There aren’t that many empty plots of land left in Portland, much less ones that are more than 30 acres. The site at NE 122nd and NE Shaver (known as Rossi Farms by many) is farmland that’s been in the Rossi, Giusto and Garre families for as many as five generations.
But as Portland grows, so do the farming families’ children and grandchildren. And as the property is surrounded by houses, apartments, businesses, schools and a new park, the property owners are partnering with the City of Portland to envision a new and different future for their land.
Workshop draws 100 people
On December 11, 2018, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability hosted a “Vision and Aspirations Workshop” for the Parkrose-Argay Development Study. This was the first public event of the project, a project to develop a concept plan for a complete and connected neighborhood on the site. The owners are partnering with BPS and Metro, which also provided funding for the study.
About 100 people from neighborhoods, business groups, schools and other community organizations attended the event at Parkrose Middle School. They shared their vision and ideas for the area and future development on the site.
Parkrose School District Superintendent Michael Lopes-Serrao welcomed the attendees. Then BPS staff gave a brief presentation of the study and its goal of developing a concept plan for a complete and connected community in the area – with new housing, retail and community services, supported by three schools (Parkrose High School, Parkrose Middle School and Shaver Elementary School) and the new Luuwit Park.
Joe Rossi, one of the owners, then spoke about the opportunity that partnering with the City, Metro and the school district on the project offered. He welcomed input from residents and community members, saying “We can’t do this by ourselves.”
Conversations centered around five topic stations
Participants were asked to share their thoughts and feedback on five different topics:
- Retail, Businesses and Services
- Housing Types and Affordability
- Site Design, Layout and Amenities
- Transportation Issues and Streets
- Jobs, Community Services and Other Issues
Participants wrote on maps and posted sticky notes to share their ideas and concerns.
Staff heard support for new retail and other services in the area as well as new housing on the site, but there was a range of opinions on scale and type. Other frequent themes included providing safe and walkable transportation connections and retaining elements of the agricultural heritage of the site.
In the coming weeks, staff will compile feedback from the workshop and follow-up questionnaires received by mail. This community feedback will help inform the market research and economic analysis and creation of a concept plan.
Two more workshops are planned in spring 2019 to share preliminary concept alternatives and a preferred concept plan with the public.