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  #81  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 7:12 AM
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I never thought of the MC as a public market site, but yeah, i kinda like it. Its certainly big enough and could be transformed in to something really great.
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  #82  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 12:16 PM
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too bad it's so ugly on the outside.
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  #83  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 3:09 PM
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Before the wrecking ball, a remodel
Portland Business Journal - March 9, 2007
by Wendy Culverwell, Business Journal staff writer

Sometime in the next eight to 13 years, the four buildings that together once housed Goldsmith Furnishings will be razed and their little corner of Old Town/Chinatown will be rebuilt.

The owners, David Gold and Howard Davis, are renovating the Goldsmith block now and reinventing it for a new generation of users -- creative businesses with an appetite for cheap rent and a great near-downtown location.

Although the buildings likely will be gone in the future, Gold and Davis are taking advantage of what they have while they have it.

The low-budget renovation includes a fresh paint job and new entrances to improve the appearance of the complex -- which is actually four buildings linked by ramps and a common legal boundary. The complex is about 78,000 square feet.

Gold and Davis enlisted Portland's Hennebery Eddy Architects to complete the update. The duo gave simple marching orders: Minimize expense, maximize space, don't trigger a costly seismic update with elaborate renovations.

Thirteen studios are in construction, and nine have been completed. Most have been leased or reserved, with tenants including an architect, an artist, a gallery and a clothing designer. The rent: $1 a square foot.

Lower floors are spaces-in-progress, reflecting the budget-conscious ethos of the redevelopment.

Davis envisions a restaurant in an empty bay fronting Northwest Fourth Avenue. It won't be easy. Fourth, with its adult book store across the street, remains an edgy counterpart to Northwest Fifth, where art galleries are taking root. The would-be restaurant space has a drop ceiling, which Davis said he wanted to remove to let more light into the interior.

But the drop ceiling proved a challenge -- it was too well built to remove on the cheap. So he is leaving it untouched.

Gold and Davis bought the Goldsmith block, which includes both the Goldsmith buildings and a full-block parking lot across the street, from the Goldsmith family, paying $7 million in 2004.

The furniture store relocated; Gold and Davis mortgaged the purchase based on revenue from the parking lot. The building itself generated no money in the beginning.

Today, the few small businesses leasing studios means the building is producing revenue -- not much but enough to cover expenses, Davis said.

Davis said he and his partner, both longtime Portland real estate investors, took a long-term view of the Goldsmith block from the outset.

They like the prospects for Old Town/Chinatown, the district separated from downtown by Burnside street and from the Pearl District by the North Park Blocks. They're gambling that a property so close to both downtown and the Pearl District will come into high demand, in eight to 13 years.

When that happens, they'll demolish the buildings and create a multiuse project along the lines of the Brewery Blocks in the Pearl District.

"I feel this same kind of energy. Things are definitely changing," Davis said.

The best interim use, they felt, would be ground-level retail, with creative studios above. The idea originated from Gold's experience in St. Johns, where he turned the Cathedral Park warehouse into inexpensive, small studios for creative workers. Doing the same thing in Old Town/Chinatown answers a common complaint -- that St. Johns is too far from downtown, Davis said.

David Wark, the Hennebery Eddy architect who worked on the Goldsmith block, said it was an unusual challenge to blend four buildings, each with a different number of floors and none perfectly aligned. The previous owners merged the buildings into a combination furniture store and warehouse, with an inward focus. It is, he said, a typical example of how neighboring buildings are sometimes blended.

"It's not exactly pedestrian friendly," he deadpanned.

After volunteering to help out the nearby Portland Art Center, he said he was intrigued to take on the entire facility.

"As an urban exercise, how do you reactivate?" he asked.

=========================================================

Goldsmith block posed plethora of issues

Work on the Goldsmith block turned out to be a tall order, said Hennebery Eddy architect David Wark.

The four buildings were uneven in both elevation and height. Floors that didn't match up were linked by steep ramps better suited to skateboarders than ordinary pedestrians or people with disabilities.

The exteriors over the decades were patched and covered up. The overall effect was off-putting. Working closely with the city, the team replaced the skatepark-style ramps with gently sloping ones that rise an inch for every linear foot and meet handicap accessibility requirements. There are more and better exits, to meet fire codes, and a new bathroom.

The metal fire escape affixed on the Northwest Fifth Avenue side was inspected and repaired. It is an essential part of the building, for escape purposes. The studios that face the escape have glass windows by their doors. In an emergency, workers in neighboring units can break the windows to access the escape.

Outside, the entrances will sport simple awnings made from sheets of steel, folded origami-style. The designers selected colors directly from the elaborate Chinese gate at nearby Burnside, which is visible from the building.

