Members of the IMAC (Implementation, Monitoring and Accountability Committee) for the Alberta Commons project gathered on Thursday evening, December 14, for an early look at Prosper Portland’s master-leased space in the north building of the project. Using Google Cardboard technology, the group viewed virtual reality/3D images of potential retail spaces including a coffee shop and boutique.

The gathering also included an update from Alberta Commons’ general contractor, Andrew Colas of Colas Construction, who praised the previous efforts and mentorship of Jeana Woolley and Ray Leary, the developers of the Vanport Square, as instrumental to the project. Colas said, “This project proves that minority contractors can do quality work; it’s a true example of wealth creation for minority contractors.”

Nearing completion, the urban retail shopping center will bring Natural Grocers (a quality, affordable, organic grocery retail chain) as the anchor tenant and provide affordable commercial space to local minority-owned businesses. Natural Grocers is in the process of hiring Pacificmark, a local certified MBE/DBE firm, to be the general contractor for the grocery store tenant improvements.

The IMAC was formed to ensure the delivery of the project’s Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), providing oversight, reviewing the hiring plan, and engaging the target community with employment opportunities. IMAC member Pat Daniels said at the December meeting, “I remember when we started and I cannot believe we are at this point in the project.”

Alberta Commons Virtual Reality Tour