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Dollar Outlet destroyed, fire under investigation


Businessman Bryan Ableidinger stands in front of what remains of the burned building that his family owns in Parkrose. A July fire destroyed most of the interior of the building.
It was a fire whose smoke could be seen for literally miles.

On July 8, a two-alarm fire at the Dollar Outlet Warehouse destroyed the building and contents, valued at over $1 million, located at 10643 N.E. Sandy Blvd. in the heart of Parkrose.

The Portland Fire Bureau is still investigating the cause of the blaze. They have a strong suspicion it is arson.

Firefighters responding to the location after the first alarm sounded shortly after 9 p.m. found the building completely engulfed; soon after the roof collapsed. Over 50 firefighters were called to the site, with the fire brought under control around 10:30 p.m.

The Ableidinger family owns the building. Bryan Ableidinger and brother David Ableidinger operate the adjacent Parkrose Hardware store at 10625 N.E. Sandy Blvd.

Last year West Linn resident Kerry Walczyk leased the first floor of the building for the Dollar Outlet, which opened in October.

The Ableidinger’s parents built the original Parkrose Hardware in 1978 at the site of the now completely gutted building. In 1994 the Ableidinger brothers opened their new store next door.

For Bryan Ableidinger, it’s a double loss.

First, there is of course the ruination of a busy retail business right on Sandy Boulevard. That’s 10,000 square feet of retail space no longer operating along the bustling boulevard.

But secondly, Ableidinger emphasized, Parkrose Hardware was still using the basement of the former hardware store for storage, and had done so continuously since the store was built in 1978. That space, sitting precisely under the footprint of the burned building, was valuable storage.

“We’ve lost 10,000 square feet of warehouse space that was full of hardware items,” Ableidinger said, “so now we’re having to use temporary storage. It’s a major to challenge to operate our store using only temporary storage.”

As for the future, Ableidinger was cautiously optimistic.

“We are evaluating the structural integrity of the building,” he told the Memo. “We’ve met with architects and structural engineers to determine the possibility and process of rebuilding the existing building.”

Ableidinger said that although what was wood burned in the building, there’s still the concrete-enclosed daylight basement, and some of the walls are also concrete.

“Our goal is to rebuild something,” Ableidinger said. “If this building has to come down, we’d like to build more retail space in Parkrose.”

But the Parkrose businessman said there are many issues to resolve before, “we can determine which direction we’re going to go.

“One of the big discussions is what the city of Portland will allow,” he stated. “They have many unusual and unusable ordinances on new buildings that make it very difficult to develop real estate in Portland. They have very difficult rules for a developer.”

Bottom line: Although building professionals are on site now, Ableidinger stated that there wouldn’t be anything built “by the end of the summer.”
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