Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, email@example.com/503-823-7994 or Heather Villanueva, R/West firstname.lastname@example.org / 503-223-5443 x122
March 01, 2012
PORTLAND, Oregon – A coalition of Central Eastside businesses, in collaboration with the Portland Development Commission (PDC), announces the formation of Produce Row, a new arts and entrepreneurial district located within the Central Eastside Urban Renewal Area, which is also known as the Central Eastside Industrial District.
“’Produce Row’ really resonates for me as the identity for the area,” said Matthew Jacobson, a Central Eastside business owner whose ventures include Sizzle Pie Pizza and Relapse Records. “It honors the unique blend of legacy enterprise and newer creative businesses that drew us to the district and will continue to inspire business development here.”
The 692-acre URA is home to a vibrant mix of more than 1,100 creative and industrial businesses, spanning such industries as athletic and outdoor, software, clean tech, advanced manufacturing, design, professional services, and food and beverage. This unique blend of companies represents an ecosystem of small businesses where partnerships flourish and entrepreneurial business thrives. In concert with positioning the neighborhood as Portland’s entrepreneurial district, a coalition of businesses and PDC plan to facilitate collaborative opportunities and networking forums for this diverse group of companies in an effort to nurture the area’s existing businesses, while attracting new entrepreneurs.
“More than any other neighborhood in Portland, Produce Row embodies a mindset of resourcefulness, creativity, and, above all, visionary innovation that inspires business growth,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “We want to foster the cross-industry pollination that is naturally occurring here, while preserving the free-spirited culture from which Produce Row has grown.”
Though the district is referred to as the Central Eastside Industrial District, it has been known informally as Produce Row for decades. The name originated when local farmers used the area to sell fresh produce at a location with close-in city access and affordable real estate. More recently, that combination of access and affordability has attracted the city’s savviest entrepreneurs and forward-thinking creative professionals. These businesses have benefited from Produce Row’s adaptable urban landscape, potential for repurposing buildings, and proximity to the scenic views of the Willamette River from the Eastbank Esplanade.
“I have valued the heritage of Produce Row for many years, so I’m especially glad to see it formalized now. This helps underscore its significance as a location – people know where it is and now it’s blended with the new vitality of the district,” said Randy Miller, owner of Produce Row Property Management.
“At its core, the Produce Row brand is an additional marketing tool to promote entrepreneurship within the Central Eastside,” said Patrick Quinton, PDC executive director. “By activating a network of companies as a think tank for supporting entrepreneurial growth, we can attract new businesses and grow existing entrepreneurs to build on the energy and vitality Produce Row already enjoys.”