Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

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Developer also plans townhouses, apartments, garages for site cherished by neighbors

Four years after Strohecker's closed its doors for good in the southwest hills of Portland, plans for the property the grocery store had occupied since 1902 are becoming clear. A Southern California developer is proposing to demolish the store and in its place, build 12 townhouses with attached garages, an apartment building with approximately 18 units and 3,500 square feet of ground floor retail.

Representatives of Southwest Hills LLC out of Santa Ana, California, which bought the 1.14 acre site in 2012 for $5.5 million, have had meetings to discuss the plans with staff at Portland's Bureau of Development Services and were scheduled to meet with the local neighborhood association after the deadline for this issue of the SW Connection. Changes in the plans are anticipated before they receive final approval.

A year ago, the Portland City Council cleared the way for the redevelopment of the land at 2855 S.W. Patton Road by voting to change restrictions on what could be built there. For three years, the Southwest Hills Residential League sent representatives to City Hall to argue the case for a number of conditions, including one requiring that 7,500 square feet of retail space be part of any plan that's approved.

The council-approved conditions require the developer to include 3,000 square feet of retail. Afterwards, the neighborhood group sent out this message, "Note that the 3,500 square feet of retail space (in the developer's preliminary plan) is more than the 3,000 square feet the City Council set as a minimum. This is good news."

If a year after final approval no retail tenant can be convinced to open where Strohecker's closed in 2015, the developer won't be obliged to include any retail space in the plans.

Chris Kopca, a board member with the SWHRL, says he is looking forward to hearing what the developer proposes in late November.

"From a neighborhood standpoint, (the Strohecker's site) is sort of our community center. It's our gathering spot and a very important site to us. So we're looking forward to having that conversation with the developer."

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