Before the rest of summer slips away, you might want to make time for a stroll through Old Town. Take in the sights, the sounds and the smells, because massive change is coming, and it's coming fast.
Start with a trip through Saturday Market, because it won't be there next year.
Early next year, Mercy Corps will begin renovating and expanding the Skidmore Building. "Expanding it where?" ...into one of the parking lots that Saturday Market currently sets up in every weekend. Another piece of the current Saturday Market site will be lost when the University Of Oregon moves into the White Stag Building, as they will inherit the parking lot under the Burnside Bridge.
Goodbye Saturday Market?
A few vendors will stay in the Ankeny Plaza area, but the market itself is being moved a few blocks into Waterfront Park, where a new permanent home for it will be built this winter, complete with a covered platform.
More info on the project: Portland Development Commission.
The Saturday Market relocation is only a piece of the puzzle though. The Naito family, who own so much property in downtown, plans on redeveloping nine blocks in Old Town (mostly along 2nd Ave). NINE blocks!
Can you imagine Old Town looking like this?
That image along with the map below come from the Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects website.
It looks like Old Town is definitely getting more than just a facelift.
I'm sure that many people are going to oppose the changes in store for Old Town, but I'm all for it. Old Town is a gem with so much potential.
The MAX shifting to 5th and 6th Aves.
I live in the vastly renewed Cultural District, which has seen the new Safeway, Eliot Tower, Benson Tower, Museum Place, The St. Francis and St. James apartment buildings, plus the Mosaic and Cornerstone Condos, the 10th Avenue Lofts conversion, the University Park conversion, and the row of restaurants along Jefferson from 12th to 13th.
All of this seems very exciting to me.
What will Portland look like 20 years from now?