On Thursday, May 25, Commissioner Dan Saltzman joined project partners at the former site of the Rheinlander restaurant in the Rose City Park neighborhood to break ground on a new health and wellness center that will serve the Hollywood and Rose City communities.
When completed in summer of 2018, the 32,000-square-foot facility at 5035 N.E. Sandy Boulevard, built by Venerable Development, will include modern medical facilities from The Portland Clinic, a nutrition center from Pacific Foods and educational resources from Concordia University. The four local organizations are working together to integrate and improve access to resources that promote a holistic approach for healthy living.
“One of the pillars of our practice is that relationships matter. That includes the relationship between every practitioner and their patients, as well as our relationship with the Northeast Portland community,” said Dick Clark, Portland Clinic CEO. “As a community, we are taking a new approach to health. More and more we see our neighbors focusing on treating the whole self. This space is a great demonstration of that thinking, and we are pleased to partner with some of Portland’s most well-respected brands to bring an even stronger form of healthcare to our neighbors.”
“A partnership like this truly adds to the tapestry that is Portland,” said Saltzman. “The initiative taken by these partners, constructing a centrally-located facility to help our city develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle, is paramount to sustaining a livable, safe and enhanced Portland.”
Venerable purchased the property in September and will serve as developer for the project. SERA Architects designed the building and general contractor Schommer & Sons began site work last month. Schommer & Sons principal Bob Schommer grew up two blocks from the property and the backyard of his childhood home on Alameda Ridge can be seen from the construction site.
“We’re very, very pleased and honored to be part of this project,” said Schommer. “We’re based in Northeast Portland and have been for 80 years. I personally live in Northeast Portland and many of our employees working on this project live in Northeast Portland.”
Venerable has an established reputation for revitalizing spaces that exemplify the city’s culture, including renovations of Washington High School, the White Stag Block and the Telegram Building. The clinic building will emphasize access – offering at least 45 parking spaces and immediate proximity to TriMet – while maintaining the look and feel of the historic Hollywood District. The two residential properties to the north of the project – which were included in the deal – will not be demolished for the time-being.
“We’re going to build a building that will stand the test of time,” said Venerable president Craig Kelly. “I’m really proud of the local economic impact this $15.5M project will have – with over 100 jobs directly impacted by design and construction. Seventy to 80 jobs will work out of this property once she’s online and annually thousands of people will come for high-quality healthcare, nutrition education and high-quality foods, which will include my personal favorite – a meat market with a real butcher. I really look forward to the community visiting this property in the not-too-distant future.”
On the first floor of the building, Chuck Eggert, founder of Tualatin-based Pacific Foods, will launch a new 7,000-square-foot retail concept called “basics.” Basics will offer low-priced, high-quality foods including sustainable meats, basic groceries and meal assembly kits for busy families. They will also provide community education classes on nutrition and meal preparation.
“The inspiration for basics comes from Pacific’s work with Faubion School, where we’ve helped provide nourishing foods to students and their families to make sure kids have the nutrition they need to learn,” said Eggert. “We’ve seen first-hand the power of healthy food and want to expand that work. We’ve been long-time partners with Concordia at Faubion and being part of this project just strengthens our ability to reach people in need.”
Concordia University students are community partners with both The Portland Clinic and Pacific Foods. Nursing students at Concordia have the opportunity to conduct hands-on training through clinic facilities and provide nutritional counseling at Faubion School in collaboration with Pacific Foods. Concordia students will have the opportunity for experiential learning in The Portland Clinic’s new space and will serve as educators in the Pacific Foods classrooms.
For more information, visit www.theportlandclinic.com.