From the "Local News Daily"
Public Market sets sights on new home
Union Station out as Melvin Mark offers different location
By Jennifer Anderson
The proposal to house a year-round public market at the historic Union Station building appears to be dead in the water, since the Portland Public Market Foundation mow has set its sights on a new location.
The new plan is for the much-talked-about market is to occupy the ground floor of the federal homeland security office at 511 S.W. Broadway
, when that operation relocates.
**I don't think the address is quite right...I think that should be 511 NW Broadway
Portland’s Melvin Mark Development Company plans to acquire the building from its current owner, the U.S. General Services Administration, within two years, Paul said.
Melvin Mark would then lease the ground floor of the building – 37,000-square feet, or a full city block – to the foundation, which would offer space seven days a week to vendors of fresh and locally grown produce, meats, baked goods and flowers.
To Ron Paul, the market’s biggest champion and consulting director of the foundation, the partnership is the perfect solution.
“Politically, economically and operationally, it is an answer to many problem that Union Station had raised,” he said. Occupying part of Union Station, alongside the existing rail operations, would have been dependent on the city and Portland Development Commission addressing the $40 million in seismic upgrades and other renovation costs.
The amount of available space and the layout at the 511 Building is also better for the market, Paul said. While the site had been one of the leading options for a public market site since 2001, he said, his dilemma was what to do with the upper floors of the building.
He had not known about Melvin Mark’s interest in the building until recently.
The plan would be for the market to be the anchor the building, with the rest of it developed into mixed-use space, including residential and commercial units.
Paul said he’s shooting for occupying the building about three years from the time Melvin Mark takes control of the building, and his goal would be to own its own space within a decade.
“We’ve encountered a gift, in terms of a willing and capable public-private partnership,” he said. “We are very engaged in seeing this option all the way through.”
On a side note, the public market foundation’s board voted today to intend to name the market after the late James Beard, the nationally known, Oregon born chef and culinary expert.
This week is also the James Beard Foundation’s “Taste America” event, which is happening at various locations including Union Station and the Williams-Sonoma at Washington Square. Finally, the public market will be the subject of discussion at the Portland City Club on Friday.