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Stick it inside Pioneer Place. It's already built, the blocks are dead (outside of Apple), it would create a unique destination in the heart of the city and it could open within 12-24 months.

David Dysert

It was clear from the start this was a terrible location for the market given the auto dominated context. OMSI and SOWA are equally problematic. For the market to succeed a critical mass of pedestrian activity is required. The obvious choice is one that was previously studied and rejected: the central fire station near Ankeny Fountain. With its existing front and rear garage doors one can imagine an open air porous space spilling out on both sides. This is one of most architecturally interesting parts of the city and the combination of the JBPM and the Saturday Market would be mutually reinforcing . The JBPM would also help to spur the development of the many nearby surface parking lots. Its proximity to the Retail Core, Old town/Chinatown, Lower Burnside and the Waterfront would be equally helpful to those areas in need of investment. Locating the market in a new sterile environment on the edge of the core without an established critical mass of pedestrians will not lead to its success. The fire station is taking up precious space in a historically rich area. Build a new fire station in the Morrison Bridge ramps with two twin towers of light on each side of the bridge thereby gaining a stunning visual addition to our skyline and gateway to downtown while utilizing space only fit for vehicles. This seems so obvious but it requires political and financial leadership. Unfortunately this city is very much in need of both at present.

Brian Libby

Excellent point, David! I would have supported this idea.

Peter Englander

Fire Station #1 was recently seismically improved after it was determined that the cost of building a new fire station - for purposes of a combined Public Market and Saturday was considered to be too costly. This part of town has already received tens of millions of public investment that has resulted in $100 million in projects, a thousand jobs and tens of thousands of new visits to the area by customers, attendees of events at Mercy Corps and U of O in addition to students there and at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine.

In addition, the balance of this area is largely controlled by the Goodman family who is already committed to development between Burnside and Morrison Bridge. The owners of the Morrison Bridge site are equally motivated to develop,

If a public market is a priority, it's role as an attractor could be played many other places in town in addition to the ones mentioned.

Robert Liberty

Would it be cost-prohibitive to build it atop I-405 between SW Alder and NW Couch if those air rights were sold for $1? That would save several million dollars in land costs. Instead of being compromised by busy arterials the James Beard Public Market and associated development could help knit together four different west-side neighborhoods. Perhaps a similar argument could be made for building it across I-84 between MLK and Grand. It would be next door to the Convention center and in between the new housing in the Lloyd District and the Burnside Bridgehead and close to the proposed Convention Center Hotel and new hotel proposed on MLK. It would be directly accessed by the streetcar on both sides and not too far from the MAX lines and served by several bus routes. It might interfere with - or take advantage of - ODOT's plans to widen both I-5 and I-84 at their intersection,


South of Waterfront Park is a city-owned strip of land that seems to be ideal for the public market, and in my opinion, a much better option than locating it on the east side of the river. With this location, stronger connections could be made between downtown and the river, and it would be much more accessible to those working and living downtown.

I did a quick write up with more detail:

Jeff Smith

Having opened and closed a business in South Waterfront, I have learned that there are problems with this neighborhood and its image in the minds of Portlanders. "There is no there, there." It is a high rise bedroom community that has very few services or attractions. There is no grocery store, no pharmacy (not even at OHSU), few restaurants, no entertainment venues. There is no permanent attraction to draw people into the district. Very few people outside the immediate area know where and what SoWa is. Residents of the area leave for dining in and entertainment options in other parts of the city. Many people feel its modern high rise canyons are '"not Portland." There is a perception that the neighborhood is a dead end and the only way out is to turn around and leave the way one came in. It doesn't attract people who live in the upscale 'hoods to the south: Dunthorpe, Lake Oswego, West Linn. Even though it is an area well-served by Max, streetcars, buses, and is bicycle and pedestrian friendly, it's only the tourists who venture there. Parking is an issue and traffic will continue to be disrupted for years as OHSU expands its campus. For a project like JBPM to be successful, it needs to be at a crossroads that can be reached by many more than the residents of the immediate surrounding neighborhoods. The Pike Place Market in Seattle is a great tourist destination, but in reality only serves a small portion of Seattle's population. Plus, with Portland being so well-served by New Season's Markets, Whole Foods, Zupan's and more, it would take a very powerful draw to get a significant part of our population to use it.


I vote for the Zidell 'Barn' it would be a real piece of our history preserved
and that area is going to be full of people in the years to come.

david dysert

Mr. Englander’s suggestion of the market as an attractor I think is the key point on whether a given location is suitable. If one thinks the market in and of itself will draw enough traffic to be successful then OMSI and SOWA are potential sites. However, if one believes as I do--that a critical mass of foot and auto traffic and mutually reinforcing adjacent uses is required--there are only a few sites in the core that would be successful. Seattle maybe helpful in this regard. Pike Place Market and the WA Convention Center bookend the retail core. This is a successful mutual reinforcement of adjacent uses. I realize JBPM is not intended to be a tourist trap as most of Pike Place is today but an authentic functioning market with both retail and educational missions still I believe the locational lesson is applicable. Like it or not JBPM will be a primary retail use and getting the location right is the most important decision to be made. Another idea: If BOORA's ODOT blocks concept in the Central Eastside were to happen, this could be a potential home for the JBPM.

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