Parents pool money, buy Portland strip club

Neighbors hope to transform Sugar Shack into community building

Some moms and dads are pooling their money to buy the Sugar Shack strip club in Northeast Portland’s Cully Neighborhood. They say they’ve been waiting for this opportunity for years, Nov. 6, 2014. (KOIN 6)
Some moms and dads are pooling their money to buy the Sugar Shack strip club in Northeast Portland’s Cully Neighborhood. They say they’ve been waiting for this opportunity for years, Nov. 6, 2014. (KOIN 6)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Some Portland moms and dads are pooling their money to buy a strip club. They say they’ve been waiting for this opportunity for years.

Several strip clubs have long operated out of the Town Center Plaza in Northeast Portland’s Cully Neighborhood. The people who live there have waited for the building to go up for sale, and now that it has, they hope to turn it into something to serve the whole community.

“It’s for sale,” exclaimed Maabi Munoz. “The Sugar Shack is for sale.”

Munoz couldn’t contain her excitement Thursday, or in July when the local non-profit coordinator found out the building that housed the old strip club was on the market.

“From that moment on, it has been, ‘let’s go! Let’s get it! How are we going to get it?’” said Munoz who is the coordinator at Verde, who partnered with Habitat for Humanity, Hacienda Community Development Corporation and the Native American Youth & Family Center to make an offer on the complex.

“It’s not a matter of if we get it, it’s when we get it and we need to get it,” said Munoz.

The seller accepted the group’s offer, and they now have 90 days to line up financing for the nearly $3 million purchase. They have already invested $55,000 of their own money and have since turned to area investors and the crowd funding site Indie Go-Go to raise even more.

“When we get the Sugar Shack and we build something, I know it will be something to benefit the children and families in this neighborhood,” said Munoz.

Longtime resident Lupe, who didn’t give her last name, would like to see a fitness center in the future plan and said the block-sized building is an eye-sore.

“In the summer especially, when the kids are out playing in the front and they’re seeing the comings and goings and they’re seeing what’s going on at a strip club and that’s not good for them to see that,” said Lupe.

The group has raised $4,500 so far online and encourages you to help prevent strip clubs from running out of the building. The one that is currently renting space there would have to vacate if everything goes to Munoz’s plan.

“It’s a need, it has to happen,” she said.

Besides trying to redevelop the old Sugar Shack space, community members also recently turned a closed landfill into a 25-acre park, all in the name of making Cully a neighborhood destination.

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