people on foot, in motor vehicles and people on bikes. If it hasn’t already, in planning talks with the city, it could probably use that potential effect to work towards possible street reconfigurations, signage, signals and whatnot, that would improve traveling conditions in the surrounding area of the store, for everyone.

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      • wsbob January 5, 2012 at 1:51 pm

        Just realized I mistakenly cited the reported sq ft for the planned Williams Ave store as the sq ft size of the Cedar Mills Crossing store, not actually knowing the exact size of the Cedar Mills Crossing store. It’s much smaller though, than the Winco.

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    • esther c January 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      No gridlock on Interstate around the New Seasons. I ride my bike past it and to it routinely. Occasionally around the holidays, Thanksgiving and the day before Christmas there’s a bit of a problem but otherwise none.

      What I have noticed anecdotally is that New Seasons shoppers do not try to kill me the way the Fred Meyers shoppers 1/4 mile up the road do. New Seasons shoppers yield to me when turning right into the lot when I’m going straight or if they’re coming out of the lot. I’m always shocked when a Fred Meyers shopper doesn’t attempt to right hook me or pull out in front of me. I am always having to yield when I have the right of way to them.

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  • GlowBoy January 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    … and as for New Seasons’ groceries, yeah they’re expensive compared with subsidized CorpFoods, but Whole Paycheck is substantially more expensive, and Zupan’s is WAY more.

    I’d like to spend less, but I also choose to feed my family food that has not been genetically modified and pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones (hmmm .. anyone think THAT might have something to do with our obesity epidemic?) For better or worse that means going to stores like New Seasons. Fred Meyer’s nutrition centers are less expensive and have a good selection of “clean” processed foods, but almost zero when it comes to fresh meat and dairy.

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    • Paul Johnson January 5, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      IGA will give you that, too, since most, if not all, IGA locations are farm-owned. As for hormones and obesity, current research suggests the former is linked more to early puberty in girls, and the latter with the corn subsidy making high fructose corn syrup by far the most common sweetener here (whereas it’s not even approved for use as an animal feed, muchless human consumption, in many foreign countries including Canada).

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      • was carless January 5, 2012 at 10:13 pm

        The nearest IGA grocery store is in St. Johns, then St. Helens.

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    • spare_wheel January 5, 2012 at 3:14 pm

      “Manure smells like trouble at 2 Oregon CAFO dairies owned by New Seasons’ founder”


      NSM “grassfed” beef comes from cows fed cooked potato byproducts, corn, distiller’s grain and sunflower meal for the last 3 month of their lives at the massive Boardman feed lot.

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  • Alan 1.0 January 5, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    Much talk of zoning, here. The ‘tax lot map’ above shows this parcel zoned EXd (employment/commercial with a design overlay), with both residential (Rx) and general commercial (CG) space across adjacent streets (i.e. not abutting the property line). EX already allows up to 65-ft high structures, although the design overlay would probably come into play. I very much doubt that the city would be averse to one, two or three floors of either residential or commercial office space above the store, and given appropriate contextual design would readily grant a variance. (Aside, I’ve seen grocery stores placed on the second floor which allows streetfront commercial for an active street scene on the first floor.)

    As zoning isn’t the barrier, the problem is a matter of finances and economics for the developer, Ivy Street Partners. While New Seasons has some say in what gets built, it is ultimately Ivy’s decision. They look at the cost of funds and return-on-investment for comparable projects (comps). And because there are so few mixed-use projects built these days, the comps tend to come back highly variable (if any at all), and that’s not attractive to investors.

    So, my point is that the “suburban” style of this plan is not the fault of city zoning, and only passingly related to New Seasons as a customer of Ivy. The onus is on Ivy, but they are faced with financial facts that don’t make mixed-use economically attractive. I agree with Peter O, above, that some third-party influence is needed to start building the snowball effect and break the “no comps” vicious cycle.

    Personally, I think high-density, mixed-use urban space is the way forward for cities and that this location would be an excellent place for such development.

