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Seven Corners Area Businesses opposed to plans for new Starbucks on SE Division

SEVEN CORNERS AREA BUSINESSES OPPOSED TO URBAN WORKS REAL ESTATE'S PLAN FOR A NEW STARBUCKS STORE ON SOUTHEAST DIVISION

For more information, contact:
Lynn or Steve Hanrahan at Mirador Community Store, (503) 231-5175
Morgan Miller at the Red & Black Cafe, (503) 231-3899

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.

-30-


This is great... 22.Jan.2004 13:14

lives in the SE 'hood

...that businesses in the area are starting to speak up on this issue. I know from walking around talking to people that's it's not just "the radicals" who are against the Starbucks. It's also business owners, neighborhood association members, and urban planning community activists. Starbucks has got a battle ahead of it here.

7 Corners Localization Initiative Mission Statement 22.Jan.2004 13:51

Adopted 2001

The 7 Corners Localization Initiative is a community group of businesses and neighbors who formed a local organization at 7 Corners with a vision. This is from the By Laws... And may provide some background to those who don't get why Starbucks does not fit in the neighborhood.


Article II: Mission

The purpose of the 7CLI is to enhance neighborhood
livability, and demonstrate the best practices of
social ecology. To preserve the character of the area
as an affordable, working class Main Street. To
organize an open process, by which local workers,
neighbors, and those whose custom it is to be here,
may find agreement on improvements to the area that
enhance its unique character, draw on local talent,
and further local rather than absentee or corporate
interests. To make recommendations and also to take
direct action to implement improvements lead by the
people who will be most affected by the changes. To
involve also nearby neighborhood and business
associations, labor unions, social service agencies,
useful and responsive governmental workers, students,
faith communities, and other folks nearby so that our
work is informed by and welcomes the best efforts of
others. To further discussions of the issues of the
day and citizen organization to address the same. To
encourage worker, tenant, and neighborhood
organization to further ecological wisdom, social
justice, and economic democracy.

Not every corporation is evil 22.Jan.2004 16:18

Aleck Russ aleck_russ@yahoo.com

While it's admirable that Red & Black Cafe wants to bring the community together in one voice against what they perceive is the Evil Empire, I have to say that their anger is completely misplaced. Starbucks is bringing desperately needed jobs to this City, and they are not dead-end jobs like a McDonald's typically brings, but one's of opportunity.

Is anyone aware that they offer health care to all who work a mere 20-hours a week, domestic partnership health care benefits, and opportunities for management training, even for those without college degrees? Add to this the local community volunteer work that is integral to there belief system, and I believe it is pretty hard to make the case that we should do anything other than welcome them with open arms.

As for Red & Black Cafe, they'll survive. In fact they're likely to prosper even more with a Starbucks across the street, given that they offer many things - beer for example - that Starbucks does not. But even if they only sold coffee, they should think about why Tully's in Seattle would have a corporate strategy to plant themselves next to every Starbucks store they can. Maybe there's enough business to go around, and just maybe its time to not see every corporation as evil.

An opportunity to have an employer, who typically refurbishes buildings to inhabit, rather than knocking them down and building them with arches, etc., and especially one who pays their employees well, and with good benefits, is not the sort of opportunity this community should pass on.

Opening raid 22.Jan.2004 16:26

Bill

Starbucks is probably only the first corporate predator seeking to plunder a "unique community atmosphere".

They sell a snake-oil to cure alienation.

Sick of being a robot on the assembly line... come have a coffee, pretend to be a human in a real human community.

When we have sucked the life out of the community, driven the real humans away, we will leave the wreckage behind, and wait for the suckers to creep back and start over.

Sunshine and lollypops 22.Jan.2004 17:06

Spudnuts

>> An opportunity to have an employer, who typically refurbishes buildings to inhabit, rather than knocking them down and building them with arches, etc., and especially one who pays their employees well, and with good benefits, is not the sort of opportunity this community should pass on.

And yet against all reason and common sense this community maintains that they are perfectly content with the non-Starbucks type businesses and the excellent opportunities and much-needed jobs that a magnificent company like Starbucks brings to the neighborhood.

