PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN)—Plans for the 50,000 square-foot James Beard Market are changing.
Planners for the proposed public market told KOIN 6 News the location on the west side of the Morrison bridge proved to be too expensive and too challenging. Five years of planning for that location has now been scrapped.
“The first and foremost issue was pedestrian safety,” the project’s executive director, Fred Granum, told KOIN 6 News. “The model that we have will attract hundreds of thousands of people a year to this market place…The idea of moving the ramps, changing traffic patterns and such all takes a lot of money and time.”
Granum said this change in location will not delay market construction.
“We’ve never had better traction, I’ve never been more optimistic about the future of the market than I am today. And I mean that genuinely. This is a very positive change,” Granum said.
Other potential locations include the southwest waterfront near Zidell Yards and the southeast waterfront near OMSI.
“We’re looking at the east end of the Tilikum Crossing. Proximity to OMSI and public access of the streetcar, bus lines and MAX lines that all converge there would be an ideal spot to provide public access for this public market,” he said.
A decision on the new location is expected in the spring of 2017. Granum said they hope to break ground in 2019 and open in 2020.