What’s going on with that grocery store on Southeast Belmont? Who’s moving into that empty office space downtown? Why are they building that right there?

Portland’s bustling real estate scene prompts all kinds of questions about just what, exactly, is going on. And here at the Portland Business Journal, we hear a lot of those questions — and also find out plenty of answers to them.

This new feature, PDX Real Estate Insider, looks to find out even more of the good stuff in Portland real estate — confirming rumors in this chatty market, keeping an eye on all kinds of new projects and giving our readers a look from the inside. Watch for it every Wednesday.

And if you have tips, questions or curiosities of your own to share, please do.

Coworking craze

Even though it’s still less than 1 percent of office square footage in Portland, coworking space has taken off here in recent years. Companies like TENpod, CENTRL Office and the giants WeWork and Regus have all added space within the past year. Now, another heavy-hitter in the coworking space is reportedly coming to town. Industrious, a Brooklyn-based company with more than 30 locations in the U.S. — and a fresh $80 million series C round of funding — is close to signing a local lease. Exactly where remains a mystery, but an announcement should be coming soon.

Where’s H MART?

Last summer, residents of the Sunnyside neighborhood of Southeast Portland who’d been missing the Belmont Zupan’s market after its closure in January perked up with the news that Asian grocery H MART would be moving in. At the time, H MART said it planned to open in the first quarter of 2018. Granted, there’s still a few weeks left in the quarter, but according to our tech reporter, Malia Spencer, it doesn’t look like much has been happening in the space. However, in an email a few weeks ago, Urban Works Real Estate, which handled the lease with H MART, said the market still expects to open “sometime this quarter.”

From tacos to . . .?

In early January, the last two locations of the Original Taco House restaurants, owned by the Waddle family who founded the business in 1960, closed up shop for good. In a letter at the time, the family simply reported that, “There is simply no Waddle left to greet our customers with the warm sincere welcomeness that has been our family’s most essential ingredient since the beginning of our time.” There’s been no word yet on what might become of the two locations. One, at 3255 N.E. 82nd Ave., is owned by local real estate company North Rim Development Group and reportedly has construction fencing up around it. The second, at 3550 S.E. Powell Blvd., is co-owned by Powell Blvd. Property LLC and N&NRES VIII LLC, the latter of which is headed up by Mark New of New & Neville Real Estate Services. The Powell location is a prime one on a buzzing stretch not far from Hopworks Urban Brewery and a forthcoming Target that should open this summer.

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