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-   -   Rose Quarter Redevelopment (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=152548)

zilfondel Jun 14, 2008 7:03 AM

I saw a tourist group of people - around 50 - along Waterfront park today. Eh, not really surprising actually... I've seen smaller (10) groups in the Pearl too.

cab Jun 14, 2008 2:57 PM

There has been a lot more tourist of late (thank the NYT) but they aren't coming to see a programmed mall, they are coming because PDX is offering an authentic experience. That is our main selling point. It would be a huge mistake to start playing the "keep up with the Jones" game now. We simple cannot play on that level (why would we want to anyway) Portland is not about one big destination spot, its about the little small surprises you find while exploring the city. Its a place to explore on your own, not a cattle drive to a group think experiment with flashing lights and booze.

IHEARTPDX Jun 14, 2008 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MarkDaMan (Post 3612765)
If we do get a thriving 'nightlife row', it will be by accident and that will make it all the more real.

I agree. I don't think the solution to a bland nightlife is building a complex of "hotspots"...
A complicating factor may be OLCC rules about having a certain number of tables to eat food at when you are in a bar. I think they calculate the square footage and require a minimum number of tables for the size of your bar/club etc. I think this makes it difficult to design a lounge-esque locale.

joeplayer1989 Jun 15, 2008 1:31 AM

At Saterday market, where I see knives and wallets, my customers are mostly tourists and of course the regulars.

urbanlife Jun 15, 2008 3:28 AM

just gotta look for the downtown walking maps. That is the best way to spot a tourist here.

MarkDaMan Jun 15, 2008 3:30 AM

joe, do you make them too?

joeplayer1989 Jun 15, 2008 6:44 AM

I am actually not at saterday market, but the skidermore fountain market. I do not make make my own stuff, its all imported. I do see a lot of those maps! Especially around voodoo, that place is full of them.

MightyAlweg Jun 15, 2008 8:02 AM

Can I throw out an alternate viewpoint on the Pre-Programmed Entertainment Mall concept?

I actually think they serve a purpose and often liven up aging and underutilized urban areas, especially around sports venues or big public facilities. No, they rarely have truly "hip" places where unique, regional offerings are available. Yes, they usually have big chain restaurants and bars. But you know what? As long as they are done reasonably well and in a decent location, they are almost always packed to the rafters, especially on weekends or during big civic events.

Granted, I live in Orange County, which has several of these types of places. And as a former Seattleite and Portlander, I still remember the Northwest hobby of rolling our eyes at Californians and their slick, trendy ways. But I also know that the Irvine Spectrum here in OC is packed every weekend with upscale, big spending locals out on Date Nite. It has about 30 bars and restaurants, 21 movie screens, lots of shops, and a giant ferris wheel and some rides.

Same thing for Downtown Disney, the entertainment mall next to Disneyland, where tourists and locals alike literally swarm that mall every weekend, and any night during the vacation season or holiday periods. Even on winter weekdays there is usually a healthy crowd of tourists and locals at Downtown Disney. Even though it's right next door to Disneyland, one of the biggest entertainment draws in the country, the place is still jammed with people just out for dinner or a movie. And since it's Disney, it's designed beautifully, very well run, and always imaculately clean with not a whiff of street crime.

If they did something fun and colorful around the Rose Garden, and really tied it in to the civic facilities there as well as the Convention Center, acting as a bridge of sorts between venues, the place would be very popular. Since that area is right on the Max line (all of them, in fact), as well as adjacent to a future streetcar line, you would have a good influx of locals coming from the north and east, and tourists coming from the downtown hotels.

Does it need to be one-of-a-kind with Portland exclusive offerings? No, not really. In fact, most tourists (and even a lot of locals) would not feel comfortable striking out into unknown territory when all they really want is dinner and a show on a Saturday night. But if you anchored it with the usual big offerings like Cheesecake Factory, P.F.Changs, Claimjumper, Outback, Red Robin, ESPNZone, Fox Sports Grill, House of Blues, etc. you would have enough familiarity to sprinkle in some uniquely Portland merchandise elements, maybe a local brewpub or two, and use some fun architecture that plays up the Portland connection with roses or forests or something.

I know it's popular to sniff your nose at chain restaurants and suburban malls, especially in the Northwest, but the huge line of people waiting for a table at Claimjumper in Beaverton or Clackamas tells me there is definitely a market for a Date Nite Entertainment Center in Portland.

Done right, it would be the perfect way to bring some life into the otherwise underutilized Rose Garden-Convention Center-South Lloyd District area. Because unless there's a Blazers game or the Auto Show is in town, that neighborhood is as dead as a doornail.

