Trader Joe’s grocery store on Monday withdrew its plans to build on an empty lot in Northeast Portland.
The city had negotiated a sale of about two acres to a California developer which planned to put Trader Joe’s on the site. A number of community groups criticized the deal, saying it didn’t fit the historically minority community.
One of the groups that spoke out against the deal was the Portland African-American Leadership Forum.
Cyreena Boston Ashby, with that group, told OPB’s Think Out Loud that the dispute is not against Trader Joe’s.
“They’re effectively pulling out,” she said. That “doesn’t necessarily change our position in what we were really hoping to do, which is to really put the community again in a process to speak on a piece of land that really should be planned by their own desires and what they want for the future.”
In a statement, Mayor Charlie Hales’s office and the Portland Development Commission called the reversal a loss for Portland and said that they’ll work with the relevant groups to find a solution.