James Cook, director of retail research in the Americas for JLL, has an interesting podcast called Where We Buy, “a show about the things we buy and the places we buy them.”
In his most recent episode he explores Portland’s West End with Jonathan Ledesma, a partner with developer Project^. They talk about the challenges, opportunities and the transformation of the West End through adaptive reuse.
The two projects highlighted include Blackbox, a retail and creative space in a historic brick building, and Union Way, the shopping alley that connects two streets through two former night clubs. I’m probably not the target shopping audience for Union Way but I still love its aesthetics, the vibe, the design (those flush-mounted floor lights…), and the fact that it magically empties out to Powell’s (how convenient). It’s the perfect example of a building being reborn as a fun and useful space.
Grab a beverage and give the episodes a listen.