A building permit for the renovation for the proposed Namaste Indian Cuisine restaurant at 10306 N.E. Halsey St. has many sign-offs to date, according to architect Lorraine Guthrie; however, permitting is on hold pending resolution of Portland Bureau of Transportation’s requirements that Harjinder Chand, Namaste’s owner, widen and upgrade a storefront sidewalk to include tree wells, improve storm water treatment and relocate a utility pole (“PDC launching commercial pilot program along Halsey Street” MCM September 2015).
Chand must pay for all such work, along with a property survey, engineering work and the permitting work performed by Guthrie. None of the grants that Chand already has obtained from the Portland Development Commission, including a Development Opportunity Services grant, a Storefront Improvement Program grant and a Green Features grant—nor the Commercial District Improvement Pilot Program grant for which he is being considered—may be used by Chand to cover these out-of-pocket costs.
The changed use of the building—formerly home to the Wunderland Arcade—triggered a transportation improvement requirement, according to the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Chand must accommodate a 12-foot-wide sidewalk because his building is within a so-called pedestrian district. PBOT also has required that Chand grant the city three to five feet of his property for the required sidewalk along the 50 feet of 103rd Avenue for which the PBOT has a right of way. Such a grant—presumably of only an easement—accommodates a 32-foot wide roadway and two 12-foot wide sidewalks extending along 103rd Avenue from Halsey Street. All these improvements are required on a roadway dubbed “the street to nowhere” (“City requires new building owner to improve street to nowhere” MCM September 2015).
PDC describes the future Namaste restaurant site as a key Halsey Street corridor enterprise. The Namaste Indian Cuisine property, only a block into the corridor from 102nd Avenue, provides access to a restaurant, a gift shop and a cooking school in a highly visible corner storefront location.
But the stuck building permit process makes Chand’s hopeful October opening of Namaste Indian Cuisine restaurant highly improbable.
For information about PBOT’s required improvements and the status of the building permitting process, contact Lorraine Guthrie at email@example.com or call her at 503-804-5726. You can also contact PBOT engineer Wayne Close at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-823-7647.