The exterior is getting a respectable makeover as well -- not elaborate, but sufficient for an interim renovation.

Windows blocked since the 1950s are being revealed and in an artsy nod to the increasingly artsy neighborhood, a decommissioned elevator shaft is being remade into a three-dimensional exhibit space.

The entire building is being swathed in white paint and gray accents.

"Our approach was to unify the building," Wark said.

Painting started last fall and resumes when the wet season abates, Davis said.

wculverwell@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3415
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  #84  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 3:10 PM
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Future of Old Town's Block 8 faces scrutiny
Portland Business Journal - March 9, 2007
by Andy Giegerich Business Journal staff writer

As two high-profile Old Town blocks undergo facelifts, neighborhood planners still face questions over how they'll redevelop a third key lot.

Neighborhood and city leaders admit they're unsure how Old Town's Block 8, a block north of the Burnside Bridge, will coalesce within the renovated area. The city had sought to relocate its downtown fire station there, but scrapped the plan last year because of budget concerns.

Block 8 sits between Northwest Naito Parkway, First Avenue and Couch and Davis streets.

"A lot of us are hoping that it'll have something that's compatible with the other work being done next to it," said Richard Harris, executive director for Central City Concern and a member of the Old Town committee that's advising the Portland Development Commission on neighborhood matters. "But I don't know if anyone has a proposal for it at this time."

Interested parties could broach any such ideas during a neighborhood planning meeting next Wednesday. The meeting will feature representatives of the Portland Development Commission and the city's planning department, along with Old Town-area developers.

Harris and others said the Block 8 discussions essentially halted when PDC, the city's economic development agency, needed to finalize plans on the other two major Old Town blocks. One, the White Stag property on Northwest First Avenue, will harbor University of Oregon offices and classrooms; the other, the Southwest First Avenue lot holding the Skidmore Fountain Building, will house the international relief and economic development agency Mercy Corps' new headquarters.

Questions over Block 8's future come after PDC filed a Multnomah County Circuit Court suit seeking to change the block's allowed usage. The action will eventually allow PDC to change the usage from one allowing a fire station to one that allows commercial purposes.

PDC filed the December court action as essentially a formality needed to change purchase details with former property owner the Bill Naito Co. PDC acquired the land in 2004 for $5 million after threatening to seize the land.

"Our legal folks said we need to get approval if the change is necessary," said Lew Bowers, PDC's senior development manager. "There's no conceptual problem. We just want to make sure it fits with the business plan there."

"There's no problem between us at all," said Doug Campbell, the Bill Naito company's president. "We're getting along great."

Once such matters are settled, Old Town leaders hope to build a structure that offers housing, offices, an educational entity, retail outlets or a combination of the four.

"It's an important opportunity because there are three blocks that could have interesting developments on them," Harris said. "In general, the neighborhood is interested in mixed-income housing, and creating a community environment on the street that's consistent with historic approaches."

Bowers said PDC generally believes Block 8 should host an active ground floor, meaning retail, on the sides facing the UO building and the MAX line.

The block's Import Plaza building, which has little historical value, would likely be knocked down; the Globe Hotel building, on the property's southwest corner, would likely be renovated, Bowers said.

"That's the desired configuration for that lot," he said. "We'd like to see as many storefronts as possible on it, as well as some work force housing."

Campbell said his company will try to earn a PDC contract to redevelop Block 8.

As it prepares to study Block 8 schemes, PDC must still finalize its agreement with Mercy Corps regarding the Skidmore Fountain building redevelopment.

The agency is also following discussions that could enable the Naito company redevelop the site that currently contains the Salvation Army building at West Burnside and Southwest Second Avenue.

The agency is also working with the Walker Macy design group, of Portland, to improve the Waterfront Park sections adjacent to the three key Old Town blocks. Current city plans call for Saturday Market to move across Naito Parkway to Waterfront Park in 2008. Work on the University of Oregon building has already begun. The school's 18-year lease on one White Stag block building includes an option to purchase the 66,000-square-foot structure.

The UO building will include classrooms, offices, a meeting space, a new library for architecture and journalism programs, a computer lab, a new Duck Shop and a cafe.

agiegerich@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3419
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  #85  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 4:49 PM
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Kind of an odd idea for the Memorial Coliseum but anyway...

Maybe the building could be made into an indoor water park. There's a $100 million one planned in Rhode Island.

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This resort, dubbed Shipwreck Falls, is proposed by Dial Family Resorts, a Nebraska development company, and would be constructed in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

According to Michael Day, president of Dial Family Resorts, the resort will have a "nautical-shipwreck-adventure" theme, and would host a 65,000-square-foot indoor water park, enclosed by 347 rooms that can accommodate groups of six or more. In addition to the water park, there would be an additional 28,000 square feet of convention space, a restaurant, a family dinner theatre, and a span and fitness center.

