|12.5 Acre site at 82nd and Siskiyou St, across from Madison High School|
Plans for one of East Portland's largest undeveloped tracts
12.5 Acres across form Madison High School
A former landfill on Northeast 82nd Avenue could soon be a bustling retail center.
Portland developer Capstone Partners is under contract to buy the 12.5-acre tract, and hopes to finalize the sale next year, said Jeff Sackett, principal at Capstone.
The company plans to spend millions to redevelop the site, and hopes to attract local and national tenants, he said.
The site, just south of 82nd and Siskiyou, across from Madison High School, is one of the largest undeveloped tracts in East Portland.
Mike Hashem, one of the tract's owners, said his partnership bought the land in 1987 for $1.7 million. Now, the land is worth about $3.6 million, according to Multnomah County.
A landfill for construction debris occupied the site at one point, and a driving range operated on the site for a few years before it closed in 2001, Hashem said.
Since then, the land has sat empty, though a few small businesses operate on adjacent properties, and a Zen temple sits to the northeast.
In 2009, the vacant lot was a stark reminder of the town's urban renewal failure. Two years earlier, a Canadian firm had proposed a big box shopping center on the site, but neighbors, fearing a Walmart, worked with future Mayor Sam Adams to kill the idea.
Now, Hashem doubts Walmart will be part of the development, which he said will be a retail center likely anchored by a local grocery store.
"Walmart would have been just fine," he said. "The neighborhood needs some kind of development. You need a main anchor – say, Fred Meyer – to come in, and smaller retailers will follow."
Hashem said he's excited to work with Capstone, the developer behind Northeast Broadway's swanky Grant Park Village and the high-priced apartments at Southeast 26th and Burnside.
Capstone has its work cut out.
As a former landfill, the site comes with "lots of challenges," Capstone's Sackett said.
But Sackett is optimistic.
"We have reason to believe it's a desirable location."
Capstone wouldn't buy it otherwise, he said.-- Anna Marum
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