The Oregonian reports that Portland Public Schools will proceed with its plans to site a small neighborhood elementary school in the ground floor of an affordable housing project slated to open in 2011. Located at NW 13th and Raleigh, the school could eventually house up to 130 students.
In what's great news for Portlanders and Portland visitors alike, David Machado's new downtown restaurant Nel Centro is under-construction at the recently restored Hotel Modera. Veteran Chef and Restaurateur Machado is planning an opening during the first week in April. Since the early 1990s, Machado has been responsible for a laundry list of renown Portland eateries, such as Pazzo, Southpark, Lauro, and Vindalho.
His newest venture, a modern French-Italian hybrid, will grace the corner of SW 6th &
Columbia, and will have one of Portland's best central city courtyards
with multiple outdoor fireplaces.
Coupons have never been sexy, but they're back. Because of sagging sales and the lowest numbers in decades, the Oregonian reports that local restaurant chains and retailers are luring back clientele with deep discounts. Eating out is about to get much cheaper.
There was an interesting story on Morning Edition today about how the credit crisis is impacting mall owners in the US. At the end of the story they share a little known tidbit: the U.S. has 20 square feet of retail space per person, six times more than any other country.
Are restaurateurs getting desperate to lure in clientele? That's what New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni alludes in this lengthy piece on the state of the New York restaurant economy. The most troubling part of this piece are the orange Crocs worn by Chef Mario Batali in the picture above. Well-funded restaurants with savvy management will bounce back, but I'm not sure if Mr. Batali's image will recover.
In the world of retail, amenities follow people. So the reason Old Town has lagged behind other Portland urban hoods is simple: during the day, the sidewalks have been empty. This has slowly been changing over the last year, and yesterday Old Town's bright future scored another victory. The education non-profit the Northwest Evaluation Association announced Monday it would land its headquarters and 300 employees in the former Port of Portland building on NW 1st and Everett.
Though Old Town is still far from resembling its glory days (as pictured above by renowned Portland photographer Minor White), its daytime population is quickly growing. Last spring, the University of Oregon moved into its new Old Town Portland campus, which will soon house more than 700 students and faculty. By summer, the world headquarters of the non-profit Mercy Corps will be complete on the adjacent block, and the renovation of the Globe Hotel (Aka Block 8) by Beam Development and the Naito Family into the new home of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine is also on the horizon.
With the new and projected influx of people, retail is beginning to follow. In addition to the Davis Street Tavern and a new outpost of Floyd's Coffee, the Japanese Izakaya-inspired restaurant Ping will soon be unveiled by renown local chef Andy Ricker (Pok Pok) and designer Jon Jay of Weiden and Kennedy. North Killingsworth's Roux is also moving into the burgeoning district.
Mark our words, Old Town is Portland's next big thing.
Macy's Monday announcement that the department store giant would slash four percent of its 175,000-strong workforce shouldn't come as a surprise. Though without doubt a response to a slumping economy made worse by lackluster holiday sales, the job cuts are part of a greater effort to consolidate and centralize the company's operations.
According the press release, the majority of these jobs will be at the executive level. No stores, including the recently renovated Portland flagship pictured above, will close.