    Portland zoning, start here: https://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=43090

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    • Chris I January 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm

      They would need to find a developer that would be willing to invest in a building similar to the Whole Foods building in Hollywood, and lease the space to New Seasons. New Seasons is probably not interested in building apartments.

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      • Alan 1.0 January 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

        Right, and NS may not even be interested in building grocery store buildings (leasing yes, building and owning not so much) but the urban problem remains, how to get buy-in from the developer and investors on the mixed-use part? That’s where something like PDC comes in, to provide assurance that the economics will favor the investors if they do what is best for the city. If PDC takes too long or costs too much or whatever barrier, then the city loses out that opportunity to influence its own development and should start thinking about how to make PDC (or its substitute) more relevant to situations like this.

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        • sara January 5, 2012 at 10:54 pm

          The zoning allows mixed-use and there are plenty of comps around town. There are two reasons why there will not be a NS/mixed-use building on the site. First, it is not the NS business model to do so. Second, the property owner is anxious to start gaining revenue from that site and is not game to push the development envelope. And yes, a grocery store with housing on top of it, while it can and has been done, is a far more complicated project.

          As far as PDC is concerned, yes, it can play a role to incent more policy-driven development, but neither PDC nor the city can compel the owner or NS to do so if they are not interested.

          One last note on housing, the property owner is planning an apartment/mixed-use project on the southern half of this block and I believe, but am not certain, that it will include underground parking.

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    • jon January 5, 2012 at 5:29 pm

      plus having a grocery store as part of a mixed use development makes the housing more attractive to renters. apartment vacancy rates are very low now so there is clearly demand. the developers just want to do a cheap, easy, underbuilt project on this key parcel.

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  • Alain January 5, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    I completely agree with Lenny Anderson and other commenters, housing above and parking below would be preferred, but this is absolutely better than the current hole in the ground and good addition to the neighborhood. I just hope it gets built…. as I know I will use this neighborhood resource more than I use the boutique food stops along Williams… which I rarely if ever frequent. Depending on what you buy at New Seasons, I have found their prices to be competitive with both Safeway and Fred Meyers, and I’d rather shop at New Seasons than Whole Foods.

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  • Evan Manvel January 5, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    One thing to be clear on: this does not “create 150 new jobs” despite what New Seasons claims.

    Those jobs exist today, at existing grocery stores. Some of the money that went to other grocery stores in the neighborhood will now go to New Seasons, meaning fewer jobs at other stores. Probably about a wash on employment.

    This is a basic fallacy of economic boosterism (that is used by sports teams, etc. who simply redirect entertainment dollars into sports).

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    • wsbob January 5, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      Are you saying you don’t think the area market is growing, or will grow to the extent that the grocery business needs an 150 more people to serve grocery needs of people in the area?

      That doesn’t sound like the word that’s commonly heard, which is that the population in this area is increasing.

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      • Evan Manvel January 6, 2012 at 9:31 am

        No – that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that New Seasons isn’t creating jobs – it’s shifting them. Old residents and new residents will get their groceries somewhere, so it’s the demand “creating” the jobs (rather than the supply). And even in that sense, the people moving in are moving away from somewhere else, hence reducing jobs in the place they left.

        New Seasons being built or not being built has virtually no impact on the total number of grocery-related jobs in the area. If they don’t build it, other grocery stores will hire more people to deal with increasing demand.

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        • wsbob January 6, 2012 at 8:44 pm

          Is New Seasons claiming that it’s ‘creating’ new jobs? In the the store’s official announcement under the update to this story, it says:

          “…The store will bring more than 150 new jobs with healthcare and benefits to the community …”

          The store is saying ‘bring’ rather than ‘create’. They seem to be essentially saying, as you have, that they’re shifting people working in grocery from where they’d be working if this store wasn’t built.

          Isn’t this a good thing? Especially if the store hired people from the neighborhood, which some people commenting to this story have expressed doubts the store would do. It would be great if the store brought jobs to the area that people could walk to, bike to, or get there in 10-15 minutes by bus.

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          • Evan Manvel January 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm

            How do they “bring” jobs that already exist in the community?