The water park would house nine slides, a wave pool, a tubing ride, a lazy river, as well as water forts and an outdoor pool that would be open during the summer.
At 65,000 sq ft this could easily fit inside the shell of the building with the interior gutted. I believe the floorplate of MC is about 120-130,000 sq ft. And theres no attraction like this around. There'd be an awesome view of the skyline through the huge glass windows, it has a high ceiling and being indoors rain is obviously no problem. For an amusement type of use you dont need a car like you would for a big box shopping center. That said however theres plenty of existing parking on site.

http://www.dialfamilyresorts.com/shipwreckfalls.html
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  #86  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 7:28 PM
PDX City-State PDX City-State is offline
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How about a public market?
That would never work...never. For one, it's too big. Imagine the operating costs. Second, for a public market to work, it needs to be very close to where people live, work, shop, etc. I even think Union Station is a little far fetched.
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  #87  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 9:35 PM
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Originally Posted by pdx city-state
Second, for a public market to work, it needs to be very close to where people live, work, shop, etc.
not necessarily. It needs to be iconic to draw in tourists, and it also needs to be in an easily accessible space. The convergence of soon to be 4 light rail lines and several other bus lines is a good location. Plus, the Rose Quarter has had grander plans thrown around but if Jumptown get started, Vulcan's land across the MAX lines developed, the PPS HQ building actually turned into a condo neighborhood as has been proposed, and the CC Hotel built, it would eventually be a central location.

the MC needs upgrades, and there would need to be other uses proposed for some of the massive space, but it could work. I just went to an exhibition in this massive hall under the coliseum itself, that would work too.
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  #88  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 9:46 PM
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Mark,

Public markets draw tourists, but they mainly serve restaurants and local residents. Or at least they should. The idea of a public market is build a bridge between producers and consumers by eliminating the middle man--let farmers sell directly to the public at a place that has operating costs low enough for rents to cover everthing. It needs to be close to restaurants and where people live--other than Red Robin, I can't think of many restaurants near MC--can you?

I live downtown and don't own a car--I am also probably one of the biggest foodies you'll ever meet. I would never go to MC to buy food simply because it would be a pain in the ass. After I'm done buying food there, what the hell am I to do? Are there restaurants? No. Shops? no? Now if they were to either level the thing or perhaps redevelop it in order to incorporate some private investment--then it might be a go. But you can't just plop an amentity in the middle of something and hope people come. Community first, amenities later. Not the PDC model, which tends to be the other way around.

And please don't compare me to Urban.
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  #89  
Old Posted Mar 9, 2007, 10:32 PM
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I disagree that people won't travel across the river, on the MAX line none the less, to purchase food. It will also be two blocks from the proposed Eastside Streetcar, on the way home for the majority of Portland transit commuters, in an area that could see explosive growth due to large tracks of available land for future neighborhood growth, and is close enough to other big attractions, the OCC for one, that already attracts large crowds including locals to car/bridal/home and garden/wine and pretty much any other major downtown event held indoors.

I do agree it will take more than just plopping it their to work. There needs to be projects such as the OCC HQ Hotel and possibly new condo towers under development, if not also the movement of the Saturday market to that area of town, for it to work. However, it is not 'absolutely not possible'. In any case, the MC isn't even my preferred location. I just take issue with the pessimistic tone thrown at people for just expressing their ideas.
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  #90  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 12:07 AM
PDX City-State PDX City-State is offline
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I just take issue with the pessimistic tone thrown at people for just expressing their ideas.
Pessimistic? If I don't agree with something, I'm going to say so. How is that pessimistic? There was absolutely nothing mean spirited about that.

I guess I'm a little biased having links to the market folk and understanding what it is they're trying to do. A public market is quite different from a sports stadium or a mall--you shouldn't encourage people to drive to it. It should be where people live, work, dine, play, etc. It should serve Portlanders first and should be imbedded in our community. The Lloyd District/Rose Quarter needs a lot of help before that happens.
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  #91  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 2:39 AM
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as a public market, memorial would seem too 'institutional' on the outside to me at least. its architectural style doesn't exaclty hark back to the eras of yore that a market like Pike's does. But playing on its architecture and accessible though underdeveloped location, it seems like it could make a good site for a museum of some type.

there is enough space and the general form (with the expansive glass and great views) could be maintained, while the interior could be gutted to open it up to light from the sides and above. it'd be big enough for office/storage space on some levels, and could provide a good exhibition area. maybe a museum on the history of urban planning or something...
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  #92  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 3:33 AM
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I even think Union Station is a little far fetched.
I would agree. Intuitively, it sounds like a recipe for failure to me. Like a contrived "Little Italy", you can't just pull a market out of the hat, stick it in an underutilized train station, and expect masses of people to show up every day. If the train station actually had more than a few passenger trains a day, or incorporated local mass transit options into the station, it would seem more viable to me. The Skidmore area with its history, immediate MAX access, waterfront access, and proximity to the central city where there are tons of people going about their daily routines, sounded like more of a natural fit to me. Number one reason why I won't vote for Potter again is his visionless decision not to move the fire station farther down the waterfront.

