A dark landmark across from the Cleveland High Athletic Field is closed, and will be torn down

RITA A. LEONARD - The city bought and closed the Safari Strip Club on S.E. Powell Boulevard, with plans to build on the site a large apartment building offering affordable housing. The City of Portland has purchased the Safari Strip Club near the Motel 6 in the 3000 block of S.E. Powell Boulevard with plans to redevelop the 50,000-square-foot site into a large building offering 200 to 300 "affordable housing" apartments.

Funds for the project were drawn from the $258.4 million bond that voters approved in 2016. The location has good access to education, transportation, economic opportunity, and other amenities.

In mid-January, Martha Calhoon, Public Information Officer for the Portland Housing Bureau told THE BEE, "We haven't yet begun pre-development of the site, but we'll work closely with the community as the design process moves forward. We are currently engaging with the neighborhood coalition, Southeast Uplift."

City officials said the site met the housing bond criteria because it was "in an area at risk of gentrification", but was also close to such amenities as parks and transportation. Mayor Ted Wheeler explained, "Our strategic framework focuses on creating housing opportunities for families and individuals impacted by racism, housing discrimination, homelessness, and displacement."

Calhoon added, "It's too early to determine what types of units will be built there, or whether there will be on-site parking. This is our first project under the Portland Development Bond; but those interested in our progress, or seeking information about public meetings, are encouraged to go online to –"

The Interim Director of the Portland Housing Bureau, Shannon Callahan, remarked, "We look forward to working with the Bond Oversight Committee and the community on the development plans." Construction is expected to begin in early 2019. Safety improvements to the S.E. Powell Blvd transit corridor should allow safe access to nearby Cleveland High School and to the new small Target store now under construction at 3031 S.E. Powell Boulevard. In the meantime, Powell now has one less strip club.

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