PDX City-State Jun 15, 2008 9:09 AM

I'm not opposed in theory to a few blocks of chain restaurants near the Lloyd and Convention Center. The problem is, locals won't support those types of establishments on the nights without events. There are tons of great restaurants in Portland, and chains don't typically do as well here.

I think the best way to revitalize that area is to build an actual neighborhood. There needs to be a catalyst project like the Brewery Blocks. It needs to have mix of rentals, condominiums, retail, civic and office space so the restaurants will survive both lunch and dinner seven nights a week. There were like four restaurants at the Rose Quarter when it opened a decade ago, and the last one closed two years ago. That's quite telling.

One of the principle rules of commercial real estate is that money follows people. So first, bring in some people to activate the street scape. I know this isn't a popular viewpoint, but I strongly believe the Memorial Coliseum should be leveled to make way for a new neighborhood. Two adjacent arenas both destroy the grid and create an impenetrable dead zone. There's pretty good building stock on the Broadway side of the arenas, and a few old brick buildings are currently being renovated, which is a great sign. Other parcels in that area are encumbered by long-term leases for auto-oriented retail (like the carwashes, fast food, and coffee drive-throughs), but a lot of that's going to change in the next decade as leases expire. Joe Weston is banking on this area, and if he's on board, so goes the city.

I don't believe that everything in Portland has to be scaled and cozy, but I do believe that every thing should serve the population of those who work, live, study, and pay taxes here. Building a theme park of retail might draw folks in the short term, but it does nothing for the long term. The economic life of a shopping center is about 20 years between remodels. That's not good enough.

ericb4prez Jun 15, 2008 6:00 PM

that's the thing...portland is a tourist destination...

have you ever tried to book a room downtown on the weekend relatively last minute? it can be damn near impossible all summer long.

noticed the sidewalk signs that have arrows and directions to different attractions? i highly doubt those are there for locals.

Dougall5505 Jun 15, 2008 6:02 PM

Maybe this would be a good place for a performing arts center. the keller auditorium could move over to the rosequarter, to anchor it as a entertainment destination.

bvpcvm Jun 15, 2008 9:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MightyAlweg (Post 3614797)
Can I throw out an alternate viewpoint on the Pre-Programmed Entertainment Mall concept?

I actually think they serve a purpose and often liven up aging and underutilized urban areas, especially around sports venues or big public facilities. No, they rarely have truly "hip" places where unique, regional offerings are available. Yes, they usually have big chain restaurants and bars. But you know what? As long as they are done reasonably well and in a decent location, they are almost always packed to the rafters, especially on weekends or during big civic events.

Granted, I live in Orange County, which has several of these types of places. And as a former Seattleite and Portlander, I still remember the Northwest hobby of rolling our eyes at Californians and their slick, trendy ways. But I also know that the Irvine Spectrum here in OC is packed every weekend with upscale, big spending locals out on Date Nite. It has about 30 bars and restaurants, 21 movie screens, lots of shops, and a giant ferris wheel and some rides.

Same thing for Downtown Disney, the entertainment mall next to Disneyland, where tourists and locals alike literally swarm that mall every weekend, and any night during the vacation season or holiday periods. Even on winter weekdays there is usually a healthy crowd of tourists and locals at Downtown Disney. Even though it's right next door to Disneyland, one of the biggest entertainment draws in the country, the place is still jammed with people just out for dinner or a movie. And since it's Disney, it's designed beautifully, very well run, and always imaculately clean with not a whiff of street crime.

If they did something fun and colorful around the Rose Garden, and really tied it in to the civic facilities there as well as the Convention Center, acting as a bridge of sorts between venues, the place would be very popular. Since that area is right on the Max line (all of them, in fact), as well as adjacent to a future streetcar line, you would have a good influx of locals coming from the north and east, and tourists coming from the downtown hotels.

[...]

I know it's popular to sniff your nose at chain restaurants and suburban malls, especially in the Northwest, but the huge line of people waiting for a table at Claimjumper in Beaverton or Clackamas tells me there is definitely a market for a Date Nite Entertainment Center in Portland.

Done right, it would be the perfect way to bring some life into the otherwise underutilized Rose Garden-Convention Center-South Lloyd District area. Because unless there's a Blazers game or the Auto Show is in town, that neighborhood is as dead as a doornail.

