Downtown Portland gets new name: Pioneer District

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Portland's downtown retail core is getting a new name: Pioneer District. Can simple rebranding help Portland's retail outlook?

Nothing is official with the city yet, said Jeff Miller, chief executive officer of Travel Portland, but the new name was chosen as part of the long-running effort by businesses, City Hall and other agencies to pour the love into downtown. 
"There's so much economic activity that emanates in and from the retail core. It's as simple as looking at other downtowns," Miller said. "It's the barometer of the health of a city, at least the type of city Portland is." 
Downtown Portland has other areas with special names, such as the University District and the Cultural District.
Local writer Byron Beck broke news of this development Monday. 
Miller said the intention is to christen the area along downtown's "spine" as the Pioneer District – essentially along the MAX lines, Southwest Yamhill and Morrison streets, bounded by Southwest Third Avenue to the east and Tenth Avenue to the west. 
For six months or so, Miller said, about 15 groups with interests downtown – retailers large and small, the Portland Development Commission, the Portland Business Alliance, the Downtown Marketing Initiative, the Downtown Retail Council and others – have been meeting to rethink ways to define more sharply that core area.

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