A reader noticed construction activity right next to the southbound Albany freeway off-ramp that feeds into Airport Road.
“Building next to Tom Tom Deli,” she emailed me. “Did I miss something? They cut down trees and put in palm trees.”
Palm trees? Yes indeed, as I confirmed when I rode the bike out that way on Thursday.
Actually, I’m not sure they are really palms or just some approximation intended to fit in with our summertime drought.
Either way, the plants decorate the 0.8-acre site of the former Yaquina Bay restaurant, a nice place before it closed. Then it sat empty for years and was eventually torn down.
What’s now going in at 325 Airport Road is a pod for mobile food carts. Plans on file with the city call it “Charli’s on I-5.”
The original site plan approved by the city was a pod with two carts. On Aug. 8 the Albany planning staff approved a modification of the original plan.
The latest version adds four MFUs — that’s “mobile food units” — to the original two for a total of six, plus a mobile “tap room” selling beer and wine.
One of the food carts is already there. It’s called Thai Express, and the approved site plan shows it. The other five units being planned are not idenfitied on the drawings approved by the city.
The food carts are to be placed around the outside of the site, with seating in the center. There will also be a restroom.
The property is owned by a limited liability corporation with members in Salem and Albany. The applicant for the food cart operation is an LLC whose principals are in Albany and Portland.
There’s no word on when the other carts will be ready to join Thai Express. Judging from the stage of construction on the site, it may be weeks or months. (hh)