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PORTLAND REGION, OREGON
Illuminating Solution Solar power lights busy highway
Ports of Plenty Commerce continues to flow right along
Cool Meets Comfortable Hip new hotels enliven downtown district
SPONSORED BY THE PORTLAND BUSINESS ALLIANCE | 2009
contents BUSINESS TM
City, region and state collaborate to prepare methodically for future growth.
Clusters of Progress
Advocate for Growth
Super Site for Startups
Small business is big business here, thanks in part to helpful resources.
Keep It Symbiotic
Sun, Wind Help Portland Shine
The region has emerged as a national leader in alternative sources of power.
Plug and Go
Healthy Bricks & Mortar
Hospital construction projects are indicative of expansions in medical services.
Breakthrough for Research at OHSU
Cool Meets Comfortable
New hotels bring hipness and luxury to the central business district.
Growing to the MAX
On the Cover PHOTO BY JEFF ADKINS Downtown Portland
College and university programs specialize in environmentalism. TR ANSPORTATION
Ports of Plenty
Commerce ﬂows easily through Portland and Vancouver marine and air terminals.
Keeping City Moving Ahead
ARTS & CULTURE
Conspicuous by Its Presence
Public art abounds in the region, aided by the Percent for Art fee.
A Culture of Creativity
Locally grown, organic foods are staples at restaurants and farmers markets.
This magazine is printed entirely or in part on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste.
PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE
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2009 EDITION, VOLUME 3
CU S TO M M AG A Z INE M ED I A
MANAGING EDITOR MAURICE FLIESS COPY EDITOR JOYCE CARUTHERS ASSOCIATE EDITORS LISA BATTLES, JESSY YANCEY ONLINE CONTENT MANAGER MATT BIGELOW
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STAFF WRITERS CAROL COWAN, KEVIN LITWIN CONTRIBUTING WRITERS PAMELA COYLE, REBECCA DENTON, RENEE ELDER, SHARON H. FITZGERALD, JOE MORRIS, GARY PERILLOUX DATA MANAGER RANETTA SMITH REGIONAL SALES MANAGER CHARLES FITZGIBBON INTEGRATED MEDIA MANAGER ANDREA G. JOINER
SALES SUPPORT MANAGER SARA SARTIN SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER BRIAN McCORD STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS JEFF ADKINS, TODD BENNETT, ANTONY BOSHIER, IAN CURCIO, J. KYLE KEENER PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT ANNE WHITLOW CREATIVE DIRECTOR KEITH HARRIS WEB DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR BRIAN SMITH ASSOCIATE PRODUCTION DIRECTOR CHRISTINA CARDEN PRODUCTION PROJECT MANAGERS MELISSA BRACEWELL, KATIE MIDDENDORF, JILL WYATT SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS LAURA GALLAGHER, KRIS SEXTON, CANDICE SWEET, VIKKI WILLIAMS GRAPHIC DESIGN ERICA HINES, ALISON HUNTER, JESSICA MANNER, JANINE MARYLAND, AMY NELSON, MARCUS SNYDER WEB PROJECT MANAGERS ANDY HARTLEY, YAMEL RUIZ WEB DESIGN LEAD FRANCO SCARAMUZZA WEB DESIGN RYAN DUNLAP, CARL SCHULZ WEB PRODUCTION JENNIFER GRAVES COLOR IMAGING TECHNICIAN TWILA ALLEN AD TRAFFIC JESSICA CHILDS, MARCIA MILLAR, PATRICIA MOISAN, RAVEN PETTY CHAIRMAN GREG THURMAN PRESIDENT/PUBLISHER BOB SCHWARTZMAN EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT RAY LANGEN SR. V.P./CLIENT DEVELOPMENT JEFF HEEFNER SR. V.P./SALES CARLA H. THURMAN SR. V.P./OPERATIONS CASEY E. HESTER V.P./SALES HERB HARPER V.P./SALES TODD POTTER V.P./VISUAL CONTENT MARK FORESTER V.P./TRAVEL PUBLISHING SYBIL STEWART V.P./EDITORIAL DIRECTOR TEREE CARUTHERS MANAGING EDITOR/BUSINESS BILL McMEEKIN MANAGING EDITOR/COMMUNITY KIM MADLOM MANAGING EDITOR/CUSTOM KIM NEWSOM MANAGING EDITOR/TRAVEL SUSAN CHAPPELL PRODUCTION DIRECTOR NATASHA LORENS PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR JEFFREY S. OTTO CONTROLLER CHRIS DUDLEY ACCOUNTING MORIAH DOMBY, DIANA GUZMAN, MARIA McFARLAND, LISA OWENS RECRUITING/TRAINING DIRECTOR SUZY WALDRIP DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR GARY SMITH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR YANCEY TURTURICE NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR JAMES SCOLLARD IT SERVICE TECHNICIAN RYAN SWEENEY HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER PEGGY BLAKE CUSTOM/TRAVEL SALES SUPPORT RACHAEL GOLDSBERRY
