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Monday, November 2, 2009

Rose Quarter Makeover Looking for Ideas

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 4:22 PM

Today is the first day you can formally pitch your ideas for how the city should repurpose Memorial Coliseum over at the city Rose Quarter redevelopment website. This is a slightly more legitimate process than our Blogtown poll last month that revealed the public's surprisingly strong support for turning the icon of modern architecture into a year-round farmer's market or giant shark tank.

Whatever happens to the Memorial Coliseum, the Trailblazers development group Portland Arena Management (PAM) get to decide the direction for the rest of the Rose Quarter. Today PAM launched a website pitching their vision for a redeveloped Rose Quarter: Imagine Jumptown. The website features a scrolling header filled with photos of things whose sum is surely meant to create an image of "authentic Portland"—a latte, a wind turbine, a row of frosty beers, a Nike swoosh—interspersed with text describing the benefits of the redesign.

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As I've written about recently here and here, the city is planning to redevelop the Rose Quarter into the 24-hour entertainment district like the one that existed 60 years ago, before the city's urban renewal plan razed the neighborhood to build Memorial Coliseum. The PAM redevelopment of the district, which would rely on both public and private funds to bring a mix of national and local stores to the Quarter along with dense housing, will be in partnership with Cordish development, a high-powered development company that PAM trusts but I'm wary of due to its strong-arming of public officials in other cities and its alleged racism.

Both PAM and the city reiterate that they're looking for good ideas for how to make over the Rose Quarter, so give them a shout out either via the city's website or on Twitter with #rqidea.

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