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Norwegian Design Firm Snøhetta Taking on the James Beard Public Market

Is the market finally in the making?

James Beard Public Market

The fabled James Beard Public Market is one step closer to becoming reality.

Portland Monthly reports that Norway-based design firm Snøhetta, known both for its design prowess (National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center), and redesign prowess (it overhauled the public spaces in New York's Times Square), will take the lead in designing the market, which is proposed for the parking lot at the western end of the Morrison bridge. It's a tricky site, but the international firm's staff includes traffic engineers among its roster of architects.

After a three-day design forum from December 10-13, the company will present its ideas to the public in March 2015.

The goal of market, which has been more than 10 years in the making, is to have stalls for at least 90 vendors, plus teaching kitchens, event space, and full-service restaurants.

If everything falls into place, the market would be open by summer of 2018 at a cost of $30 million. The project is backed in part by real estate magnates Pete Mark and Dan Petrovich of Melvin Mark and Associates, and has received funds from the Portland Development Commission and the Oregon Legislature.