EASTPORT PLAZA
Southeast 82nd Avenue and Southeast Holgate Boulevard
Portland, Oregon

Portland's second shopping mall was built on a 28 acre plot, located 4.9 miles southeast of the center city. The site, in the Lents community, had been the A.V. Folkman farm. It was bought by the Pacific Coast League Portland Beavers baseball team in 1945, with plans for an eventual stadium.

The stadium plan never panned out. The property was acquired by the US National Bank in 1955, who sold it to three San Francisco-based developers; Julius Fligelman, E. Phillip Lyon and Edward Meltzer. They hired Los Angeles' Robert J. Meyer & Associates to design a single-level, open-air mall. Ground was broken for EASTPORT PLAZA October 20, 1959.

A 5 million dollar shopping center was dedicated October 27, 1960. Encompassing 286,000 leasable square feet, EASTPORT PLAZA housed thirty-nine stores and services. A 2-level (90,000 square foot), Portland-based Lipman & Wolfe anchored the complex. Other major stores were a 2-level (30,000 square foot) J.C. Penney and 2-level J.J. Newberry 5 & 10.

Charter tenants included Fabric House, Pay 'n Save Drug, Leeds Qualicraft Shoes, Lerner Shops, US National Bank and an S & H Green Stamps Redemption Center. A bell carillon at the mall played throughout the business day.

Shopping malls in the immediate vicinity were LLOYD CENTER (1960) {4.4 miles northwest} and MALL 205 (1970) {1.5 miles northeast}.

EASTPORT PLAZA was renovated in the late 1970s; probably being fully enclosed at this time. A 1-level (55,100 square foot), Wilsonville, Oregon-based G.I Joe's Sports & Automotive was built in the northeast parking area, which was joined to the existing mall by a 35,700 square foot addition.

The G.I. Joe's store opened for business in March 1979. With the new mall space, EASTPORT PLAZA housed approximately 376,800 leasable square feet. Lipman & Wolfe, now known as simply Lipmans, was shuttered in the summer of 1979 and re-opened, as a Hayward, California-based Mervyn's, October 3 of the same year.

In September 1982, a large waterslide, known as The HydroTubes, was installed just outside the G.I. Joe's mall entrance. The attraction was eventually shut down by lawsuits filed by parents of children injured during waterslide mishaps.

EASTPORT PLAZA began to decline after the 1981 completion of CLACKAMAS TOWN CENTER {3.6 miles south, in Clackamas}. The older mall held on for some years, but the 1986 defections of Mervyn's, J.C. Penney and Albertsons were nails driven in its proverbial coffin.

It appears that J.J. Newberry bailed out in the early 1990s, leaving only G.I. Joe's and eleven inline stores in business...one of these being Tower Records. A redevelopment was announced in April 1995. The mall was demolished the following year, leaving G.I. Joe's and two smaller peripheral structures standing.

A power center was built, anchored by the existing G.I. Joe's. A 1-level (137,000 square foot) Wal-Mart SuperCenter was dedicated October 29, 1997. The Century 16 Eastport Plaza megaplex opened for business November 12, 1998. EASTPORT PLAZA now encompassed 406,600 leasable square feet and contained thirty-five stores and services.

A few changes have been made since the power center was completed back in the late 1990s. G.I. Joe's closed in March 2005. Its space was divided between a (35,000 square foot) Jo-Ann Fabrics Superstore and (20,600 square foot) Ross Dress For Less.

The megaplex cinema became a Cinemark venue in 2006. Albertsons pulled out the mall (again) in September of the same year. Its space became an LA Fitness in August 2008. WalMart (now spelled sans-hyphen) expanded their EASTPORT store by 22,000 square feet. Its grand re-opening was held November 14, 2012.

Sources:

preservenet.cornell.edu/publications/Longstreth Branch Store.doc
http://www.eastportplaza.com
http://blogswweek.com
The Oregonian
http://eastportplaza.blogspot.com
www.cinematreasures.org
Comment posts by "Mario", "BubbaBeat" and "Ben"
http://www.loopnet.com