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Hillsdale storefronts getting facelifts

Hillsdale Main Street, city of Portland team up to make over Food Front


by: CONNECTION PHOTO: DREW DAKESSIAN - One of the Hillsdale business complexes that will receive storefront improvements paid for by Hillsdale Main Street.

Several shops in the Hillsdale business district will be getting a makeover this summer, thanks to Hillsdale Main Street.

Storefront improvements

Along with Alberta and St. Johns, Hillsdale is one of three neighborhood communities in the city participating in the Portland Main Street Program, an initiative designed to “revitalize commercial districts, support small businesses and foster economic development in Portland neighborhoods.”

As part of this effort, Hillsdale Main Street is paying for storefront improvement projects at a few businesses on each side of the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare.

A business complex located off Southwest Sunset Boulevard at 6327 SW Capitol Highway, which houses Hillsdale Liquor, Hillsdale Foot & Ankle Clinic, a post office and the new Hillsdale Art Supply Company, will be completely repainted. Hillsdale Main Street is hoping to install new signage there as well, said Hillsdale Main Street Executive Director Megan Braunsten.

Across the street, at 6274 SW Capitol Highway, The Portland Wellness Center has a facelift in its future, too; the businesses there will be “getting a whole new sign out front, a single one with a totally new design,” Braunsten said, and will be “having lighting along the front of their building to uplight their building at night.”

"I think that the additions will really accentuate the eaves that we have in the front of the building by our windows, which is a nice design element that gets lost a bit right now," said James Cavin, owner of Centre Point Physical Therapy, one of the businesses housed at the Portland Wellness Center. "Beautification of the existing buildings in Hillsdale is a very important part of what Hillsdale Main Street and the business association is working towards, and grants for these improvements are a strong step towards that end. "

Food Front

The third and largest improvement will be to Food Front Cooperative Grocery. Earlier this year, the city of Portland awarded the co-op a green grant, enabling the store’s Northwest Portland location to be repainted. Now, in a joint effort between the city and Hillsdale Main Street, the Food Front store in Hillsdale will have its entire exterior completely repainted, as well as a new awning arrangement, lighting concept and pole sign.

According to Braunsten, Hillsdale Main Street paid for 70 percent of the improvements to Hillsdale Food Front; the city funded the remaining portion, which was used for lighting.

Businesses are expected to start improvements this month, and must complete them by the end of October.

Let there be light

Braunsten said that the owner of the businesses adjoining Food Front, Ardys Braidwood, is changing all the exterior lights along the complex's south strip, "which is really exciting, because right now they glare against the windows so you can't see any of the merchandise inside at night."

"And," Braunsten added, "all of it's being changed to LED."