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Large food cart pod in the works

Biggi family member's plan wins competition worth up to $25,000 to develop new spot near City Hall


TIMES PHOTO: ERIC APALATEGUI - The proposed site for 13 to 20 food carts is just across Southwest Millikan Way from Beaverton City Hall and less than two blocks from both the Beaverton Central MAX station and Canyon Road.Beaverton will finally have the kind of big food cart pod that residents have salivated over for years, likely with more than a dozen tiny restaurants selling a wide variety of foods.

The city will pitch in as much as $25,000 to help one of Beaverton’s best-known landowners develop the pod in the heart of the Creekside District, which is fast becoming the city’s new downtown core.

Dana Biggi submitted the winning application for Beaverton’s Food Cart Pod Competition, which was designed as an economic incentive for to take the plunge and open a pod.

Biggi is the granddaughter of Rose Biggi, the late Beaverton Foods founder and namesake of Southwest Rose Biggi Avenue; Dana Biggi manages the family’s real estate holdings.

The new pod will be located on property the family owns at the southeast corner of Rose Biggi and Millikan Way, across the street from Beaverton City Hall and a block from the Beaverton Central MAX station.

The flag-shaped lot also has frontage on Southwest Beaverdam Road, where there is a building, but the larger section at Millikan and Rose Biggi currently is vacant. The family also owns a neighboring grassy lot along Rose Biggi that has potential to serve as an open picnic area.

The space is large enough to include the amenities and utilities required to serve 13 to 20 food carts, as well as a seating area and restrooms, said Janiene Lambert, a senior development project manager with the city.

The city will reimburse the Biggis for up to $25,000 in qualifying expenses, which could include pre-development studies and construction costs.

Dana Biggi was one of just two applicants in the competition.

The other hopeful was Kent Drangsholt, who previously announced plans to build a smaller food cart pod outside his business, The Garage Sale Warehouse, on Southwest Western Avenue.

Lambert said both applications met key city criteria, but the Biggi proposal stood out for its ambitious size, its potential to be a catalyst to spur other investments in the redeveloping area, its proximity to mass transit, walkable neighborhoods and employment, and other factors.

Lambert noted that hundreds of new apartments, a hotel and an arts and cultural center are all being planned within a block or two of the proposed pod site. Busy Southwest Canyon Road is only about a block in the other direction.

It remains unclear whether the new food cart pod might open later this year or wait until it can take better advantage of warmer weather next year. Such pods typically operate year-round but often do more business when the weather is better.

Getting final designs completed and permits issued also will factor into the timeline, Lambert said.

While the Biggi property will probably host the largest pod, and likely the first one inside the Beaverton city limits, food cart lovers already have other options and may soon have even more.

The Eating Place pod in Aloha, at the northwest end of the Aloha Mall, already features a half dozen or more dining options.

And Drangsholt continues to try to work through city and county rules in a bid to open smaller pods outside of both of his The Garage Sale Warehouse locations, the other one on Southwest Walker Road, just east of Cedar Hills Boulevard and feet outside the Beaverton city limits.

TIMES PHOTO: ERIC APALATEGUI - Today the lot at Southwest Millikan Way and Rose Biggi Avenue is little more than grass and gravel where occasional dog-training lessons meet. In the future, this lot could be bustling with more than a dozen food carts featuring a variety of cuisines.