PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It’s been one of Portland’s most troubled neighborhoods — but now, it looks like Lents in Southeast Portland is making a comeback.
Terry Emmert, a longtime Southeast Portland businessman, has made a big investment to be part of it.
Emmert grew up on 60th and Powell, so he jumped at the chance to buy the 6-acre, former Fred Meyer property on 82nd and Foster.
“I have a lot of faith in Southeast Portland,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I have faith in the growth of the community.”
Emmert is a superstar in the heavy-hauling business.
Emmert International of Clackamas, which has been in business for 50 years, has moved everything from booster rockers for space shuttles to the massive Spruce Goose to the Sellwood Bridge. His business even moved a hotel — the Fairmont in San Antonio — in the 1980s.
Emmert also dabbled in professional sports. He owned Portland’s former arena football team: the Portland Thunder.
Now, Emmert wants to transform the old Fred Meyer into a mecca for Southeast Portland’s Jade District with its high concentration of Asian residents and businesses.
He’s bringing Shun Fat Supermarket of California to establish its first market in the Northwest. Founded by a Chinese-Vietnamese seafood wholesaler in 1993, Shun Fat has 14 supermarkets in California, Nevada and Texas. They’re known for imported Asian food, especially huge tanks of fresh seafood.
“As we went through their stores, and we sampled different things, we’re going ‘Oh my god, this will be an asset to the Portland community,'” Emmert said.
With new developments and improvements around nearby Lents Town Center, Emmert is convinced this part of Southeast Portland is making a comeback.
“I have faith in this area, and I have no concern that this is going to become a real hub,” he said.
Shun Fat is expected to open in January 2019.