Here's the text of a letter that East Portland Eagles Lodge members received, dated November 29, from the Fraternal Order of Eagles headquarters:
November 29, 2016
Dear Aerie 3256 Members,
Following Section 110.4 in the 2015 Edition of the Constitution and Statutes book, please consider this notice of a special meeting to be held 6pm on Monday, December 12, 2016 in the Aerie meeting room at East Portland FOE Lodge, 4205 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
"Due to the deteriorating condition of our current building and large maintenance bills we keep facing to remain here, we need to discuss selling, and moving to a new location. With dwindling membership this year, going from 144 down to 88, and the fact that we have been approached to sell this location for millions of dollars, we should discuss the benefits of selling, moving and either building new or remodeling in a new location, and then putting $1,000,000 or more in the bank. A vote to sell our current location will be held at this meeting.
Currently, I am looking at property in the East Portland area and I am confident a new location can be found."
After 51 years in the middle of the Hawthorne District, the East Portland Eagles Lodge may soon be sold by the national Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE), members claim.
"Our East Portland Eagles Lodge is in danger of being sold," writes Dawn Panttaja, who identified herself as a former president and current member of the lodge, to lodge members in an email this morning. "The Grand Aerie wants to sell off our building as we have dwindling membership and rising repair costs... and the building location is worth millions of dollars. They say they will use the money to buy another building in East Portland."
"It's definitely up for discussion, I can confirm that," another member tells the Mercury about a potential sale of Lodge No. 3256.
A special meeting for lodge members is scheduled for next Monday evening. Phone messages at the Fraternal Order of Eagles headquarters in Ohio and the East Portland Eagles Lodge (which is not yet open for today) have not yet been returned.
The lodge has been there for since 1965 as a gathering point for its dues-paying members to eat, drink, and have a good time. But with the increasingly valuable real estate that the building and large parking lot are on—on Hawthorne near SE 50th—and decreasing membership, the FOE says now may be the time to sell, Panttaja's email says.
"The Lodge is in the heart of the Hawthorne District," she writes. "It is a large, accessible building with a parking lot and a full bar and kitchen. It is an ideal place for all ages activities in which money is not the bottom line (unlike most bars and rental spaces). On the down side, it does not belong to the people who have paid for it or run it over the years. As a fraternal lodge it is under the jurisdiction of the overseeing organization in, I believe, Ohio. They see our membership dropping (from 144 to 88) and know how much or location is worth in terms of real estate."
We will update this story as more information comes in.