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.”