It looks like we may have some responsible new property owners in the form of Oregon-based Umpqua Bank for the bankrupt 12th Avenue property we reported on Tuesday. They left a comment on the story saying that they’re assessing the cleanup needs for the property and “will be acting swiftly to clear debris and restore a safe and pleasant looking environment. Additionally we are actively working with community organizations, like CHH [Capitol Hill Housing], to engage with the neighborhood around ongoing clean up efforts.”
Kate of CHH sent this photo of Umpqua crews out on the lot this morning:
Definitely a good thing to see!
Thanks for your coverage this morning on clean up efforts so far. I did want to correct one item…there’s no “H” at the end of Umpqua! Looking forward to continued improvements for this lot and the neighborhood. Thanks again.
Apologies for the extra H’s – they’re now removed
I think Umpqua has a good rep in OR as being a good neighbor.
kudos to Umpqua for stepping up to this problem of community blight! but more importantly, thank you to Scott and team at CD News for shining a light on something so that progress could be made. this is an excellent example of how a community blog is a HUGE community asset. thanks!
The problem is, this place will likely be vacant almost forever. There was a cut rate body shop running on it repainting taxi cabs. They painted them under a tarp in the driveway at night when no city officials were around. That ground is so contaminated right now it likely makes Lloyd’s look like a nature preserve. The cleanup is likely as much as the property is worth.
I actually wanted to buy that property years ago when the “body shop” was there, but had a soil sample taken and said “No Thanks”. It wouldn’t shock me if it became a superfund site…..
I should have mentioned a HUGE Thank You to Umpqua Bank. It says alot that they would pay to clean it up! Unfortunately due to the area, it will just get cluttered again. They will have to fence it off, unfortunately. What if they graded it, tilled it, put in some grass and put a sign on it advertising their banking/loan services?? Likely it would just be too much expense for the ROI, but….It might get a story on the news and a plug for them??!!
No park benches, though…The homeless would set up camp there.
I waged my own fight to get this placed cleaned up- writing letters to city council, etc. The city was able to get abondoned cars removed, but beyond that the bankruptcy prevented them from doing anything.
Kudos to a bank responding to community pressures. Now maybe the city can look at their codes to find a way to respond to issues like these.
I walk by there most days and remember seeing someone out there with an excavator right after it sold. I was glad when they knocked down the autobody shop, but then they dug up the gas tanks (I guess without a permit) and then scooped the hill into the hole! I feel sorry for whoever has that house on the hill above them. Umpqua has a fence on it now. Good to see some responsibility there, finally.
the city has $14million available for parks acquisition.
This lot could become a focal open space for the 12 tha avenue neighborhood.
please: someone stitch these two facts together.
We actually discussed this lot at the last 12th Ave meeting, which Chip from Parks attended. 12th is in line for a new park, and we hope to identify “priority locations” soon. On this site in particular there are a few challenges we identified as a group: 1) size – Parks minimum size is 10,000 square feet and this lot is only about 3,000. 2) proximity to Yesler Terrace – this project is going to add thousands of square feet of open space so we have to think strategically about where to locate ours in conjunction with theirs. 3) safety – Parks has had only limited success in placing these sized parks in business districts. In this location in particular there isn’t a lot of retail yet, so not that many “eyes on the street” which right now has led to a lot of loitering and squatting. A park here could possibly only enhance these problems. typically parks in business districts need retail vitality and residential density around them to feel safe and secure.
All this being said, it doensn’t rule out this location, especially if the neighbors wanted to sell to increase the size of the park. There will be a committee meeting on Monday night 3/15 to discuss this topic. Please call or email if you would like to attend [email protected] or 204-3831. Thanks!
turn it into a basketball court