Developer drops idea of industrial-area performance venue
A major music venue near Montgomery Park is no longer on the table, a victim of a closer reading of the Portland zoning code.
Langley Development Properties and prospective tenant Monqui Presents learned that their proposed 3,000-capacity space would not be classified as retail but as a music and entertainment use, which cannot occupy more than 10,000 square feet in a General Employment zone. The event space was to be 21,141 square feet.
That’s welcome news to neighbors, particularly residents of Willamette Heights, who rallied against the project, mainly over fears of noise from late-night concerts reverberating off their hillside.
The Northwest District Association also came out against the proposal, though its concerns dealt more with traffic and parking impacts throughout the neighborhood. The developers commissioned a transportation study and proposed a system of signs and flaggers to direct patrons to approach concerts from Northwest Nicolai Street to the north rather than further clogging Northwest Vaughn and residential streets to the south.
NWDA’s Planning Committee passed a motion opposing any accommodation of the project until a master plan that addresses a wide range of potential impacts is approved.
While the performance space is out, Langley is still considering other uses for the property, which has metal-clad warehouses built for the Freeman Implement Co. in 1943. Earlier plans called for Monqui offices and music production studios on half of the parcel.
“We are no longer pursuing the music venue,” confirmed Anna Langley, principal in Langley Development. “As we got further into design, the budget for the project became cost prohibitive.
“The venue was only one scenario we [were] considering. It’s a bummer, since so many venues have closed in recent years. We saw it as a great culture generator for the city, but we also knew there would be many challenges to see to fruition.”