April 22nd, 2014 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: City Hall, Business, Housing

Trader Joe's Turns Down Mayor Charlie Hales' Offer for Revived Project on MLK Boulevard

traderjoesdogThe Northwest Portland Trader Joe's - Photo by Aaron Mesh

The plan to bring a Trader Joe's to Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard is dead again.

Representatives of the specialty grocer called Mayor Charlie Hales' office Friday to say they won't reconsider a proposal to build on a two-acre property owned by the Portland Development Commission.

“I told them it was a shame because that section of Portland is vibrant and on the rise,” Hales said in a statement. “We’re confident that another, similar project will happen there, and I’m dedicated to making that happen.”

As WW reported last month, Hales tried to resurrect the PDC's deal to sell a city-owned property at Northeast Alberta Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to California-based developer Majestic Realty as the site of a Trader Joe's.

The sale came at a $2.4 million discount to appraised value, and the deal sparked backlash about the PDC's role in gentrifying historically African-American neighborhoods.

Hales' office says it wants Majestic to continue as developer on the project—and the mayor still wants a grocer there.

“Majestic knows the site, they know the players, and they know the issues of concern," Hales says. "If we want to fast-track a development that meets the needs of the neighbors, the business community, and the city, then Majestic should take the lead.”

 
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