Overlook Neighborhood Update (March 24)

1) OKNA statement on off-road cycling at the Dog Bowl
2) Adidas expansion
3) Overlook Eggstravaganza Easter egg hunt (March 31)
4) Friends of Overlook House seeks part-time night tour guide
5) Share your thoughts about Hazelnut Grove homeless camp

1) OKNA statement on off-road cycling at the Dog Bowl

At the Overlook Neighborhood Association general meeting on Tuesday, residents voted to urge the Portland Parks Board not to support converting the Dog Bowl into an off-road cycling park.

OKNA therefore submitted written testimony to that effect. In addition, OKNA Board Chair Chris Trejbal will attempt to testify at the public hearing on April 3.

Read the full letter and bike proposal here. An excerpt:

Dozens of people visit the Dog Bowl most days. Families and workers at nearby businesses walk its informal trail network, eat lunch, exercise their dogs, have a moment of quiet reflection or simply enjoy the views overlooking the Willamette River, Swan Island and the West Hills. These people come from Overlook and surrounding neighborhoods. Most arrive on foot or by bike. The Dog Bowl is a gathering place, a public commons where neighbors and friends meet to enjoy the outdoors and catch up with each other.

We recognize the need for infrastructure to support the city’s off-road biking enthusiasts, but the Dog Bowl is not a suitable site. Instead, we urge Parks and Recreation to acquire the property and make modest improvements that facilitate walking, running, enjoyment of the outdoors and off-leash dog play.

If plans move forward, it is imperative that a broad community engagement process take place so that the Dog Bowl continues to serve the diverse communities and users who live nearby and who visit this unique corner of North Portland.

2) Adidas expansion

Officials from adidas attended the OKNA meeting on Tuesday to present proposed plans for expansion of their North American headquarters campus in Overlook. Major elements of the plan include:

  • A three-story building with a gym and café where the existing tennis court is.
  • A five-story building with office space with several stories of underground parking where the visitor parking lot near the employee store currently is.
  • A three-story building with additional dining and meeting spaces between the existing black and green buildings on the west side of N Greeley Avenue. A temporary tent is going up to house employee dining facilities until this one is complete.
  • A new loading dock on the west side of Greeley and elimination of the dock on the east side.
  • A realigned entryway into the campus for vehicles.

Also, as previously announced, the employee store will move to Montgomery Park some time around June, and it will remain there permanently.

Officials with the company say that when building is complete they will have enough parking to handle all visitors and employees. Hopefully that will eliminate conflicts on neighborhood streets. The images below show the current campus and the proposed changes. Click on them to enlarge.

Adidas has pledged to keep the neighborhood informed about the project as it moves forward. To keep in the loop, check this weekly neighborhood update and watch for presentations at neighborhood meetings. In the meantime, direct questions to adidas at overlook@adidas.com and to OKNA at chair@overlookneighborhood.org.

3) Overlook Eggstravaganza Easter egg hunt (March 31)

Don’t forget that the Easter Bunny will hop by Overlook House next weekend. Bring your basket to find hundreds of eggs containing treats, treasures and tiny toys on the lawns of Overlook House (3839 N Melrose Dr.). If you discover one of 12 shining Golden Eggs, turn it in to win a special prize.

The hunt will take place on Saturday, March 31, promptly at 10:30 a.m., rain or shine, so wear your raincoat and rain boots if it’s wet. Don’t be late. This popular annual hunt is over in three winks of a bunny’s eye.

The Eggstravaganza is sponsored annually by the Friends of Overlook House especially for Overlook neighborhood children.

4) Friends of Overlook House seeks part-time night tour guide

The Friends of Overlook House, the nonprofit that operates the neighborhoods iconic home on the bluff, seeks a part-time tour night staff person. The right candidate will be a friendly person to oversee the Thursday Tour Night. Open House Hours are 4:50-8:10 (3 hours/week). The wage is $12.75/hour.

Primary duties include showcasing the Overlook House, giving tours, answering questions and light clerical duties. Qualifications include exceptional communication skills and previous customer service experience. Send your résumé or letter of interest to HROverlookHouse@gmail.com.

Questions? Contact Marsha Parks at 503-280-8052 or by email at the above address.

5) Share your thoughts about Hazelnut Grove homeless camp with researcher

Stephen Przybylinski, a doctoral student at Syracuse University conducting a year-long research project on homelessness in Portland, attended this week’s OKNA general meeting to tell neighbors a little bit about his work and to invite residents to share their thoughts about homelessness and the Hazelnut Grove homeless camp in Overlook specifically.

Stephen’s research is examining the more-organized, self-managed encampments throughout the city: Hazelnut Grove, Right 2 Dream, Kenton Women’s Village and Dignity Village. He is interested in speaking with neighbors located near the encampments, ideally with people who have been present for discussions about them, such as with OKNA and Hazelnut Grove.

He would like to interview residents in Overlook who are willing to talk about their experiences and concerns with the operations of Hazelnut Grove, the city’s approach to sheltering individuals in these types of camps, and the larger homeless emergency policies implemented by Portland.

If you’re interested in sharing your thoughts, you can reach Stephen at przybylinski.stephen@gmail.com.

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