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More apartments, and the long-awaited Green Zebra, coming to Upper Division

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TRIBUNE: JONATHAN HOUSE  - A third large apartment complex is coming to the area around Southeast 50th and Division, an area profiled by the Tribune back in 2009 as 'stressed but surviving.' Now the area is undergoing fullblown gentrification. The Green Zebra grocery long planned for Southeast Division Street and 50th Avenue has announced plans to finally open — in late 2017.

The 7,000-square-foot grocery, founded by former New Seasons CEO Lisa Sedlar, will be located on the ground floor of a planned 126-unit apartment building, according to Sedlar. The apartments will include 40 underground parking spaces and space to park 140 bicycles.

Green Zebra, billed as a convenience store that focuses on healthy food, will include 17 parking spaces and indoor seating, a cooked-from-scratch kitchen, delivery service, and catering.

In 2009, the Portland Tribune wrote a series of articles on the 50th and Division intersection, profiling how an average Portland neighborhood was coping with the Great Recession. We described the area “stressed but surviving.”

Five years later, in mid-2014, we went back and visited some of the same people profiled in 2009, and concluded that the area was then experiencing rapid gentrification, a key sign that Portland’s bustling growth was expanding eastward along Division. We called the 50th and Division area “Rebound Avenue.”

At the time, developer Aaron Jones was completing a 74-unit apartment building on 48th and Division — a sign the Division building boom was heading east — and had secured a site to build a second, larger apartment on the northwest corner of 50th and Division. That project is now under construction. It displaced the popular Taqueria los Gorditos food cart, but that has since found a new home down at 3420 S.E. 50th, south several blocks near Powell Boulevard.

Now a third large large apartment building is coming to the immediate area, atop the Green Zebra.

The owners of the a la carts Food Pavillion, a food cart pod just south of the new apartment site, recently sold that land to a developer. There are no immediate plans to close the food carts.

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@SteveLawTrib