Why is that?

Could it be that just because Starbucks "distributes pastries to a couple of grade schools" (yippee! More saturated fat for the kids!) and "provides high quality jobs" (tell me... which Starbucks do YOU work at?) for perhaps as many as a dozen people that perhaps this is not the entire impact of a Starbucks? Starbucks is like a predator weed, a highly polished ivy which strangles all local vegetation to prep the ground for an invasion of corporate monoculture.

Been to a Starbucks in Denver? Barstow? Galveston? Orlando? Everett? Omaha?

Well, now you can enjoy the exact same fucking drink with the exact same fucking snack on the exact same fucking chair with the exact same fucking music in front of the exact same fucking photograph of the exact same fucking saxophone player ANYWHERE in this great nation.

Wait.

It gets better.

Moscow? London? Sydney? Beijing? Taipei? Munich?

Yes, your experience abroad will be identical to that same great Starbucks experience in Lynnwood, Washington or Glendale, California or Baltimore, Maryland!

You ever drive a highway say... from Tacoma to Everett and pass Starbucks after Starbucks after Starbucks after Starbucks? For a hundred goddamn miles? Doesn't it scare the ever-loving shit out of you that one day you might go from Portland to Boston and pass the same Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Subway, Blockbuster, Taco Bell chain cluster every 8 miles? 3,000 miles. Do the math.

Do you actually spend money to board a plane which will take you from your local corporate chain cluster to an identical chain cluster halfway around the globe?

Maybe that means security to you. Maybe that's happiness as you define it. Predictability. Safety. For the rest of us it's a fucking nightmare. You apply for one of those Starbucks positions and report back to us on your progress up to CEO for one of the most diverse and forward-looking corporations which blesses our planet with its beneficence and paternal loving kindness. The rest of us would just as soon remain in the dark ages where occasionally muffins have a few more or a few less berries (instead of a corporate HQ mandated three blueberries per muffin) and you are apt to get a good cup of coffee as often as bad.

Comment from Red And balck Cafe's web site 22.Jan.2004 17:37

Morgan

Stop Starbucks on Division...

As you may be aware, there is a proposed Starbucks going in at the old Ladd Meat Company Building at the North corner of SE Divison and 20th Ave.

The Red and Black isn't especially worried about competition from Starbucks, we are concerned about the process which allowed Starbucks to be sited and the impact a traffic oriented business will have on the 7 Corners area.

In regards to the permit process, the building's owner, Peter Perrin repeatedly told both the Hosford Abernathy Neighborhood Association and the Division-Clinton Business Association that he wanted local businesses placed in his development and had no interest in a transit oriented business like Starbucks. With these assurances both Associations supported his project.

But evidently Perrin misrepresented his plans. Our question is is this how Portland should develop? Should developers who misrepresent their projects to the neighborhood associations get away with it? Obviously, if they can get away with it, the entire neighborhood based development model that Portland is known and proud of is gone.

Second, if you look at the site, you can see that it is in an extremly bad traffic intersection. According to the plans for the site listed on urban Works web site, traffic leaving Divison Street for the starbucks Parking, will have to leave the lot via 21st Ave. This leaves less than one car length to turn left onto 21st and then left on Divison to rejoin trafic. If there is a car already there on 21st, traffic will be encouraged to turn Right, and go around the block on Sherman, through a congested neighborhood street full of apartments.

Since Perrin told the neighborhood Associations the Ladd Meats project would focus on local business, this wouldn't have been as much of an issue. But Starbucks is obviously locating there to take advantage of the Divison Street traffic, especially the morning commute traffic (see Urban Works spec sheet on the project). Locating a traffic oriented buisness such as Starbucks in this location is bad for everyone.

If oyu are curious about our organizing against Starbucks, visit the portland.indymedia.org website. While we don't agree with everything published there, you'll find updates, leaflets to download, etc.


