Local deli to close after two decades

The Sixth Avenue Deli & Market Place is scheduled to close its doors at the end of July after selling its lot space to Sixth Group, LLC, a local land development company.

The Sixth Avenue Deli & Market Place is scheduled to close its doors at the end of July after selling its lot space to Sixth Group, LLC, a local land development company.

Sixth Group member Rob Justus said that the group may develop condominiums on the lot, and is currently talking with groups of investors and other developers to determine the best use of the lot space. He said that there is “definitely a leaning” toward workforce housing, housing designed for employees of nearby businesses.

The deli, located on the corner of Southwest Sixth and College near the Broadway and Ondine housing buildings, has been a popular hangout for Portland State students, according to Ammar Makboul, son of the deli’s owner, Awai Makboul.

Makboul, a regular night clerk at the deli, said that he has enjoyed working at his father’s shop for many years, and that he will miss working in the heart of the PSU community.

The deli has been open for over 20 years, Makboul said.

“It’s been a pretty good run,” Makboul said. “I like working with the students and there are so many people that I’ll miss seeing regularly.”

Students have been the shop’s key demographic, Makboul said. Broadway resident Christian Striker, 20, said that he enjoys going to the deli’s hookah lounge a few times each month, and that he will miss it.

“It’s been nice having a place to chill right next to my dorm room,” Striker said. “It’ll be sort of lame to see it close down.”

Makboul said that the family does not have any current plans to relocate the shop, but it will be open for business through the end of June. Store furniture and equipment will be sold privately as the vacancy deadline approaches, he said.

There may be a store-closing party on the lot before they vacate, Makboul said.

The PSU Facilities and Planning department said that although they own and operate most of the block space around Southwest Sixth Avenue and Southwest College Street, they do not intend to add the deli lot space to their controlled properties.

Similarly, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) does not intend to oversee the development on the lot, according to PDC spokesman Shawn Uhlman.

Justus said that Sixth Group’s development plans for the lot are not definite, and that specific details about the potential condominiums will not be available until later this year. Scheduling for the development of the lot is still uncertain because of a large number of variables, Justus said.

“It’s still in the early phases of planning, so we don’t know exactly what will go on the lot,” Justus said.

Myhre Group Architects is the architect of record for the lot space and possible condominiums. An architect of record is the group responsible for the architectural planning and management of an area being developed.

The area around PSU has become a popular market in recent years, according to associate Brian Laramee of Myhre Group, an outfit responsible for Sixth Group’s architectural planning.

City of Portland workers in particular may become a focus for the potential housing units, according to Laramee. There is a city of Portland building located at 1900 S.W. Fourth Ave., and if condominiums are indeed built on the Sixth Avenue lot, some of the units could be used to offer city workers downtown housing, Laramee said.

“I think the area holds a great deal of market potential,” Laramee said. “It’s still all too early to say for sure, but we’ll be working with the developers and city planners to make the best of this opportunity.”