If a local real estate company has their way, downtown Portland will soon undergo a huge transformation. And three of the city’s oldest food cart pods will have to find a new home.
Downtown Development Group has unveiled a plan to replace the parking lots between the Burnside and Morrison bridges with 11 skyscrapers — some of them over 30 stories tall. The $1.5 billion project, known as the “Ankeny Blocks,” will add massive amounts of both residential and commercial space. The hope is that it will lure some major businesses to the area and provide housing to those working in the city.
The downside? Three of the parking lots being replaced currently house food cart pods that have been there for years.
Steaks Fifth Avenue, for example, has been at 5th and Stark for almost two decades. Owner Chris Schenk, who heard about the plan from one of his employees, expressed concern about finding a new location for his cart — especially if he’s competing with other cart owners who have been displaced. However, Greg Goodman, co-president of Downtown Development Group, says the company knows how important the pods are to the cultural fabric of the city. He promises that provisions will be made to ensure that alternative locations will be provided for any carts that are displaced.
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