I wouldn't really support such an idea, because, personally, let's face it, I do sniff my nose at chain restaurants, etc. But that aside, I really don't think something like that would work in this part of town. Maybe out by Washington Square or Bridgeport Village or something. But that part of town (inner NE) is populated to a huge extent by hipsters who would want nothing to do with it; the people who would find it attractive are, to a great extent all out in the suburbs anyway and would be less likely to want to go "downtown" for that kind of thing. You're right that there is a market for that sort of thing - I was shocked at the huge crowds the one time I was dragged to Cheesecake Factory (could there ever be a more ironic name?) at 10:30 on a Tuesday night. I just don't think that sort of thing would find too much of a market there. (To my great distress, I work out in the wilds of Tigard, and am continually surprised at the stereotypes about downtown, which, I think, includes the Lloyd area for most suburbanites. I constantly hear downtown described as "scary" and "full of bums", by people who would probably fit pretty well into the "date nite" demographic you're speaking of.)

MightyAlweg Jun 15, 2008 10:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PDX City-State (Post 3614839)
I'm not opposed in theory to a few blocks of chain restaurants near the Lloyd and Convention Center. The problem is, locals won't support those types of establishments on the nights without events. There are tons of great restaurants in Portland, and chains don't typically do as well here.

I think the best way to revitalize that area is to build an actual neighborhood. There needs to be a catalyst project like the Brewery Blocks.

Well, I would have to disagree about the chain restaurants not doing well, if only from a few personal experiences.

Last Thanksgiving weekend I was in Portland to see the folks, and on Friday night my cousin drove up from Salem to have dinner with me downtown. We met at Powell's, and then walked over to P.F.Changs in the Brewery Blocks. The place was mobbed, as we expected and as I had experienced on previous visits to that location, and we waited 90 minutes in the bar for a table to open up.

P.F.Changs, the mass-produced trendy chain restaurant found in every upscale suburban mall in the country. In the middle of the hipper than thou Brewery Blocks in The Pearl. 90 minutes for a table, with a line out the door just to check in with the hostess. Yeah, the locals must avoid chains downtown. :D

That said, I loved your idea about razing the Memorial Colisseum to replace it with housing. As much as I appreciate MCM architecture, and as perfect a specimen the Colisseum is of that era, it's time probably has come. And I agree that it creates a big wall at the river with the Rose Garden and the Convention Center lined up to the south.

I think the problem with the four restaurants that originally opened at the Rose Garden were that they weren't enough, the draw wasn't strong enough, to pull people in on nights there was no game. There needs to be a development that is bigger, stronger, with more tenants and space for some really big anchor tenants to go in. That way, it's a draw on weekends there is no game, and on nights there is an event in the Rose Garden, the draw is magnetic for all attending. How about a performance venue/dining thing like House of Blues? That place does gangbuster business with locals at Downtown Disney. http://www.hob.com/venues/clubvenues/anaheim/ It has the big concert space, but then also a popular restaurant and a busy bar. And the Sunday Gospel Brunch is always popular, which fills up the place on Sunday mornings when most restaurants are in sleep mode. Anchors like that would overpower the lulls in attendance between game nights or big events.

Kind of like the Brewery Blocks, which has housing, and then lots of big national chain stores and restaurants like P.F.Changs, West Elm, Diesel, Sur La Table, North Face, Adidas, etc. The shopping/dining at the Brewery Blocks is all hip stuff, but nothing that can't already be found in every fancy suburban mall from Seattle to San Diego. But it works, and is very popular with locals.

ericb4prez Jun 15, 2008 10:42 PM

yes...and also, don't forget...the rose quarter is walking distance from the pearl...the broadway bridge puts you right in the mix.

PacificNW Jun 15, 2008 10:53 PM

Please don't even think about razing Memorial Coliseum... I think if that if anyone ever gets serious about doing that you will see an outcry Portland has never prior experienced. It is a classic....It just needs to be upgraded, imo.

MightyAlweg Jun 16, 2008 12:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PacificNW (Post 3615413)
Please don't even think about razing Memorial Coliseum... I think if that if anyone ever gets serious about doing that you will see an outcry Portland has never prior experienced. It is a classic....It just needs to be upgraded, imo.

From a design perspective, I would be very sad if Memorial Coliseum ever was bulldozed. It has aged beautifully, and if anything needs to be returned to its early 1960's roots, a la' the Hotel Modera or Hotel Fifty remodels. And yet I think the point PDX City-State made above that the Coliseum helps create a big wall of massive structures that blocks off the river and downtown from the Eastside and Lloyd District,and vice versa, is a very valid point.

There are three huge facilities all lined up in a row, with only two through passageways for vehicles and trains that splice through the middle. Those three facilities lined up together pose a formidable wall of concrete. And those grain towers (or whatever they are) right along the river near the Rose Garden do absolutely nothing to help the situation. The freeway down the backside is the nail in the design coffin there.

Perhaps if the old riverfront grain towers were removed you could have a waterfront development of housing that meshed up the hill towards an entertainment zone to tie at least the Rose Garden and Convention Center together?

