Editor’s note: the audio for this segment has been edited.
In the month since Trader Joe’s withdrew from the planned development on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Alberta Street in Northeast Portland, neighbors, business owners and some civic groups have been at odds. Members of the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) were on our show yesterday, talking about the neighborhood meetings they’ve held and their vision for moving forward. They said the issues they had with the development had nothing to do with Trader Joe’s itself, and everything to do with the lack of community input in the process.
Others in the community — and on our our comment thread — blame the group for causing the store to pull out. They say this is about Trader Joe’s, along with the benefit the grocery store chain would have brought to the community. They also blame PAALF — and the media at large — for not reflecting what they say is overwhelming community support for the store.
- Adam Milne: Owner of Old Town Brewing Company, adjacent to the empty lot at NE MLK Jr. Blvd & Alberta St.
- Fred Stewart: President and broker of Stewart Group Realty and long time resident of inner Northeast Portland