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|Articles - May 2011|
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
Page 5 of 6
That’s what Gramor Development president Barry Cain is trying to do at his soon-to-be-completed Progress Ridge TownSquare in Beaverton, a $60 million investment. Cain has been developing retail centers in Oregon and Southwest Washington for 26 years, with more than 60 centers in the Gramor portfolio. As tastes have changed he has shifted from big-box malls to compact, walkable centers such as Lakeview Village in Lake Oswego. His latest Fred Meyer, due to open in Wilsonville in July, features landscaped sidewalks, fountains and an amphitheater.
At Progress Ridge, construction workers from R&O Construction are busily sculpting a 110-acre former rock quarry into a modern version of the age-old town square, with outdoor fountains and eating areas, a 24-hour coffee shop, a local hardware store instead of a Home Depot, an outdoor fireplace, a pond with a floating dock, a row of small service businesses next door to the outdoor seating in front of the cinema, all overlooking a wine-tasting garden with a planted vineyard. The center, due to open by September, has three anchor tenants, and not one is a national chain. Instead Cain has signed on New Seasons Market of Portland, Big Al’s Family Entertainment Center of Vancouver, Wash. and Cinetopia Theaters, also of Vancouver.
Cain estimates that the new center will employ more than 800 people. It is the largest retail project in Oregon since the recession hit and the most complex project Gramor has done.
It took persistence to put the project together. Between the struggles to gain approval from city planners to move Southwest Barrows Road to the other side of a creek and to get financing, the project has taken nearly a decade to pull off. Cain jokes that the process dragged on for so many years that “we almost had to change the name. Progress Ridge wasn’t really working any more.”
Now that he has received a $45 million loan from U.S. Bank and has the area 75% leased, Cain is visibly relieved. He points out amenity after amenity as he works his way from the pond with the floating dock to the picnic area outside of New Seasons and up the stairs to the living room theaters of Cinematopia, which will contain in-theater bathrooms with their own screens, enabling moviegoers to use the facilities without missing a line of dialogue.
“The more we do these things, the more we want to make places where people want to be,” Cain says. “You spend 10 years building a project, you’re not just blowing and going. You want to build something that will last.”
Progress Ridge is likely to be a hit with the people who have bought homes in the dense surrounding neighborhoods. It will also pull a certain amount of traffic away from the older strips that are suffering, potentially adding new pieces to the museum of failure. As with other examples of the latest trends, it does little to solve the puzzle of what to do with the areas that have missed the trends. But Cain predicts even the most challenging areas will transform over time. He has met with the planners trying to revitalize McLoughlin and he says he sees potential there, calling it “the most undervalued stretch of property in the region.” He can envision a completely different strip there. “You need people living there and you need cool things to make them want to be there. Give it 15 years.”
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Gene Pelham, CEO of Rogue Credit Union.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
On April 1 I attended a forum at the University of Portland on the sharing economy. The event featured panelists from Lyft and Airbnb, as well as Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Asked about the impact of tech-driven sharing economy services. Hales said the new business models are reshaping the landscape. “But,” he added, “I don’t pretend to understand how a lot of this [technology] works.”
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
BY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER
Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Friday, April 24, 2015
BY BEN DEJARNETTE | INVESTIGATEWEST
Timber companies and environmental groups take a stab at collaboration to boost logging and restoration in Oregon fires.
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Oregon already ranks as the nation’s second largest generator of hydroelectric power. (Washington is No. 1). Now an elegant new installation in Portland is putting an unconventional, sharing economy twist on this age-old water-energy pairing. The new system, launched this winter, uses the flow of water inside city water pipes to spin four turbines that produce electricity for Portland General Electric customers.
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Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
The Oregon Entrepreneurs Network (OEN) will be presenting its third annual Entrepreneurial Summit on Friday, June 5 at Castaway in Portland, Oregon.
On June 13th Mayor Charlie Hales will attend nonprofit organization Dream Change’s inaugural Love Summit and will introduce one of its keynote speakers, Dan Wieden of Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.
34 spots for food, 17 places to sip, and 7 sites to choose a brew beckon visitors.