Public market jockeying

Downtown Portland property could be developed into a major tourist attraction.

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Organizers of the James Beard Public Market and their development partner, Melvin Mark Companies, want to develop the Morrison bridgehead property in downtown Portland into a public market and major tourist attraction along the lines of Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Now other major developers are entering the bidding, including Gerding Edlen and Specht Development.

While the county weighs the three proposals and decides how to proceed, Melvin “Pete” Mark Jr. says he’s ready to spearhead fundraising for the nonprofit public market component. Mark, who leaves the business side of Melvin Mark Companies to his son and others, is one of the city’s leading philanthropists and fundraisers. He led the capital campaign to improve Pioneer Courthouse Square, helped Portland Art Museum raise $125 million, was a major benefactor for the downtown library renovation and now is aiding the Oregon Historical Society.

Mark says it might take more than $10 million to establish the nonprofit market, which would occupy three of the four blocks. But he says the timing is right in a town enamored with locally grown and produced food and drink.

Read the full story at the Portland Tribune.

{biztweet}James Beard Public Market{/biztweet}

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