Food cart owners facing uncertain future with new downtown devel - KPTV - FOX 12

Food cart owners facing uncertain future with new downtown development

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

For months, some Portland food cart owners have been wondering if a new hotel will push them out of their busy downtown spot, and new renderings of the hotel shed more light on the pod’s future Friday.

Many of the food cart owners and employees at Southwest 10th Avenue and Alder said they’ve heard all the speculation about the future of the carts there but are quick to add that they have no concrete idea of what is actually happening.

“It’s all hearsay, all speculative, we have absolutely no idea what’s happening,” Savor Soup House owner Colleen Schroht told FOX 12.

A number of the carts like Schroht’s have called this pod home for years and have spent that time developing a strong bond with customers.

“I think we are where we are and people know where we are,” she explained.

The new renderings still have to be approved by the city, but they show developers are thinking about food carts as they move forward with their plans.

A project manager at the DLR Group, the firm behind the new development, told FOX 12 the current design would allow four food carts at the 11-story building, which is set to be called Moxy Hotel.

The problem is though that close to ten food trucks currently sit where the hotel would go, meaning more than half would be in search of a new home.

That uncertainty is a big concern for some of the cart owners.

“We would have to reestablish ourselves somewhere,” Schroht said. “Everybody says they have a waiting list, but nobody knows where the waiting list is.”

Some working at the carts believe the businesses can bounce back even if they have to relocate.

"Well I don’t think we’re so nervous because we’re so popular we could move and still bring a lot of customers with us because we’re kind of like a tourist destination at this point,” Nong's Khao Man Gai employee Mattie Riley said. “But we did want to stay here as long as possible because that’s what people expect."

Schroht noted that some of the food carts are currently on a month-to-month lease and can be told to leave at any time.

Developers said that if all goes according to plan the hotel is set to break ground in 2018.

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