Central Eastside 90-day reset over but work is far from done, business owners say

The 90-day reset plan for Portland’s Central Eastside neighborhood is over but there's more work to be done, one business owner tells us.
Published: May. 4, 2023 at 6:13 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — The 90-day reset plan for Portland’s Central Eastside neighborhood is over but coupled with success, there is still more work to do, the executive director of the Central Eastside Industrial Council said.

Monday night, thieves ransacked a shed and stole a propane tank from Gnarly’s food truck on Southeast Oak Street. Owner Chris Hudson said this is the second time within a week that someone’s targeted his business.

“Honestly, I was expecting it sadly enough,” Hudson said.

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Hudson recently moved his food truck from Southeast 82nd to the Central Eastside neighborhood back in March, in the middle of the 90-day reset. He said since he’s new to the neighborhood, he can’t speak on the plan to combat homelessness, crime, and cleanliness in the area. But Hudson said it has been frustrating shutting down over a period of time when his cart gets broken into. The shutdowns have been impacting his bottom line.

“I’ve probably lost a few thousand dollars and then I’ve spent a couple of thousands of dollars of sales in equipment and for things that need the equipment work,” Hudson said.

Care Briglio is the Executive Director of the Central Eastside Industrial Council. She said they hit 95 percent oft their public safety and cleanliness goals for the neighborhood.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge the reality of the central eastside, things are still changing,” Briglio said. “We still need basic city services to be brought back at a level that supports safety in the community.”

There are still initiatives to continue to improve cleanliness and lighting in the area. She said the district is finding down more than 400 trees that will be wrapped in lights. There are also plans to hire security and they’re partnering with Portland Police for a more targeted approach to patrols.

“It takes a village to use that term, to continue the work that the city has initiated,” Briglio said.

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Even though there are areas that still need improvement, Hudson said he loves having his food cart in the Central Eastside.

“Dealing with this stuff is part of living that dream,” Hudson said. “I could work for someone else and have to deal with it, but at least it’s mine.”

Briglio said it’s up to Portlanders to be participants in the community to see the change many are looking for.

“Our city in some ways lacks accountability and that’s what people are wanting and that’s what people are wanting from the local government right now,” Briglio said. “I always say, if something is missing, you have to be that something. You have to pick up and be whatever you’re asking for.”