I'd prefer 22.Jan.2004 20:32

neighbor

this is so anti- jobs, you think that starbucks moving into our neighborhood isn't going to help us? the money people make at starbucks can be spent at local places like red and black cafe, not only that but to the guy who said - whoo hoo, starbucks is going to give pastries to little kids - you know that's a pretty cheap shot. Starbucks has been involved in the AIDS walk, raising money for breast cancer, the people who work at starbucks should be respected bro

Basic Rights 22.Jan.2004 20:51

Dignity for All

I was interested in the background on this, I just found out that Red and Black Cafe doesn't offer their employees health insurance, though they're 'looking into it'. That's interesting. Every Starbucks' provides their people with health insurance, and they have to work to be just as profitable as Red and Black Cafe. Either R&B isn't doing well, or they're keeping a lot of the profits for themselves...not best practices for a local business purporting to have the best interests of the community in mind.

What dignity is there in having an R&B employee not being able to receive good healthcare, even as they work long hours?

Why is Red & Black Cafe so much more concerned about how traffic enters and exits Starbuck's property?

Ant-Jobs? 22.Jan.2004 20:54

7 Corners Neighbor

While I think this last post (anti-jobs) was from a Starbucks Manager or Urban Works Jerk, I think it is important to RE-READ the posts and discuss the real issues...

re: Ant-jobs 22.Jan.2004 21:07

neighbor

i'm neither "7 Corners Neighbor" - i'm a person who has been out of work for almost a year and i need work, without having to go to beaverton or vancouver. it is nice for people in this neighborhood to push out company's like starbucks who offer employment without considering that people in this city need work, really nice.

and really, thanks for caling me a jerk, that was really unneccesary

ant-jobs indeed 22.Jan.2004 23:01

Rosa Luxemburg

What a charming Freudian slip. I don't want an "ant job." I want a job where I have a degree of autonomy and self management. I want a job where I'm more than a statistic in the ledgers of a giant business machine. I want a job where I have solidarity and power with my fellow workers, instead of one where a rigid authoritarian hierarchy has power over me. Starbucks is exactly the opposite: it is precisely an "ant job" for which I have no use. Those of you who want such jobs, you're welcome to them. You won't have to go far to find them. Those of us who don't want them, we plan to keep this neighborhood a haven free of them.

Health care at Starbucks? Benefits? Wages? Anything given to you at the whim of an employer, especially a big and powerful corporation, can be taken away just as easily. Workers who don't organize and fight to keep their benefits will soon see an end of them. Talk to the supermarket workers in California who are being locked out. They'll tell you all about the tender mercies of corporate America and the benefits it provides the proletariat. Talk to the workers at Enron, who saw corporate criminals gut their pension funds overnight.

I guarantee you, any temporary benefits that Starbucks offers at their caprice to some workers will be more than offset by the damage they will do as pioneers in a wave of gentrification-driven rent spikes and working class displacement. I hate to break it to you, but corporations are not your friends.

anti job? 22.Jan.2004 23:03

alex

How is it "anti job" to want a local business in the Ladd Meat building rather than a chain store? The building is being redeveloped and will inevitably become home to some business or other. As community members we should want to see local entrepreneurs move in and make the space work for their workers and the community as a whole. This is a community decision since it has an effect on the community. People in the neighborhood should feel confident enough to voice their will in such matters. With an active community involvement process I'm sure we'll see something far more vibrant than just another Starbucks clone materialize. This doesn't need to become a fight against Starbucks but rather a process to build community. I hope we can all agree that the neighborhood should be the top priority.

Dignity For All? 23.Jan.2004 00:13

Nona Bow

Will the poster of the pro-Star Bucks propaganda please tell us what percentage of Star Bucks workers ACTUALLY get Health Issurance? and how much do the employees pay vis their incomes?

who to contact? 23.Jan.2004 01:43

pK

How does one go about contacting those responsible for this, such as Urban Works? Is there and email address, or phone number? I would like to give them a piece of my mind.

houston, we have found a troll 23.Jan.2004 02:06

careful reader

unless i'm mistaken, "neighbor", "Aleck Russ", and "Dignity for All" are the same person. google doesn't find anything on "Aleck Russ" or the email address either, which makes me wonder. there might be some real sentiments there, but this person has made their singular opposition appear three times bigger that it really is, if my suspicions are true. i read this site a lot and have a pretty good nose for these things.

dignity for none 23.Jan.2004 07:15

wired from too much coffee

I can't say what percentage of Starbucks workers have benefits, but I can say what percentage of Red & Black workers have benefits:

Zero.