Perhaps a silly question from someone who moved away from Portland long before the Rose Garden was built, but..... Now that the Blazers play in the Rose Garden, what exactly is the Memorial Coliseum used for? The circus only comes to town once a year. What else happens there now that the Rose Garden can't accomodate?

PacificNW Jun 16, 2008 1:34 AM

The Davis Cup Finals were recently played @ the Glass Palace. They continue to have events at M.C. although the Rose Garden does get the lions share. I agree that something needs too be done with the district. Conversion to a hotel or new concert hall (or combination) could be cool. I still like the idea of a multi-level athletic facility for the citizens of PDX to use. Maybe some kind of entertainment facility built within the glass walls?? The new operators have a pretty good track record of figuring these sorts of things out and coming up with ideas. Look what they are doing @ the Staples Center in your neck of the woods.

The grain elevators on the river are owned by one of the world's richest families and I understand they are not interested in selling. The river is a working river and grain is still be loaded onto ships. Maybe this family might be coaxed in trading for property closer to the Port of Portland. I doubt it.

PDX City-State Jun 16, 2008 2:56 AM

Quote:

P.F.Changs, the mass-produced trendy chain restaurant found in every upscale suburban mall in the country. In the middle of the hipper than thou Brewery Blocks in The Pearl. 90 minutes for a table, with a line out the door just to check in with the hostess. Yeah, the locals must avoid chains downtown.
The reason P.F. Changs does so well there is its location in a functioning neighborhood. The Pearl is destination, and lots of people live there. The destination factor keeps P.F. Changs going. I live four blocks away, and I've never gone there once. I'm not a snob about chains, I'd just rather go to Wong's King or Sungari.

MightyAlweg Jun 16, 2008 3:43 AM

Funny you mention Sungari Pearl, that's where the family all went to dinner on Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. My folks live out beyond 205 near Clackamas Town Center now, but they like to go downtown for dinner and shopping.

Good to know the Coliseum still has regular events. I remember in the 80's (Pre-Rose Garden and Convention Center) that the yearly Auto Show was always held there in the cramped exhibition space in the Coliseum basement, plus the usual annual stuff like the circus, concerts, and of course Blazer games. With the Convention Center now in place, I imagine the big annual stuff like the Auto Show, Home Show, Sportsmens Show, etc. all goes to the Convention Center instead of the Coliseum.

I take it that the Key Arena up in Seattle is also having some trouble plotting out its future. It dates from the same time as the MC, originally built as the Washington State Pavilion for the 1962 World's Fair. Key Arena needs an update rethink when it comes to visitor amenities, especially VIP boxes and Club Lounges, and I imagine the MC is in the same boat when it comes to the 21st century amenities that newer venues are built with now.

At least Portland's MC is more plugged in with its location and access to transit and area housing/hotels. There's potential with the Memorial Coliseum, most definitely, I'm just not convinced its long term future can be as a tradtional arena event venue. Someone may need to get very creative if the Memorial Coliseum is to last another 45 years.

And yes, AEG does a great job with the Staples Center up in LA, with construction underway on a big expansion around it with housing, clubs, restaurants, entertainment center, etc. Downtown LA is pretty much a ghost town after 5 o'clock, but there is a growing hub of activity around the Staples Center, mostly due to the work of AEG as the operating owner of the property.

I consider it good news if AEG is now owning and operating the Rose Garden. Only good things can come from that, both short and long term.

MightyAlweg Jun 16, 2008 3:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dougall5505 (Post 3615104)
Maybe this would be a good place for a performing arts center. the keller auditorium could move over to the rosequarter, to anchor it as a entertainment destination.

Hmm. I don't know about that. Portland already has a performing arts district well established around the Arlene Schnitzer (sp?) hall, the performing arts center next to the Heathman, and the Keller Auditorium a few blocks east.

If the Keller Auditorium is becoming out of date, and I don't doubt that it is 40+ years later, then I would think a better alternative would be to build a new civic auditorium up near the Park Blocks. Slot it in near the art museum and existing performing arts complex, and you really cement that area as the arts/culture district of Portland. Those park blocks are gorgeous, and offer such a great entry to any grand civic building. It would be better to concentrate the major culture/performing arts venues where the district has already established itself, rather than spread them out and separate them by the river.

Not to date myself, but I had my Wilson High graduation ceremony at the Keller in '88, and also attended The Bangles concert there in the spring of '89. Yes, The Bangles! :haha: That's about the only time I've ever been inside the Keller Auditorium. It has a great late 60's vibe about it though, and I love that it's sort of a small knock off of the Kennedy Center in DC, the Lincoln Center in NYC, and the Music Center in LA. Clearly they were trying to emulate the other grand, big city, white stone performing arts centers of the 1960's when the Keller was built.


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