I'm glad there's another foodie here. An ex of mine was a local farmers market manager for several years, so I think I intimately understand the need to not put the cart before the horse in this situation. I'm already skeptical of the idea.

MC, by the way, sounds like an even less viable idea. Institutional and out of the way for most people, plus in a dead zone with too many nearby development 'ifs'.

I love hearing people's random ideas though, however farfetched.
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  #93  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 4:54 AM
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Speaking of MC....I think a world class aquarium would be a good fit. I know the Oregon aquarium in Newport would shit their pants but a partnership could be worked out to the benefit of both. The conference rooms underneath the building could be used for offices, labs and "conference rooms".
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  #94  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 5:01 AM
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There seems to be tons of better uses for the MC than what its being currently being used for...paul allen? hello? He could win back portland(maybe) if he did something with the MC.
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  #95  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 5:13 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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^^^ Agreed. MC = instutional (the citywide sports/rec center might work as well) use.

Public market needs to be downtown. Wonder if there would be any chance of locating it on a different block in Old town near the current Saturday Market? I believe that is by far the best location for it, because it has so much energy to build off that's already there. Kind of like dropping a box of dry instant milk into a bucket of water...
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  #96  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 5:52 AM
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Access via 4 MAX lines, autos/delivery trucks and soon Streetcar on Broadway, is superior here (MC) than any other spot being considered for a public market. The only drawback I see is lack of a surrounding neighborhood. But the Pearl was just railyards before it boomed. The same could be done for the Rose Quarter and in fact, that's exactly what the city has been trying to do for over a decade now. The time may be right for Rose Quarter to bloom (pardon the pun). A public market at the center could be the catalyst.

I think the "institutional" feel is a result of MC sitting in the middle of parking lots. Very monolithic. That would disappear if it was completely surrounded with housing and ground floor retail, maybe some hotel and office space too.

Just an idea.... but entirely feasibly.

Last edited by 65MAX; Mar 10, 2007 at 6:05 AM.
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  #97  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 6:21 AM
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The only drawback I see is lack of a surrounding neighborhood.
But that's a pretty big omission.

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The time may be right for Rose Quarter to bloom (pardon the pun). A public market at the center could be the catalyst.
Right--but only if it were part of a HUGE redevelopment that made the MC area look like a real neighborhood. Even then, I would support some type of amentity, but I think the Market should be near the restaurant community--downtown or somewhere on the close-in Eastside near reataurants and where people already go--people who care about food.
I really like Cab's idea--locating the market in the Central Eastside near the Esplanade parking lot.There's land, there's a normal street grid, there are all sorts of creative start-up companies, there could be a water taxi from dowtown, there are tons of restaurants nearby.
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  #98  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 7:51 AM
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Right, the plan for RQ is to do just that, make it an actual neighborhood, housing and all. I would also argue that RQ is closer to DT and Pearl restaurants than the CEID site.

I also like the site under the Marquam Bridge, but that has a lack of housing too, with less potential for future high density housing than RQ. Access is also more problematic there.

Either way, I think the CEID site AND the MC are both superior to Union Station for a market.
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  #99  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 11:49 AM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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For better or worse, the Lloyd District and Rose Garden area will be flat-out last to be redeveloped in the city of Portland. CEID, the Pearl, SOWA/John's Landing, Milwaukie, Mall 205, even 15th & Weidler are going to build up before the great white ephalumps are.
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  #100  
Old Posted Mar 10, 2007, 5:28 PM
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Originally Posted by zilfondel View Post
For better or worse, the Lloyd District and Rose Garden area will be flat-out last to be redeveloped in the city of Portland. CEID, the Pearl, SOWA/John's Landing, Milwaukie, Mall 205, even 15th & Weidler are going to build up before the great white ephalumps are.
Pearl and SoWa, yes. But RQ and LC will likely be next to build up. Weston has a 32 story tower in progress for Broadway and Interstate, close to the Jumptown proposal. I really think once the Pearl is filled in, it'll jump the river, especially with the eastside streetcar in place.
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