It’s been five months since the lingerie modeling shop Secret Rendezvous popped up in Parkrose. Overnight, it met notoriety as a suspected prostitution ring.
On Oct. 16, Sergeant Greg Stewart, present at a Parkrose Neighborhood Association (PNA) meeting, responded to community concerns by suggesting there’s little the police can do unless they catch the business in the act (“Police hands tied over Parkrose lingerie modeling shop,” MCM Nov. 2018). One day later, on Oct. 17, the Portland Bureau of Development Services (BDS) sent a violation letter to property owners Katherine L. Nguyen and Huyen Thi Le. They haven’t responded—and punishments are about to grow more severe.
As some have suggested, Secret Rendezvous has harbored its fair share of secrets. With moving into the former location of Deanz Greenz at 10518b N.E. Sandy Blvd., it converted a Type M (Mercantile) cannabis dispensary into a Group A3 (Assembly) gentleman’s club without a permit. In addition, it completed unpermitted mechanical, electrical and plumbing alterations. “We have two violation cases open on the property,” says Emily Volpert, a senior administrative specialist in communications for BDS. “One has to do with a sign complaint and the other one has to do with unpermitted work in a commercial business.”
Nguyen and Le have yet to respond to the violations, but they’re running out of time.
“We provide a 30-day period to correct these violations,” says Volpert. “If the violations aren’t corrected, we start to bill the property owner. If corrections aren’t made by 90 days, we double the rate.”
And if the radio silence continues by Jan. 2—the date the first bill will be sent to the Revenue Bureau—a lien will be placed on the property. “If they fail to pay a lien, then interest, penalties, etc. would accrue—like if you don’t pay your credit card. A deadline is given when the bill is sent out for how long they have to pay them,” explains Volpert.
For some, no news is good news. A strained relationship between BDS and Secret Rendezvous’ property owners has left the community hopeful, if not confused. “It is unclear what the property owner and/or business owner intend to do, as neither have replied to BDS,” says Annette Stanhope, PNA president, who checked up on the status of the violation letters in December. In early October, before the violations, Stanhope sent a letter to Nguyen with concerns over Secret Rendezvous. The PNA has also been ignored.
Historic Parkrose has also verbalized suspicion over activities at Secret Rendezvous. In September, it designed a Change.org petition opposing the business, which sits .37 miles from Prescott Elementary along a Portland Bureau of Transportation-outlined “Safe Routes to School” path. As of late December, the petition has garnered 211 signatures and counting.
Historic Parkrose chair Samantha Montanaro sticks by the PNA’s letter. “There are no new developments with Secret Rendezvous,” says Montanaro, speaking on further action by Historic Parkrose. “We supported the neighborhood association’s letter and are waiting for a response.”
The first PNA meeting since October is Tuesday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. at Russellville Grange, 12105 N.E. Prescott St. As the last meeting carved out time for updates on Secret Rendezvous, the Jan. 15 meeting will likely be the next public forum on the topic.