What makes the Portland region such a favorable place to do business? What is it about the livability of the Portland region that makes people who move there to work decide to stay for the long term? Experience the vitality and charm of the Portland region from the comfort of your computer. Business Images Portland Region shows you the Portland region like you’ve never seen it before, thanks to the work of our award-winning photographers and writers. The Portland region is just a click away.
SALES/MARKETING COORDINATOR RACHEL MATHEIS EXECUTIVE SECRETARY/SALES SUPPORT KRISTY DUNCAN OFFICE MANAGER SHELLY GRISSOM RECEPTIONIST LINDA BISHOP
Business Images Portland Region is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Portland Business Alliance. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Portland Business Alliance 200 S.W. Market St., Suite 1770 • Portland, OR 97201 Phone: (503) 224-8684 • Fax: (503) 323-9186 www.portlandalliance.com VISIT BUSINESS IMAGES PORTLAND REGION ONLINE AT IMAGESPORTLAND.COM ©Copyright 2009 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member
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contents LIFESTYLE | WORKSTYLE | DIGGING DEEPER | VIDEO | LINK TO US | ADVERTISE | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
ONLINE PORTLAND REGION
An online resource at IMAGESPORTLAND.com
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A showcase of what drives the Portland regionâ€™s high quality of life
Read Business Images Portland Region on your computer, zoom in on the articles and link to advertiser Web sites. NEWS AND NOTES >>
Get the Inside Scoop on the latest developments in the Portland region from our editors and business insiders
Workstyle A spotlight on innovative companies that call the Portland region home
SUCCESS BREEDS SUCCESS >>
Meet the people setting the pace for Portland region businesses DIG DEEPER >>
Log into the community with links to local Web sites and resources to give you the big picture of the Portland region DATA CENTRAL >>
A by-the-numbers look at doing business and living in the Portland region
See the Video Our award-winning photographers give you a virtual peek inside the Portland region
GUIDE TO SERVICES >>
Links to a cross section of goods and services in the Portland region
TOP 10 REASONS TO DO BUSINESS IN THE PORTLAND REGION 1. STRATEGIC LOCATION. The Portland and Vancouver metropolitan area is a West Portland Region Coast hub for commerce and travel. The Port of Portland is the nation’s eighth largest in export tonnage, and together with the Port of Vancouver the docks make an ideal transfer point for cargo. Interstates 5 and 84 intersect here, and Portland International Airport offers nonstop service to 52 U.S. cities and to Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Canada and Mexico. 2. HUB FOR INNOVATION. World-class businesses and industries flourish here. The region’s Silicon Forest is home to international leaders in the design and manufacture of semiconductors. The area also is a manufacturing center for sports apparel and footwear, heavy trucks and railcars, metals, wines and microbrews, specialty foods, and animated films. 3. LIVING SUSTAINABLY. Progressive public policies ranging from an emphasis on mass transit to the construction of green buildings make environmental friendliness a way of life here. Factor in some of the nation’s leading universities on LEED design, urban planning and renewable energy, and you can see why the Portland region is a leader in sustainability.
