Mirador, a kitchen and home supply store, and the Red and Black Cafe, a worker- owned coffee shop, have announced their opposition to plans by Portland-based Urban Works Real Estate to develop a new Starbucks in the historic Ladd's Meat building on SE Division at 21st Avenue. |
"We are in favor of a locally-owned, community-based business opening shop in the Ladd's building," said Lynn Hanrahan, co-owner of Mirador. "A Starbucks would be sending money outside the neighborhood, and -- if their record in other neighborhoods is any measure -- would not be the best neighbors to the residents and other businesses here."
"We are also very concerned about the impact a Starbucks would have on an already dangerous intersection at 21st and Division," added Hanrahan. "A Starbucks will attract a lot of quick stop business passing through the neighborhood and make it less livable for area residents."
Urban Works, the manager of the property, and the siter for Starbucks stores in the Portland metro area, has until recently been less than fully honest in communication with the community on the subject of whether it plans to put a Starbucks on the property. According to community activists, Peter Perrin of Urban Works led the Hosford-Abernathy neighborhood association, and the Division Vision coalition to believe that the property would go to a small, local business.
"Now that their intentions have been revealed through media stories," said Sole, a Red and Black employee and co-owner, "there are people who feel they were decieved."
"I called [Urban Works] and asked them if a Starbucks was going in and they said, 'No'," said Steve Hanrahan, co-owner of Mirador.
Neighbors have also taken issue with how the renovation of the Ladd's Meat building has been executed so far, regardless of who ends up occupying it. A story on Portland Indymedia in August 2003, documented in photographs the "sloppily executed" practices that resulted in detritus including old fiber glass insulation from the site being blown all over the street and nearby sidewalks.
People at the worksite were not polite to community members who complained about the trash which was not cleaned up until forced by the city, according to Morgan Miller, an employee and co-owner at the Red and Black. Health and safety were Miller's greatest concerns. "Who knows if there was asbestos in that old building," Miller said. "But the workers were not provided with masks or other protective clothing."
Both Mirador and the Red and Black are reporting a great amount of community opposition to the Starbucks from their customers. Urban Works has presented itself as being a good neighbor that strives to work with communities where it owns property. However, Mirador and the Red and Black warn, that reputation will be lost if it pushes ahead with plans for a Starbucks in Seven Corners.