Maybe they should organize and strike like at Powell's. Yeah, that'll show the man . . .

We don't want Starbucks, We do want a business. 23.Jan.2004 09:54

jbk

Get a grip. Read, listen, learn, think.

"neighbor" says this is this "is so anti- jobs". That's actually incorrect. We are against a Starbucks for several reasons, we are NOT against a local coffee shop or other indy (locally owned) business opening up. I think it would be great to help a local person start a local coffee shop and employ local people to work in it. The development is large enough for several shops, and as long as they are locally owned and support local businesses once opened - I for one don't have an issue with the project. So, to win this battle is to gain jobs that support the community and to gain new business and help make a great community gathering corner. To loose this battle would be to let Starbucks take 60-70 cents of every dollar spent outside the community and for them to NOT support other local bussinesses with their store (IE printing, fixtures ect.).

The many faces of Aleck Russ 23.Jan.2004 12:53

Spudnuts

I particularly like how after I asked "Aleck Russ" which Starbucks he worked at, there suddenly appeared on this thread an unemployed person who happens to live close to the site of the impending Starbucks and who happened to precisely mirror the sentiments and writing style of our new friend Aleck.

Anyone want to make a wager as to how long it takes for "Kid Who Can't Survive Without Starbucks Pastries" to show up and lend his support for the new Starbucks?

I *NEED* Starbucks pastries! 23.Jan.2004 13:05

Kid Who Can't Survive Without Starbucks Pastries

Hello. My name is um... Timmy.

Timmy... Russ.

And I live in a refrigerator box just down from the site of the new Starbucks. I just want everyone to know that if you don't do exactly what Aleck Russ suggests and let them build that new Starbucks then I will probably never live to see my tenth birthday. Why, you ask? Because I have a rare disorder called... gangrene (it's complicated). This special form of the disease can only be cured by a very specific type of biscotti which can only be found at Starbucks. Further, this biscotti must be aged two full days (and therefore cannot be given to me while fresh). I just want all of you cruel people to know that if this Starbucks is built, Aleck Russ will die.

I mean... TIMMY Russ. Me... Timmy Russ. Not Aleck. Nevermind that part about Aleck (it's the gangrene talking). I've never met Aleck Russ. Sincerely.

If you love small children and puppies (I care for eight of them. They need the biscotti too. They caught the gangrene from me. They're blind) then you will not oppose the construction of this life-giving community center which dispenses health care, job satisfaction, and vitally needed gangrene killing biscotti to homeless children who live just 25 feet from the new Starbucks like me... Timmy Russ.

That is all...

Oh, wait.

My other leg is infected with malaria. It can only cured by wrapping it in Wal-mart shopping bags, a dated receipt, and the original UPC symbols from a box of Pampers, so PLEASE, PLEASE shop at Wal-Mart for my sake. Time is running out. My vision is growing blurry. And I can barely see to finish typing on my 17" Apple Powerbook (last year's model!).

Thank you and God bless.

The Red and Black Workers are the Owners too! 23.Jan.2004 17:09

Let's See that Happen at Starbucks!

Schooling--

The Red and Black is a Worker owned business. They own the product of their labor. At Starbucks, the workers get whatever bones they are thrown. The owners are few and far away, and benefitting from the work of others.

The benefits system at the Red and Black is for the workers to decide. With equitable voices at the table.

Anyone trying to make the case that the workers have it better at Starbucks, get yerself schooled! Without power you are a commodity to hired and fired-- a wage slave.

Deathstarbucks 24.Jan.2004 06:15

CJ-from Boise, Idaho

I used to live in PDX about 15 years ago, and watched my old neighborhood (NW 21st., 23rd) get Starbucked. They are spreading out here in Boise too, pressuring or driving out locally owned businesses. I don't like it so I don't buy their products. I miss the old Portland, the bike shops, record stores, pizza by the slice shops, the HW brewery covering the town with hop odor, and the eclectic little cafes where blue collar and white collar could both feel comfortable socializing, all lined out on a single block. Please try and keep your neighborhood businesses diverse, it's what makes PDX attractive. Is Rimsky Korsacoffee (sp?) still around?

