I have a penchant for large versions of everyday things (milk cartons, pink elephants (Seattle!), beer bottles, etc.), and so have always loved the Sunshine Dairy distribution center in NE Portland on NE 20th just south of I-84 crossover. There is a giant (formerly) rotating milk carton on their building. They have closed and the property will presumably be redeveloped (discussions of apartments and whatnot have been in the media, but nothing seems to be moving fast).
I am very concerned about my giant milk carton (we should make sure we save it!), but I am also delighted to see the building getting a number of murals. Since it’s just down the street from my favorite beetles (dung?) on the side of the Eutectic gallery, this seems great. Plus the building was getting random, uncreative tags. The murals still being created, but I’m already enjoying them!
I walk through the Lloyd neighborhood (also called a district) almost every day. And this is an interesting area in central Portland with so many intriguing opportunities. Similar to the surface parking lots in NW Portland around NW 21st and Savier that are all turning into buildings, there is a lot of unused or very underutilized land between NE 16th and the river and NE Irving and NE Broadway.
There was a period of time about four years ago (around 2015-16) that I thought the neighborhood was about to pop. And unlike parts of Portland where there is a lot of existing housing (affordable or otherwise), the neighborhood is a lot of surface parking lots and low commercial buildings.
The encouraging signs:
Hassalo & 7th apartment buildings (built! but still empty retail space)
Affordable housing at NE Holladay and Grand Ave. (being built!)
Convention Center area getting new buildings and renovation (underway)
Increased use and care for Holladay Park at the max station (happening, although we always seem to be a moment from backsliding — but the activities and maintenance are very nice)
Redevelopment of Lloyd Center mall (sort of happened, but there is a long way to go)
Entrance/staircase at 12th or so is built, but has some usability challenges
Nordstrom space turning into music venue (maybe still happening, but not a lot of action going on there)
Movie theater going into a pushed out Sears space and the addition of office space (maybe still happening?)
Possible continuing build-out of the Oregon blocks just to the south of the Hassalo development (stalled but one of the existing buildings did get renovated)
Apartment buildings in the parking lot of the Regal Cinemas movie theater at NE 16th & Multnomah (stalled and parking lot remains empty — could we do something fun with this space?)
Redevelopment of the land where the Regal Cinemas currently is located and the parking lots to the east of Sears space in Lloyd Center mall (stalled)
But things seem to have ground to a halt. So, what I want to ask, is what could this neighborhood be? What can we do right now to continue to use this space in the best way possible?
Just south of NE Multnomah on NE 21st, we have a lovely new coffeeshop with pizza(!). Hours have been slowly added (as far as I can tell), but they were open and serving pizza on Friday, April 19. Let’s support them!