A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

The changing face of Pacific/Ninth

Written May 6th, 2015 by Hasso Hering
Auto Zone will go in where Amigos left long ago,

Auto Zone will go in where Dos Amigos left long ago,

Every day for the last few years, thousands of drivers have passed the vacant lot where a Mexican restaurant used to stand between Albany’s Pacific Boulevard and Ninth Avenue. This week we saw something new: Trucks and excavation equipment where for a long time only weeds were to be seen.

Curiosity sent me to the building department at City Hall on Wednesday afternoon. As it turned out, a permit had been picked up earlier in the day for the construction of an Auto Zone store at that very spot, at 1401 Ninth Ave. S.E. This chain outlet, measuring 7,380 square feet and valued for permit purposes at about $653,000, is being built by Corstone Contractors out of Snohomish, Wash.

Years ago the site was occupied by a restaurant named Los Dos Amigos, as a sign still standing Wednesday reminded passersby. At least three other auto parts stores are within about one minute’s drive from this location, but apparently the Auto Zone people thought there was room for one more.

Reopening the restaurant does not appear imminent.

Reopening the Wendy’s restaurant does not appear imminent.

A few yards to the east, the only Wendy’s restaurant in Albany closed a couple of months ago. And if you had hopes, as I did, of somebody reopening the place right away so you could get a junior bacon cheeseburger again, you may be disappointed. A sign has gone up saying the property is available for lease. (hh)

3 responses to “The changing face of Pacific/Ninth”

  1. Shawn Dawson says:

    Wow, a 5th auto parts store within minutes of each other. This doesn’t make sense to me.

    • D Simpson says:

      It makes perfect sense. Just like having all of the grocery stores clustered in the same area of town– including the upcoming Winco. If 90% of the town has to drive 15-20 minutes to select from a handful of grocery or auto parts store, it might start to qualify as a “geographical oddity”.

  2. Brian Holman says:

    Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s natural for cities and towns to be geographically discombobulated because of our locations near rivers, creeks, and in Albany’s case, a railroad line that splits everything. Locations of businesses, big and small, is not a natural or easy decision here, but when a big boy comes to town (Lowe’s), the smaller kids will follow such as Auto Zone. For me, I’m happy to see the SE 9th developed, and next would be SW Pacific that needs a grocery store! Safeway, please be a team member of this city, sell your vacant store and lot, heck, just put in your own Wendy’s franchise there!!


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