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Portland Tribune: Battle Over Trader Joe's, Gentrification simmers

Pamplin Media Group | Jan. 30, 2014 9:40 a.m. | Updated: Jan. 31, 2014 9:52 a.m.

Contributed By:

Steve Law

Jockeying continues over Portland Development Commission’s plan to lure a Trader Joe’s grocery to Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Alberta Street, which has become a lightning rod for concerns about gentrification of the area.

On Thursday, critics of PDC’s plan issued a press release announcing a Monday press conference to call for alternative uses of the property. The critics, including a group called the Portland African American Leadership Forum, argue that a Trader Joe’s will further gentrification of the area, and they are pressing for alternate uses of the site, such as affordable housing.

The five-person PDC board agreed in November to give agency Executive Director Patrick Quinton authority to negotiate sale of the 1.8-acre site to Majestic Realty. The California developer expects to be able to land Trader Joe’s to the site, made possible because PDC offered a below-market price for the land. A second building that might house four to 10 small businesses also is envisioned.

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