Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Building Boom in the Rose City

Building Boom in the Rose City

It seems the economic slow-down or recession or whatever you want to call it is over.  Building projects are leaping up all over the damned place. 

The Albina Fuel location is FINALLY moving forward.  They knocked down all the buildings on the site, scraped up the rubble and are working like beavers at constructing the new thing.  It’s going to be the typical layout – ground floor retail and condos above.  The ground floor retail is supposed to be, get this, a New Seasons grocery store.  Wha….?!?  Yes, right between Freddy’s and QFC, and down the street from Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.  Well, it’s not like we won’t have choices.  They will be adding a traffic light at 32nd, which is going to be necessary when they add the hundreds of dwelling spaces.  It feels odd to have  a giant construction crane looming over Broadway. 

There’s a so-called ‘super-block’ being developed in the Lloyd District.  It’s the property that once was a private parking lot between Multnomah and the Max tracks.  Next door to the computer store.  I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a mix of ground floor retail and business and condos above.  Sound familiar?  This is our future, apparently.  Right now, they have a tall chain link fence with tarps on the inside all around the property.  I kind of resent that because we all like to watch stuff being built in our neighborhoods.

The new bridge over the Willamette is going along nicely.  It’s actually nice looking so far with a spiderweb of steel cables stretching from the towers to the road bed.  I’m supposing it will be a lift bridge because yes, we are a PORT and shipping should be able to go further up the river than that.  At least, I’d bet the businesses in Oregon City think so.  I’m actually pretty excited about this bridge.  It’s going to be used for light rail, bikes and pedestrians.  Not cars!  Well, probably buses and maybe emergency vehicles, but not cars in general.  Good.  Progress.

I had mentioned some time ago that there was a building going up at that wacky intersection of Burnside, 12th and Sandy.  It looks like it is nearing completion.  I understand that it is supposed to be a senior living facility (no doubt over ground floor retail).  I’m not sure why it’s going up right there – other than the obvious: someone wanted to build something big and had the land for it.  What I mean is, there aren’t any obvious services geared to seniors in that neighborhood.  There is a bus line or two.  And, plenty of bars and a couple of strip joints… I suppose the Franz bakery might have cheap bread for the oldsters.  But, it’s not really even a very walkable location.  I don’t get it.  Maybe I need more info. 

I have also mentioned the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building and its big redo.  Looks like they might be nearing completion on that.  I really need some pictures to do this post  justice.  The outside of this building looks like a giant pipe organ.  I don’t know if they make noise, but the front of the building is covered with rows and rows of massive upright pipes.  I suppose it’s some form of green technology and it is interesting looking.  I’ll give it that.

I have taken the bus a couple of times this week, and there are some updates along the route.  I’ll be back on the bus more, what with the weather getting so very wet suddenly.  I’ll take better notes, because there are things happening!