PORTLAND, Ore. — The Pepsi Blocks, along Sandy Boulevard in Northeast Portland, will soon undergo a dramatic change.
The Portland Planning Commission recently approved a sweeping development for the five-acre site. It runs roughly from 25th to 27th avenues near Sandy Boulevard. It's called the Pepsi Blocks because the company had a bottling plant there for decades and still has a warehouse and offices there.
But soon nearly all of it will go away.
Designers plan to build as many as 1,200 apartment units, along with retail shops and a public pavilion on the site.
The iconic Pepsi Pavillion building with its rounded roof on Sandy Boulevard will remain and be turned into a public space.
Chuck Slothower reports on development for the Portland Daily Journal of Commerce. He said the change will be significant.
“It’s by far the largest planned development we've seen come to Sandy Boulevard,” he said.
Slothower said the plans for the property will change the entire area.
“The Sandy area will have a lot more residents. You'll see some parks and open spaces in there along with some retail,” he added.
The designers are from Mithun, a Seattle based company with architects and planners. Bert Gregory is a partner at the company and led the design team for the Pepsi Blocks. He said his team walked the neighborhood to understand its character, and the development will be respectful to the area.
“Our goal is to work within the context of the neighborhood and create a community that fits in well but does look to the future,” Gregory said.
Some who live in the area now are worried about all those people who will move into the new apartments.
Paul Hylla said he's lived nearby for 30 years.
“I don’t know, we'll just have to wait and see how bad its really gonna get. But its definitely changed a lot,” he said.
Marina, who owns Marina’s Kafe a block from the development, worries about traffic and parking but admits it will probably bring her more customers. She's seen a lot of changes over the 40 years she's lived here.
“Well, all those car dealerships are gone. There were a lot of them along Sandy. A lot of offices are gone. So now it’s just residential,” she said.
Its unclear when work will begin on the site. Gregory said Pepsi is still building its offices at a new location. That project is expected to be finished in several months and then the demolition can begin, according to Gregory.