Is that the smell of freshly roasted coffee?
Ava Roasteria, a Beaverton-native coffee house chain is moving its headquarters to downtown Tigard on Main Street.
On forgotten lands across from Cooper Mountain Ale Works and adjacent to Fanno Creek, this coffee roaster will soon start construction on a brand new four-story multi-use structure, including, retail spaces, offices and single bedroom apartments. This will also serve as the brand’s main roasting and baking facility with a new café and tasting branch for customers to enjoy.
Currently, Ava is roasting out of a small building in Beaverton off Southwest Hall Boulevard across from their initial store which opened in 2006. Since then, they opened three more coffee houses in Lake Oswego, Hillsboro and Progress Ridge.
However, their first store, like their newest Main Street endeavor, lays on a so-called brownfield. Brownfields are previously developed plots of land that sit idle, under-utilized and are possibly contaminated, with potential health risks to the surrounding community.
Developing and cleaning these brownfields have become somewhat of a business mission for Ava Roasteria’s president and owner Amy Saberiyan, who has an extensive background and doctorate in environmental engineering.
“Basically, the economic value of the whole neighborhood goes down and they pose a health hazard,” Saberiyan said. “So, I felt this would be a contribution to each community we go to. [On Main Street], this was the second brownfield that came along and now that’s kind of our business mission. We would like to expand and grow into this kind of property.”
However, this project isn’t quite so recent. Work on the grounds of the company’s new Tigard location initially started in 2012 with three Saxony-Pacific properties.
Having been vacant for several years, a conducted study found unhealthy levels of contamination on the property grounds, which according to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), were either caused by surrounding businesses or previous businesses on the site.
Nonetheless, the City of Tigard’s urban renewal agency acquired the site and began clean up and demolition.
“With the unknowns about potential contamination and complexity of the site it is unlikely that a private developer would have risked acquiring the property. It required the intervention of the City’s urban renewal agency,” said City of Tigard project redevelopment manager Sean Farrelly. “We received the grant in 2016. Cleanup took about two years. The buildings were demolished, and 16 cubic yards of contaminated soil were removed.”
Since then, not much had changed on the property, at least to the eye. Since 2017, Ava Roasteria has been working behind the scenes in agreement with the City to create a large 32,000 square feet multi-use structure.
The first floor will house four retail spaces – all of which will be used by Ava Roasteria. This includes a branch of their coffee house, their new main bakery and roasting facility along with an undecided space possibly used for packaging and bottling.
The second floor will provide office space for the company, and the top two floors will hold a combined 22 single bedroom apartments.
Outside will bring a patio overlooking the adjacent creek and a possible water feature lining Main Street.
“Our personal touch was the plaza and the water displays in front of the plaza there to make it more pleasant and welcoming to the community,” Saberiyan said. “It’s going to be a mixture of plants, water displays and lights. So, we’re trying to make it stand out.”
With such a large multi-use structure for the downtown sector, parking remains a concern. However, this specific project will provide 14 new off-street parking spaces.
“Originally, we thought we could have underground parking, but with that site being in a brownfield zone, that wasn’t feasible,” Saberiyan said, “but because we’re close to the Max and public transportation, I don’t think that there are a whole lot of concerns. We’re hoping that we can get some shared parking in the future with nearby properties.”
Farrelly also told Tigard Life that a parking study was conducted which supported the amount of new parking.
“The parking study showed at this particular section of Main Street, parking is most heavily used on weekdays during lunch time,” he said. “The parking study also showed there is available parking in lower demand areas of Main Street.”
Ground has yet to be broken, but building permits have been issued and construction is set to begin between spring and mid-summer 2021, with completion coming in late 2022.
“The site background and its location next to Fanno Creek offered many challenges to overcome,” Saberiyan said. “Needless to say, the pandemic is adding difficulties to our schedule. … A great deal of financial resources and talented minds shaped this project to be an icon for the Tigard community.”