From new MAX stops to the opening of an apartment building with nearly 1,000 beds, Portland State’s south campus area has been rapidly growing over the past year—but it’s not done yet.
With an eight-story, 129-bedroom mixed-use building at Southwest Fifth Avenue and College Street and three new eating—and one drinking—option on the ground floor of University Pointe just next door, the changes to this far end of campus are still coming.
Under construction at University Pointe are Einstein Bros Bagels, TartBerry Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt and Joe’s Burgers.
Of the three, Joe’s Burgers should be the first one students see, as it’s slated open in the first part of November, said Brian Johnson, project manager for Walsh Construction, which also built University Pointe.
A local chain with three current locations, Joe’s serves made-to-order burgers, fries, hot dogs and shakes, using local ingredients when possible and utilizing compostable service ware, according to their website. This location will include a lounge, beer and wine, free Wi-Fi, docking and charging stations and a late-night walk-up window.
As for Einstein Bros, Johnson said he believes that construction has just begun and could roughly be done by December. The chain already one location on campus in Smith Memorial Student Union, operated by Aramark food services.
Locally owned TartBerry, whose yogurt is Kosher-certified, currently has one location downtown and is planning to open on December 1, said Douglas Schmitt, employee and husband of owner Valerie Schmitt.
Doing as much of the work as they can themselves can cause some hiccups, but Schmitt said they’ve been getting great support from the city and staff at University Pointe. “The city’s been blessing us with quick permits and inspections.”
Schmitt said the couple decided to open a location on campus based on the warmth the students have given them at their first location, near the Portland Art Museum, and a good relationship with the PSU Foundation. “It’s a healthful food product and a lot of fun versus a bar,” he said, noting the location should be open until about midnight.
Meanwhile, across Southwest Fifth Avenue, another apartment building is just beginning to rise. Geared toward students, the site is not, however, associated with PSU, and the bedrooms in its 54 units will be priced at market rates, said Tom Sheridan, vice president of operations for Pavilion Construction. Current plans have the first floor containing two retail spaces, with talk about a GNC and a convenience market occupying them, Sheridan said. He added that construction was going well so far and should be finished by August, 2013.
Another possible future construction site is the former market by the Broadway building on Southwest Sixth Avenue and Southwest College Street, which has served as headquarters for Walsh Construction during the building of University Pointe and Joe’s Burgers. The building is scheduled to be mothballed after construction finishes across the street. Johnson said that at one point, before the recession, the owner was considering developing it for retail use, which could still be a possibility.