big smiles, bright lights

Last evening marked yet another big moment in the early growth of the Leftbank…  it was the coupling of two events – a ritual monthly(ish) happy hour and the GRAND opening open house of the GreenVille Project.

Celebrating the opening of its new Portland headquarters here in the building, GreenVille founders Jae Larsen, Eva Longoria and Butch Klein did it in style.   They invited the Mayor, pedicabs, models, big wigs and small wigs alike.    We invited the rest of the Leftbank community, and all rolled together, this one was a scene.       Food, drink, music, a melting ice cap sculpture Jae carved herself, a TV crew (see their work here), and even some trees played a role.    Those came courtesy of Portland’s Friends of Trees, a beautifully simple, dedicated, and effective non-profit who are ‘greening’ the city in the most literal, tangible way.

We also took time to welcome more new tenants to the Leftbank community…  First Gameplan, a potent bunch who specialize in capacity building for non-profit groups and organizations (presently moving into suite 208), and then gallopowell studio (taking 210 – and yeah, I am the ‘powell’ in gallopowell). We both got baskets filled with gifts from the other tenants, and while carrying around a basket at a party is not the way I usually roll, the symbolic transition from working-on/developing/imagining this place to being a ‘tenant’ here felt damned fine.   Now a day later, thinking about digging in and doing work alongside GreenVille, Gameplan, PFM, FMYI, Blue Tree, dc202 and the rest feels even better.        Let’s get to work!

Rose Quarter Redevelopment – an update.

On Tuesday scores of people descended on Leftbank to participate in a public forum regarding rapidly advancing plans for redevelopment in the Rose Quarter.    ((See the background post here))    Plans were presented, and a wide range of views and challenges were heard… (more below)

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.(…special thanks to Karen Pride for the fantastic images…)

While a lot has been written about these plans in the last few days, many are still largely unaware of the proposal, the process, or the potential ramifications of such a bold move.      Educate yourself!    Here are accounts of the night from the Portland Mercury and the Willamette Week.   The following morning came an initial vote of the city council related to the matter, which is recapped by the Oregonian.  Brian Libby of has chronicled the unfolding of events with particular zeal and offers substantial background on the building whose life is on the line, the Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum.

If you have an opinion on the matter, make yourself heard!    The all important city council vote is scheduled for April 22nd, and in the meantime, you can contact your commissioners and Mayor Adams and let em’ know what you think:

Mayor Sam Adams
Phone: (503)823-4120,
Email: [email protected]

Commissioner Randy Leonard
Phone: (503)823-4682
E-mail: [email protected]

Commissioner Amanda Fritz:
Phone: (503) 823-3008
E-mail: [email protected]

Commissioner Nick Fish
Phone: (503) 823-3589
Email:  [email protected]

Commissioner Dan Saltzman
Phone: (503)823-4151
Email: [email protected]

Rose Quarter Re-development?

There’s been a lot of discussion about the Rose Quarter Development lately – not only plans to tear down the Memorial Stadium and build a baseball stadium, but also the proposed creation of a new entertainment/restaurant district. Some say it will continue the revitalization of the area – and be a great spot for an outdoor music venue; others say it will empty the city’s wallet and doesn’t reflect Portland’s values.

If you’ve got something to say – or just want to listen – come to the public meeting here at Leftbank on April 14th from 6-8pm and grab Sam Adams or Randy Leonard by the ear. Reps from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the Trailblazers, and the Portland Development Commission will also be there.

For more background, check out what the Oregonian, Portland Mercury, and Brian Libby have to say.