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FILE PHOTO - City of Gresham Urban Renewal Director Josh Fuhrer looks over the Rockwood Catalyst Site at the intersection of Southeast 187th Avenue and Stark Street.The Gresham Redevelopment Commission unanimously approved a proposal at its Tuesday, Sept. 6, meeting to acquire two more locations to develop for the Rockwood Rising Catalyst Site, envisioned as a new commercial and cultural hub at 187th Avenue and Stark Street.


“This is wonderful, a part of our city that is upcoming,” Commissioner Mario Palmero said. “I’m sure the people of Rockwood and West Gresham are very excited about this.”

The acquisitions, which the Gresham Redevelopment Commission (GRDC) brought before the commission represent two acres to the northeast of the Catalyst Site — a former Fred Meyer store location — near the MAX light-rail station. One is at 18801 E. Burnside, currently leased to Asia Kitchen restaurant, and the other at 18901 E. Burnside St., which houses the Sunrise Center that is now leased to Rockwood Community Development Corporation (CDC).

Both sites passed inspections.

“It is an opportunity to add a new development adjacent to the original site, developed in accordance with the same goals of providing services to the neighborhood,” said Brian Monberg, senior project coordinator with the GRDC.

The first property at 18801 can be purchased for $750,000, and plans are in place for Asia Kitchen to continue to operate until the redevelopment work begins. If the commission is unable to renegotiate with Asia Kitchen, the intent would be to keep operating the location as a restaurant.

The property at 18901 is listed for sale at $1.3 million, and the GRDC also wants to continue leasing that site to Rockwood CDC until the redevelopment project begins.

Backing to purchase both locations will be made available by redirecting funds anticipated for the catalyst site in the 2017 fiscal year. In 2016, $6.5 million was budgeted for the development before plans had been made to add additional locations, with an additional $1.3 million coming in 2017.

“Not all of that will be needed for the catalyst site,” Monberg said.

They plan on using the $1.3 million to purchase the Sunrise Center location, and an additional $650,000 from the sale of the new location for the Rockwood Boys & Girls Club to acquire the Asia Kitchen location.

Future development of the two sites has yet to be finalized, but will be created based on conversations with the community. Both are currently zoned for commercial/retail, and there are no plans to change that. The GRDC will identify potential development strategies, finance tools and partnerships that could support the catalyst site.

The next steps will be to close on the sales, finalize the leases with the two current tenants, and make minor repairs to each building to ensure functionality.

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