We are the owners of the property on SE Hawthorne that was formerly occupied by Hollywood Video. We thought it would be helpful if we responded to the comments and concerns expressed in the recent emails and tell you about the plans for the redevelopment of the property.
We have owned this property for over 35 years and we have been very committed to the Hawthorne District and are members of the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association. Over the last 35 years we have seen this neighborhood transition and become the vibrant area that we are proud to be a part of. We would not want to do anything that we felt was going to hurt the vitality of the neighborhood. When Hollywood Video vacated, we were left with a building that was in need of substantial repairs and improvements before it could be leased out again. While working with our architect, our goal was to improve the building as much as possible to make the building more active and pedestrian friendly. The solid brick wall along Hawthorne that was put in by the previous medical clinic tenant some 20 years ago always seemed very pedestrian unfriendly. We felt that wall elevation should have as much glass as possible to help tie into the pedestrian activity and compliment the surrounding businesses. The other building window systems and the main storefront in the center of the building are also being replaced and there will be an addition of building canopies along both Hawthorne and the east building front. Also, the building has to be brought up to current seismic codes making it safer for the tenants and the neighborhood. We are also relocating the garbage enclosure so that it not so much upfront and visible.
The parking lot not only needing repaving but the subsurface needed to be rebuilt as well. We are putting in a bio-swale in the parking lot to capture the surface water runoff and re-landscaping the entire site. We are widening the sidewalk section from its current 8’ width to 10’ along Hawthorne from the driveway entry east all the way to the corner of 36th Avenue making for a much better pedestrian passage. We are also installing quite a few biking stalls to hopefully lessen the amount of car traffic going to the building. In order to divide the building into smaller spaces we have to do a lot of electrical and plumbing work. We feel when finished the property we be a lot more visual pleasing and inviting to the neighborhood.
When we were marketing the building for lease we had almost no inquires from what you would call “local” businesses. Umpqua Bank, who will be at the end of the building along Hawthorne, approached us first as they have evidently been wanting for some time to open a community branch in the Hawthorne District. They will have a neighborhood focused branch they are very intent on providing a unique and friendly customer service. When Goodwill approached us our first reaction was very cautious. But they said they wanted to make this into what they call a “boutique” store similar to the one at SW 10th & SW Taylor Sts. The merchandise at that store and the way it is displayed is more like a traditional department store. This new Goodwill model appeals to a diverse group of shoppers of various age groups. There will also not be any outdoor drop-off of goods whatsoever at this location. These commitments by Goodwill as to this new specific use are contained in their lease. We now feel that Goodwill will fit well into this neighborhood helping to draw even more people to Hawthorne to take advantage of the numerous shops and restaurants.
When Hollywood Video was the tenant in the building, they also managed the property themselves. It seems to us that they did not do a very good job keeping up the appearance of the exterior of the building, landscaping and parking lot. We will now be handling the property management ourselves and we will maintain the property and its appearance in a much better condition.
Kalberer Properties, LLC
Belmont Street Fair coming September 12
Planning for the 2010 Belmont Street Fair is underway and we would love to hear from you. We are always looking for fresh ideas, and we need volunteers for the event and to help with event planning. This year the fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday September 12. This has been a great community building event for the neighborhood, and Belmont Street will again be car-free between SE 33rd and SE 37th Avenues. Planning meetings are scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of each month, beginning at 7 p.m., at Hoda’s Middle Eastern Restaurant. The next two meetings are July 28 & August 25th. This year we’ll extend vending east on Belmont and keep it out of the parking lots. This would increase capacity and reduce congestion, and it would allow the kids’ area to expand to SE 34th Avenue. SNA plans to continue coordinating music, the alternative transportation expo, and setting up the neighborhood green at the intersection of SE 34th and Belmont (see photo). We are also hoping to expand the farmer’s market booth, which last year was teamed up with Sunnyside Environmental School students to raise money for the school’s gardens.
Like many great neighborhoods, we are currently under construction. Check back soon as we upgrade our site so you can find out ways to become involved in one of Portland’s fabulous neighborhood associations – Sunnyside!