Another coffeeshop would simply be redundant 27.Jan.2004 15:35

rOjOn

I'm a Ladd's Addition resident and have thought about this issue a lot in the past couple of days. A lot of the dialogue posted has been focusing on issues not directly pertaining to whether a Starbucks should move into the neighborhood. Whether or not R&B offers health insurance is irrelevant. Whether or not Starbucks or another business moves in will not affect the employment practices at R&B. From what I have read in the compay's latest prospectus, Starbucks offers some measure of health benefits to all of its employees. While this is commendable it is not immediately relevant to the question of locating Starbucks on the corner. Sadly, few small businesses can afford to offer full medical coverage for all of its employess for free. One comment on the effects of traffic in the immediate vicinity is relevant but I do not see how a Starbucks would significantly impact traffic any differently than any other successful business that moves into the vicinity unless they plan on building their own underground parking lot. Any successful business located there will inevitably draw traffic from outside the neighborhood (even though the bus line stops right on its doorstep). Whether or not Peter Perrin mis-represented his intentions regarding the property is also a separate issue. If true, his actions are disappointing and I encourage HANA and other local community groups to seek some redress for their greivances. Nevertheless, had Mr. Perrin been forthright in presenting the Starbucks proposal we would still need to discuss the very same issues, just sooner rather than later. Whether or not Starbucks harms the perception of the neighborhood is clearly relevant. However, I would avoid trying to paint this as an issue of global takeover by Starbucks, Inc. Ask not if Starbucks is good/bad for the world; rather, as if Starbucks is good/bad for 7-corners. Let Beaverton and Boise and Bulgaria choose for themselves. Whether or not Starbucks would bring jobs to the community is also relevant. I would hope that any business that moves into the space would hire locally but I do not think anybody could guarantee this. How many new jobs would they create for the local citizens is also very hard to say. What's to stop them or any other business from simply transferring workers from other areas; a manager from Seattle, barristas from Gresham, regional distributors from who-knows-where? I would also hope that any business that moves into the area would perform some measure of community service but, again, who can guarantee this? And who could guarantee that the services offered would be strictly local? In my opinion, the one overriding issue is one of redundancy. Seven corners is a neighborhood surrounded by coffee shops; Palio's and R&B are less than 1/2 a mile away just by themselves. There's another Starbucks less than a mile away on Hawthorne. Henry's is close and Pix isn't much further. There's at least 3 others that I know of but can't remember their names but for the fact that there are just so many of them. I see a Starbucks at 7-corners as just another effort to further saturate an already overcrowded local market. I would prefer to see some other business move into the space not because I am against Starbucks as a corporation but because diversity is good for the neighborhood.

Redundant, indeed... indeed 27.Jan.2004 23:23

Matt troutsniffingsod@yahoo.com

As if we need more caffeine in our systems! Or refined sugar. I would, however like more of those plastic smiles that the overworked barista at Starbucks flashes at you as you get your fix.

Starbucks, in my estimation, would be the worst possible kind of business for this location. Aside form all the corporate crap, and business bullying that would go on, is the question of traffic, which I feel isn't getting enough play. This is an intersection that needed to be helped as it was. Now we plan to make it worse?

Firstly, have you been around 21st and Division between the hours of 7 and 8 am? It's not as bad as 21st and Powell or some other hot spots, but it is also skinnier than most intersections that take that much traffic. Have you been near a Starbucks between the hours of 7 and 8 am?

Secondly, look at the parking. There is no on street parking like at many of the other ( many other ) 'Bucks in the world. The nearest on street parking is on the street previously mentioned where all the apartment buildings sit. Streets like that are crowded already due to many tenants using up the spaces.

Thirdly, the parking lot will be difficult to enter and to exit. It will probably be a " Right Turn Only " exit.

If you don't want to go The Red and Black because you're worried that all the employees are sick and will cough in your coughee ( organic and fair trade, mind you! ) then pull your lazy ass up to K&F or one of the other million shops in the area.