7. FLOURISHING ARTS SCENE. Portland has worldclass cultural amenities: symphony, opera, ballet, theater, museums, art galleries and film festivals, as well as a thriving music scene. 8. BUSINESS INCENTIVES. The state of Oregon and local governments in the Portland region offer incentives to attract businesses and industries. 9. ACCESSIBILITY. Adding light-rail, streetcars and an aerial tram to the public transit mix has resulted in a 65 percent increase in ridership over 10 years. 10. AFFORDABILITY. Compared with other states, Oregon has lower water, power and workers’ compensation insurance costs. There is no sales tax; state income and local property taxes are modest. To learn more, contact: Portland Business Alliance 200 S.W. Market St., Suite 1770 Portland, OR 97201 Phone: (503) 224-8684 Fax: (503) 323-9186 www.portlandalliance.com Or our partner: Greenlight Greater Portland www.greenlightgreaterportland.com
4. ROBUST CENTRAL CITY. Downtown Portland is one of the most vibrant central cities in North America – a destination for people day and night. Local stores and national retailers make it a magnet for shoppers. Cultural venues abound, as do WAS W S H IN IINGTON N N restaurants, wine bars, movie 26 theaters and brewpubs. 5. QUALITY OF LIFE. The Portland region is renowned as a place where “the good life” is more than a slogan. Incredible opportunities for recreation – everything from skiing on 11,249-foot Mount Hood to beachcombing on the Pacific shore – are a short drive away. 6. INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL. Higher education institutions continue to grow and attract talent from around the country, ultimately feeding the region’s workforce. Within a 110-mile radius, 175,000 students are enrolled in 25 colleges and universities.
WASHIN NGTON N
CL L AR K 500
Portland Tigard 18
Tualatin Lake Oswego Oregon City 99E
Troutdale Gresham M U LT NO MA H Milwaukie
Hillsboro Beaverton 219
CL ACKA AM MAS A
SEE VIDEO ONLINE | Take a virtual tour of Portland at imagesportland.com, courtesy of our award-winning photographers.
PEAR DUMPLINGS? Some of the best pear desserts and dumplings you will ever taste are merely an hour away from Portland.
ONE FOR THE BOOKS Heard of Woodstock? Portland is home to Wordstock. More than 200 national and regional authors from every genre travel to Portland each November for the book and literary festival. The Oregon Convention Center houses nine stages where readings occur, and other events include a children’s festival and writing workshops. Wordstock began in 2005 and soon emerged as the largest celebration of literature and literacy in the Pacific Northwest. Community of Writers, a nonprofit organization that promotes writing, sponsors the event.
The nation’s largest pear-growing region is the Hood River Valley, which offers the complete experience of growing, producing, and enjoying pear fruit and wine. Autumn is an ideal time to drive through the valley because that’s the peak period for the pear harvest, with fruit stands and attractions along the way. One September event is the annual Pear Party at Rasmussen Farms, where visitors can sample 18 varieties of the fruit.
UP THE RIVER Dragon boat racing? In 1994, about 30 enthusiasts established Portland’s Dragon Boat Paddling Club, and there are now more than 2,000 members. The club owns six dragon boats, which are Hong Kong-style, canoe-like floatables that can be rented to rowing enthusiasts. Portland’s annual Rose Festival each June includes a dragon boat race, and a fall regatta occurs in September. The colorful boats often can be seen in late afternoons and evenings along the Willamette River.
FESTIVAL OCCASION In Portland, art is more than something to look at – it is something to experience. And there is no better way than by attending the Time-Based Art Festival, which occurs for 11 days each September.
THIS FOREST IS BIG Quick trivia answer: Portland is home to the largest urban forest in the United States. It covers more than 5,100 acres and includes Forest Park. The park allows bikers, hikers and runners to enjoy 70 miles of recreational trails that provide views of the city, mountains and Willamette River.