            There are, roughly, X number of people needed to serve Y number of people in the neighborhood’s grocery needs. Whether they work at a unionized store or at New Seasons, it seems the jobs are roughly the same pay grade and health benefits. Generally grocery jobs are shifted from one store to a different store. If New Seasons doesn’t go in, another store will expand.

            If you have evidence that New Seasons employs a clearly different set of people, that would be interesting.

            I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m saying it’s a job-neutral thing.

            It may be a benefit overall to have another grocery store where there aren’t others as close, so more people walk or bike to a store.

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    • Ralph January 9, 2012 at 11:33 am

      That’s simply not true. I work at New Seasons Market currently. When new stores open, as three have in the past few years I’ve worked with the company, new jobs are created. New stores get employees from both a) other stores and b) outside the company. When employees transfer, they are replaced at their former stores. Fact!

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  • Alain January 5, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Alan 1.0
    So, my point is that the “suburban” style of this plan is not the fault of city zoning, and only passingly related to New Seasons as a customer of Ivy. The onus is on Ivy, but they are faced with financial facts that don’t make mixed-use economically attractive. I agree with Peter O, above, that some third-party influence is needed to start building the snowball effect and break the “no comps” vicious cycle.

    I would think there are enough comps available, particularly in SE along Hawthorne and Belmont, the Clinton Condos, there’s a new development on the corner of Killingsworth and Interstate, and though at a smaller scale, there are some along Williams including the Eco-flats and the building on the corner of Williams and Shaver.

    But if you’re talking mixed use with affordable housing up above and a solid renter/owner business below, we’ll yes, it’s harder to think of examples of those… at least off the top of my head.

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  • Lisa January 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

    This is FANTASTIC NEWS for those of us who live close by! The vacant lots are an eyesore, and having a locally owned grocery store within walking distance of my house is great. WHO WOULD COMPLAIN ABOUT THIS? You’d rather have a vacant lot than a grocery store??? Or do you just like to complain???

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  • esther c January 6, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    The google tells me that eco-flats rent for a grand a month for the 1 unit and $1300 for the 730sqft 2 bedroom. I don’t consider that “affordable” housing. I consider that high end housing.

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  • Kittens January 7, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Hopefully this ill alleviate the all-day crowding at both Arbor Lodge and NE 33 stores.

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  • dan January 7, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Exciting to see something go in on a vacant lot. Wish there were a few levels of apartments above along with parking (like the Hollywood Whole Foods).
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    Not sure that’s the best example, seeing as The Beverly was foreclosed on…


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  • Robby January 8, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Here to squash the rumor. New Seasons is not locally owned. You didn’t hear about it because Portland didn’t wanna let this one go but a California business now owns them. I don’t have a problem with NS, just a problem with false representation.

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    • GlowBoy January 9, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      NSM is owned by a CA company? Evidence please?

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      • spare_wheel January 9, 2012 at 12:46 pm

        NSM’s abdication of their promise to provide shares/stock to employees has led to speculation that outside investors have significant ownership. i too have heard rumors that about outside investors. considering what happened to natures, this would not be surprising.

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        • dan January 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

          A rumor squashing a rumor.

          Now we’re getting somewhere.

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          • spare_wheel February 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

            so it looks like news seasons founder are unloading their ownership. or at least thats what the local media are saying. i wonder who really owns new seasons now…

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    • are February 15, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      endeavour capital, which is based in portland but does have offices in los angeles, seattle, and denver, bought a 55.44 pct piece of new seasons in 2009. the statement at the time was that this was supposed to facilitate the creation of an employee stock ownership plan. one practical consequence was to cash out eileen brady’s husband.

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  • ac January 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

    fyi, this is not a building permit application.this is a predesign review to vet any planning, zoning, or design review issues per City of Portland zoning code. this is not even the official design review submission. THE DESIGN SHOWN MAY YET CHANGE.

    just sayin

    and the meeting is open to “interested parties” if you really have any cool suggestions for them

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  • ac January 10, 2012 at 11:50 am

    apropos of nothing, my family knows this block, not as the “bakery blocks”, but as the “fremont forest”

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