Developer offers apartment building on food cart site near Portland state

A Portland-based developer has applied to build a seven-story apartment building on the downtown site of a food cart near Portland State University.

SERA Architects and Florida-based developer Mill Creek Residential Trust filed an application March 9 proposing a 40,000 square foot mixed-use building at Southwest of Fifth Avenue and College Street.

The application describes the project as a seven-story, market-priced apartment building with approximately 250 residential units, basement parking and ground-level retail.

The application was first noted by architect and development blogger Iain MacKenzie.

Neither SERA nor Mill Creek responded to questions about the proposed development, or whether there are plans to relocate the food cart vendors that now use the site.

The proposal is still in its early stages. The developer will hold a pre-application conference to discuss it with city officials next month, after which it could apply for a building permit or drop the proposal.

A redevelopment of the site is unlikely to be far away anyway. The parking lot that now houses the food cart is owned by a real estate company, Oregon Pacific Investment and Development Co., and the other half of the block is owned by Wells Fargo, which closed its bank branch there.

In the summer of 2019, the city’s largest food cart pod at Southwest 10th and Alder Street was forced to make room for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which is currently under construction. Some of these carts moved to a new downtown location last year.

— Jayati Ramakrishnan