3500 NE MLK: the Fremont Building

For a long time, this property at Fremont and MLK contained a closed grocery store, the King Convenience Mart, and a sign that announced periodic neighborhood meetings to discuss what to do with the property. Last year, developers took hold of it, and built a brick office building on the corner, in tandem with eight townhouses behind it, stretching from Grand and Fremont, north on Grand (these townhouses are still under construction).

The building, with commercial on the ground floor and office space to lease above, attracted just one tenant, Terroir, a wine bar/restaurant, that was opened by Stu Stein, in May 2007. Stein blogged about his new restaurant for Restaurants and Institutions website, and was himself the subject of blog posts by others. In short, Terroir lasted from May 2007 to February 1, 2008; Stein was widely condemned for plagiarizing other food writers’ work to find blurbs to promote his own restaurant on his blog, as the Willamette Week wrote about shortly before Terroir closed.

Now things are about to change for the “Terroir” building:

Portland Team Fitness has moved in and is setting up shop.

Owned by Alayne Rowan, the gym intends to “inspire and educate all populations to lead a healthier life through movement, play, creativity, and the outdoors. At Portland Team Fitness we strive to bring families and friends together through health and fitness so that everyone can experience a more fulfilling quality of life,” according to the mission statement on its website.

This mission is markedly different than that of 24 Hour Fitness, whose proposed location on MLK and Alberta seems perpetually under discussion; and different again from that of Crossfit Human Evolution Labs, the workout facility at 4830 NE MLK, which conducts “boot camp” sessions over several weeks for small teams of ten, concentrating on intense exercise regimens and lifestyle changes (according to Scott, a former roommate of mine who wimped out halfway through one of Crossfit’s boot camps).

Crossfit H.E.L.’s nondescript exterior:

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