address: 7421 N Denver Ave.
Year Built: 1916
market price: $ 1,000,000
Owner: Farmers Barn LLC
Time since empty: 4 years or more
Empty reason: Failed nightlife ambitions, successful squatters
In 2018, the owner of Farmer’s Barn passed away and the neighborhood dive bar on North Lombard Street closed.
The building was purchased the following year by California developer Tim Brown for $720,000. In 2021, he enlisted his son and a local music promoter to help with the project. Whatever plans they had in mind for what their neighbors called a “sleepy, stocky” bar quickly fell apart. The new owner was unable to sell it and instead let it rot.
Meanwhile, a new regular came in.
On Saturday, a man was sleeping on the sofa inside. The hole from the floor to the basement was burning. The walls were covered in graffiti, and the building’s wiring, furniture, and appliances had been looted by thieves.
The marquee outside calls it the Boom Boom Room. And the building and the land around it are among the most entrenched in the area, making it a dangerous homeless encampment, according to neighbors.
Postman Robert Squires, who lives two doors down from the bar, says people in the camp pulled guns on him twice. “It’s surreal. It’s scary,” he says.
For a while, a man repaired a dilapidated building to look like a thrift shop, what a neighbor said was stolen goods. Did. The owner has boarded the back wall, but the front door remains unsecured.
The land is now used as a local dumping ground, and some people drive off the piles of unwanted clothes on the sidewalks and streets.
Over the years, Arbor Lodge neighbors have gone to every city hall imaginable for help. they called the police. They called the fire department. They filed a code complaint.
“Over the years, the only people who have answered my calls are firefighters because smoke billows from inside,” Squires says.
Meka Webb lives right next door to the bar and her home office overlooks an alley full of tents. Fires almost every night scare her, especially when she’s in an abandoned building.
However, calling 119 will not help. In fact, she says, the police told her to stop.”I’m scared to leave her house,” she says.
At one point, the city posted a large red “U” sign in front of the former tavern. This indicated that firefighters decided the building was too dangerous for firefighters to enter.
Since then, however, the city appears to have done little other than notify the building owners.
Two complaints filed with the city’s Department of Development Services in early 2022 were resolved within months.
Eric Marentett sent city officials a series of emails asking why they hadn’t done more. In May, city inspectors said they ordered the owner to board the bar. Notices were sent to owners in late July,” wrote the city manager of the property compliance department.
It turns out that city officials aren’t the only ones trying to contact the building’s owner.
Their broker, Jason Van Abrams, has been trying to sell the building for the past year, to no avail. did,” he says.
The listing expired and VanAbrams has not been in touch with the owner since. “They are stuck in this derelict property. They can’t do anything with it,” he says.
For the past year, the shell of what was once Farmer’s Barn was owned by a limited liability company founded by Brandon Brown. His two members are Tim Brown and Michael Quinn, who is a music promoter and one of his founders of the Dougfer Lounge.
The LLC will be dissolved in 2021.Neither Brandon nor Quinn responded. WWcall.
Tim Brown told WW by phone that he no longer owns the building, having been “purchased by my partner.”
“I made a mistake with the person who commented, but I recommend that you consult with the city hall,” he said.
On Wednesday, Dusty McCord, vice president of the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood Association, did just that.
“The current situation is nothing short of a disaster that has plagued our neighborhood for over a year,” he told leaders at last week’s city council meeting.
And this time, the neighbor’s plea seems to have found a sympathetic ear.
“Don’t go anywhere,” Mayor Ted Wheeler told McCord. “I know I have a lot to say on this subject.”
they did For about ten minutes, the mayor and city commissioners took turns telling McCord they were aware of the problem and did everything they could to fix it.
That very day, the Department of Development Services asked the Multnomah County Circuit Judge for an executive order. If permitted, the city can enter and fence buildings without the owner’s permission.
The timing was “absolutely coincidental,” said Ken Lay, a spokesman for the station. “The warrant was being processed for some time,” he says. This is the result of another annoying complaint that has been open since July.
Marentette is encouraged but skeptical. “This is after months of literally begging them to escalate this situation. They finally did, but it does not guarantee a good outcome,” he wrote in an email. WW.
Even trespassers are happy that the city has managed the mess.
“People just throw their shit through here,” says Rich, a former shipyard worker who lives in a tent in the alley. He refused to give his last name, but he said he was addicted to methamphetamine and had been on the streets for six months.
He burns fire to stay alive. His fingers were frostbitten in his December cold snap. However, he does not want to move to the shelter for fear that his own belongings, his bike and generator, will be stolen. “There is security in numbers,” he says.
every week, WW Investigate a mysterious vacant property in the city of Portland, explain why it’s empty, and see what’s coming next.Send address to email@example.com.