The Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp could soon move to a little-noticed city-owned parking lot along Southwest Naito Parkway.
Portland city officials are considering moving the camp from its controversial Old Town/Chinatown location to an 42,000-square-foot parking lot at 1720 SW Naito Parkway, according to multiple city officials.
The city-owned lot functions as both a parking spot for parks bureau vehicles and a lightly-used paid public parking lot that charges $12 a day.
Commissioner Amanda Fritz has worked for years to find a new home for the camp, but a state land-use decision squashed her and Mayor Charlie Hales' effort to move the camp to an industrial zone in the Central Eastside.
The Portland Development Commission plans to close on a more than $1.2 million deal to buy the Chinatown property by April 7, but spokesman Shawn Uhlman said the commission may reconsider if the camp is not vacated by then.
With the April deadline approaching, Fritz looked to the Naito Parkway parking lot, owned by Portland's Parks & Recreation Bureau that she manages.
Fritz declined to comment.This aerial view of the long, narrow city-owned lot shows its location between Naito Parkway (labeled Pacific Highway W) and Harbor Drive. The property is completely surrounded by streets and greenery. The lot contains a pedestrian through-way connecting Montgomery Street in the South Waterfront to Portland State University and other parts of downtown.Google Maps
Stretching between SW Market St. and SW Harrison St. on Naito, the lot is across Naito Parkway from a Mercedes-Benz dealership but does not directly abut any business or residential property. It is mainly surrounded by streets and greenery. Since it is below the grade of Naito and far above Harbor Drive, which borders it on the east, passersby have limited ability to see the land. It is within eyesight of the waterfront Marriott Hotel and a few other businesses.
The pay-to-park lot used to charge the public $8 a day to park, but raised its prices to $12 by June. The 50 percent price increase caused a significant decrease in use, giving the parks department a stronger argument for repurposing the property.
NOTE: This post has been updated to correct the size of the lot.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.