'Creek restoration' to replace former Franz Bakery Outlet store
Some people in the Brentwood Darlington neighborhood were hoping to save the Franz Bakery Outlet Store at S.E. 45th at Harney Drive for community use. However, demolition of the now-closed store will take place by the end of October. The pavement will also be removed.
In February of this year the sites of the former car wash and the Franz Bakery Outlet Store on S.E. 45th Avenue were rejected for a location of a Safe Rest Village for homeless individuals — because the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services reported that the location was in a flood plain.
In late summer, BES announced that it had acquired the former Franz Outlet store building and the land it sits on, plus a house on S.E. Harney, for a restoration project — "the Johnson Creek Oxbow Restoration Project".
If you have never heard of the Johnson Creek Oxbow Restoration Project, you are not the only one. However, the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association (BDNA) has been staying in touch with the BES regarding its plans there.
Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association Board Member Pamela Hodge has been concerned about the future of the Franz site since early March, and also has been representing BDNA on the citizen advisory committees for Errol Heights Park.
Hodge was among those who originally had ideas that the building could be used as a community asset, but now she is keeping BDNA members abreast of the proposed restoration project. She points BEE readers to the BES website for information on its restoration plans — www.portlandoregon.gov/bes
There it reports in part: "This project will restore habitat, and reconnect Johnson Creek and Errol Creek with their natural floodplains. It will help protect endangered salmon, ?improve water quality, provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, and reduce the flood risk in the surrounding neighborhood."
BES further says that they are excavating the site to "daylight" Errol Creek, which runs under the property. They will be coordinating with the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Parks and Recreation on potential trail and pedestrian improvements, as well as sidewalk and crossing improvements, for pedestrian safety along S.E. 45th Avenue.
Emily Volpert from the Public Involvement team at the Bureau of Environmental Services told THE BEE that a house built in 1979 on S.E. Harney Drive will also be demolished for the project. (Houses built before 1940 cannot simply be demolished, but must be "deconstructed" — with some materials recycled.)
The project is still in the early design phase, with an anticipated start of construction likely in 2024 or 2025. In the meantime, BES will permanently fence the Franz site to keep out cars and trailers, and to use it for construction staging if needed. They will be conducting field investigations, taking water and soil samples, and marking utilities, among other activities, in preparation for the future construction.
On October 6th, the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood Association meeting will include a BES staff report on the restoration project. To attend that meeting online via ZOOM, here's how to log in — us02web.zoom.us/j/84474843955 — Meeting ID: 844 7484 3955; Passcode: bdna22
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