P H OTO C O U R T E S Y O F C O R Y S H A N N O N
One of the most popular trails, Wildwood, is recognized as a National Recreational Trail; it begins in Hoyt Arboretum and traverses through Forest Park to its terminus at Newberry Road.
Sponsored by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, the festival is gaining national acclaim for inventive, interactive displays and for performance art. Besides theatrical works, the event features dance, music, visual arts, film and video.
ECO HIGH FASHION
BE A SPORT The sporting life is a vibrant one in Portland on the professional level. The Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association dominate the pro sports scene locally, but they certainly are not the only game in town. Other teams are the Portland Beavers of baseball’s Triple A Pacific Coast League, the Portland LumberJax of the National Lacrosse League (pictured) and the Portland Timbers of the United Soccer League.
Portland designers showcase their spring and summer collections each October during Portland Fashion Week. The event features more than 30 independent designers, many of whom are also eco-designers. The 2008 show took place at 14 Square, a green building in the Pearl District. Organic food and wine were served in the VIP suite. In addition, the runway was made of bamboo.
P H OTO C O U R T E S Y O F W W W.T H E P H OTOTG R A P H E R S . U S
Portland’s creativity and ecoconsciousness can be found even in its fashion.
Plans City, region and state prepare for growth
o say that planning is one of Portland’s hallmarks is to state the obvious — and then some. Leaders of the city’s various economic development organizations are big on strategic planning, and they come together to work on areas of importance to the city and region – all the way up to the mother of all plans, the Oregon Business Plan. “Planning is a strength of our community,” says Scott Andrews, president of Melvin Mark Properties, chairman of the Portland Business Alliance’s Regional Business Plan Steering Committee and a Portland Development Commission commissioner. “For the business community, this goes back to the mid-1970s downtown that was failing – and failing badly. A planning process began that defined development in terms of retail at the sidewalk level and the bigger pieces, like mass transit.” That led to an influx of retail development as well as bus, light-rail and streetcar transportation options, with the end result being a downtown that is a true hub. “The mass transit system goes out and back in every direction, so if your business or home is downtown, it’s very convenient,” Andrews says. “On a broader basis, the urban growth boundary is moving outward; we’ve ended up with a more logical development of the region, which allows for better planning from the transportation and infrastructure standpoints.” That well-thought-out growth has positioned Portland to ride the current economic downturn fairly well. “Our economy is amazingly strong, given what’s going on nationally, because we’ve become the kind of place where people want to live,” Andrews says. “The benefits of all that work are finally coming to fruition. A busi ness can be located about anywhere now because of the communication infrastructure, and more and more are choosing to be here because it’s a community that cares about sustainability, has a strong mass-
Downtown Portland plays to its strengths, including proximity to the Willamette River. PHOTO BY JEFF ADKINS
transit system and good infrastructure. And that’s because of the planning resources we have.” A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE Planning also is serious business at the state level, where the Oregon Business Council oversees the evolution and updating of the Oregon Business Plan, which was begun in 2002 and acts as a framework for development. The state is fortunate to have so many organizations pulling together for frequent strategy sessions, says Jeremy Rogers, the council’s project director. “Having so many planners gives us a strong competitive advantage,” he says. The state organization has become quite adept at drilling down to the local level, creating the Oregon Cluster Network to help identify and grow targeted industries in specific locations. “Whether we’re talking about landuse planning, transportation or regional government, everybody comes at it from the same place. We work with the governor’s office, our U.S. senators, all the various business associations in the state and on down,” Rogers says. “A lot of good comes out of all this talking and planning.” – Joe Morris
Scorecard PORTLAND REGION, BY THE NUMBERS:
39 Fortune 500 companies
2.2 million metro population
22 percentage of residents using alternative transportation
