Contact: Anna Gordon, Living Cully, 541-513-9292,

June 30, 2015

Living Cully

Portland, OR (June 30, 2015) — Living Cully Partners Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, Hacienda Community Development Corporation and Verde, are the new owners of the former Sugar Shack site at the corner of NE Killingsworth St. and Cully Blvd in NE Portland.

The former strip club was known to harbor illegal activities and sat across the street from over 300 units of multifamily affordable housing. The coalition plans to work with the community to develop it into a positive space that benefits the neighborhood.

“I am so happy that we have the opportunity to build something better for the community,” said Ana Mendoza, a community leader who has lived across the street from the property for 15 years. “There are so many kids in this area. This is a great change for our community and a chance for my nieces to grow up in a better neighborhood.”

Over 500 individual donors helped the effort to purchase the site through a crowdfunding campaign, fundraising over $60,000 in less than a month. The project has also received incredible support from local funders including: Meyer Memorial Trust, Vibrant Village Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) Portland Development Commission (PDC), Craft3 and Business Oregon.

“This milestone is a testament to the power of community-based partnerships built on a shared vision,” said Patrick Quinton, Executive Director of Portland Development Commission. “I applaud the neighborhood for its perseverance over many years. It’s a great day for Cully and the city.”

Craft3, a non-profit community development lender based in the Pacific Northwest has been a key partner in the project, providing a loan to help with the purchase. “Craft3 invests in opportunities that make communities more resilient,” explained John Berdes, Craft3 President. “Living Cully Plaza is an excellent example of a community and its supporters coming together to create a better place for families and small business. We are very proud to be part of it.”

“Redevelopment of this site has been a community priority for nearly twenty years, and Living Cully is stepping forward to turn the site into a place that meets the needs of our community,” said Tony Defalco, Living Cully Coordinator. “We wouldn’t have been able to get to this point without the stalwart support of all the funders.”

A community celebration with free food, music and activities for kids will be held on the site on August 4th from 4-8 pm; the week of National Night Out. Neighbors, community members and supporters are invited to celebrate this exciting victory for the community.

Sugar Shack celebration

About Living Cully: Living Cully is an innovative collaboration that formed in 2010 between Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East, Hacienda Community Development Corporation, Native American Youth and Family Center, and Verde. Through its work in NE Portland’s Cully Neighborhood, Living Cully reinterprets sustainability as an anti-poverty strategy by concentrating environmental investments at the neighborhood scale and braiding those investments with traditional community development resources.