Ice creams out; condos come in
Old restaurant, shops make way for latest Northeast development
The walls of the landmark Original Portland Ice Cream Parlour & Restaurant in Northeast Portland will come tumbling down this week, preparing the way for a $30 million, six-story retail-and-residential complex that will include a Zupan's supermarket and nearly 90 condominiums.
Longtime Portlanders remember the now-crumbling building at 1613 N.E. Weidler St. as Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, site of generations of birthday and other family celebrations. Part of a national restaurant chain started in 1963 by Portland entrepreneur Bob Farrell, the parlor's last owners were Chuck and Laurie Tardiff, who renamed the business after they bought it in the mid-1980s.
Portland's Aiyana Group Architects, which bought the property for a reported $2.1 million, is the project developer and designer.
The new development will be called the 1620 Broadway, reflecting its location along the 1600 block of Northeast Broadway, said Jill Shaw, Aiyana Group business manager.
Aiyana's plans met with solid neighborhood support, said Lynne Coward, land-use chairwoman of the Sullivan's Gulch Neighborhood Association.
'We're pleased (Aiyana) is putting housing on Broadway,' Coward said. 'That was important to us because a lot of the properties here are rentals. With light rail close by, this is where housing ought to be.'
Aiyana's plans call for 29,738 square feet of ground-floor space to be occupied by Zupan's; 88 condominiums, including seven penthouses; and two levels of underground parking for both condominium owners and grocery shoppers.
To make room for such a large-scale project, Aiyana also bought a piece of property adjacent to the ice cream parlor. The site houses a 9,000-square-foot building with three businesses in the 1600 block of Northeast Broadway: Check-Mart, Abe's Broadway Cleaners & Alterations and Metro Foot Clinic.
A fourth business, Speak Easy Hair Design, has already moved from its location.
The building is due to be demolished soon, and Aiyana has offered to help the businesses relocate, Shaw said.
One store will stay
A fifth business, Broadway Floral Home and Garden, will stay at its current location at 1638 N.E. Broadway. The shop's owners, Doug and Janice Fick, turned down Aiyana's offer to buy the business and help them move.
'A florist has been at this location since 1928,' Doug Fick said of the business, which formerly was Canby Floral; the Ficks renamed it four years ago. 'With our history of being here, it would be difficult to move and not lose clientele.'
Though he was dismayed at first to hear that his business would have to move after 19 years in its location, Check-Mart General Manager Bob Anderson said Aiyana has been 'very accommodating' in helping find a new location for the check-cashing business one block east at 1724 N.E. Broadway.
'We were able to negotiate a good buyout of our lease,' Anderson said. Aiyana will help move Check-Mart into a 'state-of-the-art' store with 'fancier amenities,' Anderson said.
'For having to move, it couldn't have been a better scenario,' he said, adding that Check-Mart probably will move at the end of this month.
Daniel Nusser, a podiatrist, sounded unhappy about having to move his Metro Foot Clinic office after more than a decade on 16th Avenue.
'I'm keeping a search going trying to find an adequate location,' said Nusser, who wants to stay in the area, if possible.
Bob Koval, owner of Abe's Broadway Cleaners & Alterations, declined to talk about being forced to move.
'He's signed a termination agreement, and we're expecting him to move' when the time comes for the building to be demolished, Shaw said of Koval.
Neighbors in on plans
Shaw said the planned condominiums range in size from 839 square feet for a one-bedroom to a penthouse of 2,184 square feet. Average condominium size will be about 1,173 square feet.
Prices will range from around $198,000 to $598,000, Shaw said.
Coward of the neighborhood association said Aiyana Group's president, Alan Kravitz, who is an architect, and others in the firm attended a number of planning meetings and worked with her association, the Irvington Community Association and representatives from Grace Memorial Church, which is across Weidler from the development.
Because Aiyana was willing to collaborate, the neighborhood groups agreed to support the firm's request to extend the neighborhood's 45-foot height requirement to 65 feet for the new building.
Shaw said Aiyana received permission for the adjustment from the city's Bureau of Development Services, formerly the Office of Planning and Development Review.
Crews have been working this week to remove asbestos from the old ice cream parlor. Demolition of the building is set to begin this weekend.
More information about the development is available online at www.1620broadway.com.