Clusters of Progress PDC FOSTERS CIVIC IMPROVEMENT With half a century of successes to look back on, it would be understandable if the Portland Development Commission took a breather. Understandable, yes, but highly unlikely. Now more than ever, the PDC is engaged in initiatives that underscore its long-term involvement in the city’s growth – from multiple urban-renewal programs to downtown revitalization, transportation, infrastructure and parks. On the business front, the PDC focuses on four industrial clusters: advanced manufacturing, clean technology, design and creative services, and high tech. To grow those, it promotes and takes part in initiatives on everything from urban sustainability to harbor reclamation, says Erin Flynn, urban development director for PDC. “We’ve identified sustainability as a cross-cutting strategic goal for the agency, so we incorporate sustainable practices into all the work we do,” she says. “We’ve also identified green tech and clean tech as priorities for the economic development of the Portland region. We’re very focused on the recruitment and growth of solar and wind companies because we view them as the next generation, the next industrial revolution.” Flynn adds that the majority of PDC funding for economic development goes to small businesses. “In our 50th year, we’re focusing on not only growing our large companies but working with those small companies.” – Joe Morris
Advocate for Growth ALLIANCE CHAIRMAN DISCUSSES DECADE OF ECONOMIC PROGRESS
s a business leader and advocate for the city’s business community, Steven Holwerda is able to see both the forest and the trees when it comes to Portland’s growth and development. Holwerda, chief operating officer of Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, is the 2008-09 chairman of the Portland Business Alliance. He recently talked about Alliance activities and the region’s potential for future growth.
During your time with the Portland Business Alliance and its predecessor organization, how have you seen the focus evolve?
omy, beginning with the technology boom in the late 1990s, the subsequent unwinding of that boom, and then the hyper-drive real estate boom that is now correcting in both housing and commercial development. We are fortunate to have a very successful and meaningful technology base, with Intel at the core. Our economy felt the unwinding of the technology boom in the early part of this decade to a greater extent than most, but we had also benefited on the upside. Today, our technology base is very strong and significant, but other industries have emerged in the last 10 years. In the last couple years, Portland has established itself on the national scale as a green city and a place where sustainable-energy companies want to locate. Vestas, the premier wind-energy company in the world, established its North American headquarters in Portland in 2007. Solarworld opened North America’s largest solar-cell manufacturing facility in Hillsboro in October 2008. They provide a solid foundation for the future growth in the sustainableenergy industry.
Going forward, what do you think some of the driving economic forces are going to be in the area, and how is the Alliance working to grow and evolve those areas?
We see the driving economic forces to be shaped by the major industries that already define our region, such as technology, manufacturing, wood products and service industries. The Alliance will continue to be an advocate for businesses large and small in all industries. We recognize that the impact of major employers goes beyond their payroll, and it has a multiplier effect to all the small businesses that exist to service them. Our networking events are designed to mix small and big business to help generate relationships and eventually synergies between companies. We support organizations such as Greenlight Greater Portland and the Portland Development Commission, which are recruiting new businesses to Portland. Together, we can connect new companies with our business community. – Joe Morris
I was on the Portland Chamber of Commerce board for a few years before we merged with the Association of Portland Progress and became the Portland Business Alliance. The Alliance is a much larger organization that not only provides advocacy for the region’s businesses and wears the badge of the chamber of commerce, but we also oversee many downtown marketing and safety programs. In addition, we have intensified our focus for advocacy. The Alliance is the voice that speaks out to city, county and state officials to inform them of policies that may jeopardize or compromise the health of businesses, which would lead to fewer jobs, lower payroll and ultimately fewer tax dollars for government services.
