The food-world backed, community-sourced James Beard Public Market from executive director Ron Paul, will be a year-round, indoor-outdoor, waterfront-adjacent stage for Portland's finest local food and drink. Not unlike San Francisco's Ferry Building Marketplace, it will include vendor stalls, event space and full-service restaurants. Unlike the Ferry Building, the James Beard Market is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization born out of a public-private partnership. And today fancy Norwegian design firm Snøhetta — who has designed a few little things like the Oslo Opera House and the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion — is ready to release their visual plan for the soon-to-be food-lovers mecca.
A press release sent out moments ago details all manner of local oasis. The market, which will flank the Morrison bridge like two wings, will no doubt be a new iconic landmark downtown: guest seating will spill out onto the sidewalk when the sun is out, market stalls will line a pathway to the outdoor market arena. Inside there are "soaring," exposed-steel-supported natural wood ceilings. There will even be rooftop terrace access, complete with views of the Willamette River and Mt. Hood in the distance.
With design squared away, The Market owners will now begin forecasting city ramifications and cost projections to stay on track for a planned 2018 arrival. Tomorrow night's public unveiling of the plans at OMSI’s Theory Restaurant is already sold out, but you can sign up on the wait list right here. So what do we think Portland? Excited about the scale of this thing? Apprehensive? A little of both?