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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Introducing the Leftbank Project

Posted by Alison Hallett on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 4:55 PM

The last time I talked to the folks at PICA about TBA:08, they were still scouting out locations for the Works, TBA's late-night music/performance mixer.

Then yesterday this hit the inbox:


Leftbank goes live
Web site launched, TBA’s THE WORKS,
and Bike Oregon’s Oregon Manifest to be held at Leftbank

Wha? At where now?

Leftbank, a newly unveiled commercial space in North Portland in what some folks might remember as the old MultiCraft Plastics space (240 N Broadway). It's part of the Leftbank Project, which also encompasses two other buildings in that area, including an Ecotrust-operated events space called the Green Room. I spoke with Joanna Agee about the project and she gave me some details, which I'll post after the jump—and I'm visiting the space on Friday, so check back for photos.

The buildings are owned by the Leftbank Project—"the building owner technically is Leftbank LLC," Agee told me. "It’s a small board headed by the entrepreneur who bought the building, Daniel Deutsch."

"In short, it’s a commercial building. What sets it apart from other commercial buildings is the vision that it will house a community of tenants really dedicated to the fact that it is a community. That folks will be doing work they believe in."

Agee couldn't give me the names of any specific tenants since no leases have been signed, but they "have a handful of folks who are moving along in the process." And she gave me some hints:

"There’s going to be a craft brewer in the building, a small individual craft brewer. We have somebody who builds bicycles who’s going to be in the building, and another really strong bike-related tenant. We’ve been in conversation with a couple of non-profits. We’re talked with folks who do design work. It’s a broad group, and we’re aiming for that."

The Green Room building is going for Gold LEED certification, but the other buildings aren't: "While the whole project has been approached with a mind for sustainability, the reality of making the MultiCraft Plastics building LEED would’ve meant knocking it down. It seemed more sustainable to work with what we had. [We're] not doing LEED, but we're still considering our moves in terms of sustainability. It’s going to be a pretty raw space. [The three buildings] have all been total work horses from the beginning, and we’ve really tried to honor that. We’re not doing a lot of cosmetic cover up, we’re trying to make the space habitable and beautiful, but for what it is. We’re not dropping ceilings or adding drywall."

More on Friday.

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