Will a new development displace yet another Portland food cart pod?

Another food cart pod in downtown Portland is at risk of relocation. A group of developers is competing to build an apartment building near the corner of 5th Avenue and College Street, currently home to a number of vendors.

In March, SERA Architects and Mill Creek Residential Trust requested the construction of “a new 7-storey, market-rate apartment building with basement parking, ground floor retail and approximately 250 residential units”. according to public records; SERA and Mill Creek did not respond to requests for comment. Currently, 1900 SW 5th is home to a lot housing several different food carts: Persian Kabab, Dhaba Indian Kitchen, Krua Bangkok, among others. Real estate and development blogger Iain MacKenzie spotted the proposal, noting that the building would take up the entire block, including the portion of the block housing the pod carts. Oregon Pacific Investment and Development Co. is listed as the current owner of the property; OPID also did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2019, another downtown Portland food cart pod was forced to disband, making way for a Ritz Carlton in its place. Many carts in the lot have reopened in a new module, near the Park Blocks; the development was a private-public collaboration, in response to the outrage surrounding the displacement of these carts.

The city had planned a pre-bid conference April 5; this story will be updated with more information.