PORTLAND, Ore. – An 87-year-old funeral home in Northeast Portland has been torn down by a Phoenix-headquartered multifamily development company, to be replaced by nearly 200 residential units.
Located at 20 NE 14th Ave. in the Kerns neighborhood of Northeast Portland, the building was constructed in 1930. It sat on a block bordered by Northeast Sandy Boulevard, 14th Avenue, Burnside Street, 15th Avenue and Couch Street, and its address is sometimes listed as 80 NE 14th Ave.
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The 87-year-old building was formerly home to Caldwell’s, Hennessey, Goetsch & McGee Funeral Home.
Until March, the entire block was owned by SCI Oregon Funeral Services Inc., registered at an address in Houston, Texas. SCI, or Service Corporation International, is the largest provider of death care services in the country.
As reported by the Portland Chronicle last April, in 2016 the city received an early assistance application for development at the address of the funeral home. The application described a six-story mixed-use building with 190 residential units and 100 parking spaces, as well as retail space on the ground floor.
At that time, readers and SCI employees expressed doubt the property would be demolished and questioned the veracity of the story.
On March 30, 2017 the county recorded a sale of the property for $9 million from SCI Oregon Funeral to Burnside Investors LLC, which is registered to Invesco Real Estate listed at a Dallas, Texas address.
Earlier that month, the city received an application to demolish the 87-year-old funeral home. The permit was issued the same day.
Last fall the city received an application to build a 197-unit six-story apartment complex on the property. The applicant was Mike Montgomery of Simpl Home Designs (sic), and the contractor was listed as Alliance Pacific Northwest Builders LLC, registered at a Phoenix address.
The permit indicates the ground floor will be used as retail space, with residential units on the upper floors.
On May 5 the construction permit was issued. Records show Burnside Investors LLC is now listed at a Phoenix address near Alliance Pacific Northwest Builders LLC.
Before it went dark, the now-demolished funeral home’s website indicated that “the colonial architecture and luxuriously landscaped grounds have made us a Portland landmark for over eighty years. The interior of the funeral home features three grandfather clocks, beautiful antique furniture and a sweeping circular staircase, giving it a restful home-like setting.”