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Jason Wells

I would be very interested to hear about the financing of this project. Many lenders are wary of anything that is new or different.

David Dysert

This is a great addition to the neighborhood. It may be a bit of an overstatement to say this is a new connection between neighborhoods--Burnside to Stark is really the same place--albeit Burnside is much less friendly and serves as a barrier in many ways. "Bridging" Burnside to truly connect the neighborhoods is happening incrementally by the uses that border the street; uses that incent one to cross. In that sense Union Way will help to connect the Pearl and its far too long lesser sister hood. It is exciting to see the West End develop.

I’m not sure many view the Brewery Blocks and Powell’s as distinct from the Burnside edge of the West End. Burnside is more of a perceived barrier separating what is quickly becoming a significant retail district than a boundary separating neighborhoods. As a Pearl resident I try to encourage people to think of my neighborhood more as a part of downtown rather than a separate enclave.

Union Way is a beautiful design and a bold move, but it's impact is likely to be limited given it is only one block long (and locked up at night preventing the urban pastime of window shopping). A re-styled Morgan's Alley if you will. The nod to the alleys of Paris and Tokyo is just that, a nod. What makes the alleys of those cities more interesting--and important--is they often form a network of many blocks threading an alternate means of navigating a part of the city. I view Union Way as more about the play between permeability and separateness rather than connection. The handpicked high end shops do not line the public street as other shops do. They are cloistered in a controlled aesthetic separate from mundane streetscape, quietly facing each other. It's hard to believe the guests of the ACE need this clever alley to discover the behemoth of Powell’s is a mere block away...

The collection of shops is impressive however it may be a missed opportunity to not locate a restaurant on the Burnside front given it is the side that is most challenged in terms of "place". (it would be nice to get some more eyes on the street to soften the boulevard) This may explain why the developers proposed eliminating the turn lane that separates the Pod sculpture island from the Super Supplements parking lot to create a "plaza" sidewalk extension. I like this idea. Pearl-bound cars needing to cross the great wall that is Burnside may not...

All in all I’m thrilled this project(both Union Way and the company) is here. Project^ with BlackBox and now Union Way is helping to mitigate Burnside as a barrier and knit vital parts of downtown Portland together—and, I might add, without the help of the costly Burnside Couch Couplet.

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