The last 10 years have created a few changes to the Portland econ-
In the last decade or so, what are some of the major changes you’ve seen in Portland’s business economy in terms of growth sectors and new players? Steven Holwerda can monitor new downtown development from his office at Ferguson Wellman Capital Management, where he is chief operating officer.
for Startups Small businesses flourish here for all the right reasons
Scorecard PORTLAND REGION SMALL BUSINESSES
50,000 number of such companies
275,000 jobs there
$2 billion annual payroll
11,000 small businesses launched in the last five years
n entrepreneur here, a threeperson shop there – it all adds up. And in the Portland region, it adds up to more than $2 billion a year in payroll and 275,000 jobs, making small business a big economic engine. While the region certainly doesn’t lack for major corporations, it’s also home to about 50,000 small businesses. This fact isn’t lost on the city or the state, both of which pump significant resources into agencies and programs that help fledgling companies grow and thrive. “There’s a lot of support in Portland for local businesses,” says Debbie Kitchin, owner of InterWorks LLC and chair of the Portland Business Alliance’s Small Business Council. “People want to do business with someone they know, and there are a lot of groups that work with the businesses to help them promote their products and services.”
BENEFITS OF COLLABORATION Kitchin and her husband, Jim, opened InterWorks in 1994, and they have grown the residential-remodeling and commercial-construction firm to 10 employees and an expanded roster of services. Being part of a larger community of small businesses has helped, as have outside resources from the Alliance and other organizations, she says. “There’s a lot of collaboration here in terms of helping businesses grow,” Kitchin says. “When these organizations work together, that helps leverage the resources available for all the small businesses.” Of course, companies have to know how to tap into these resources and navigate the system, says Ryan Buchanan, president and CEO of eROI
Keep It Symbiotic
COMPANIES OF ALL SIZES INTERACT FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT
An educational workshop sponsored by the Small Business Development Center at Portland Community College spotlights Dolce Divas Bakery.
Inc., a company he describes as a hybrid Web and e-mail marketing/ design and development agency and software company. Now six years old and with 48 employees, eROI has made Inc. magazine’s Top 500 list of the fastest-growing, privately held companies. But its success doesn’t mean a move to a larger base of operations. “I’m a huge proponent of Portland and a member of several entrepreneurial and marketing organizations here and in the state,” Buchanan says. “Beyond that, Portland is just incredibly collaborative. Competitors really help each other in the areas where we might come together. Portland has been the right kind of culture for what we’re doing, and it continues to be a real open-source community for companies that are starting and growing here.”
SUSTAINABILITY ATTRACTS INNOVATORS Many, many other business owners are equally high on Portland, says Jackie Babicky-Peterson, senior business adviser at the Oregon Small Business Development Center Network’s Portland Community College branch. “We’ve seen 11,000 new small businesses begin here in the last five years,” says Babicky-Peterson, who also owns and operates Babicky Performance Partners, a business consulting firm. “Its culture has always made Portland a small-business favorite, but the move to sustainability is really attracting the innovators,” she adds. “Portland is really attracting the younger, creative class – people who have ideas and who are finding out that this is a great place to start a company.” – Joe Morris
The size and scope of Portland’s business community is impressive, even more so when examining how companies interact. “Keep it local” is a catchphrase from billion-dollar boardrooms on down, with small companies getting a crack at large contracts while the area’s bigger players can discover key entrepreneurs. “We deal with bigger companies, but we also have a number of smaller businesses that we patronize in the Portland area,” says Baruti Artharee, president of Coast Office Products, a subsidiary of Coast Industries Inc., a janitorial and security service firm. Being able to forge such relationships is a fundamental lesson at the Small Business Development Center at Portland Community College. “People have always paid attention to local services for things like restaurants and beauty shops. But now they are looking at other businesses and beginning to network,” says Jackie Babicky-Peterson, senior business adviser at the center and chair of the Portland City Council’s Small Business Advisory Council. The ability to rely on local networking also helps new companies during economic slowdowns – “to hang around until times are better,” says Sam Brooks, president of S. Brooks and Associates and founder of the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs. “Then they can grow.” – Joe Morris
Region emerges as a leader in alternative sources of power
ortland is a renewable-energy powerhouse. An influx of companies that make wind and solar power generation technology is strengthening the region’s reputation as a place where the potential of alternative sources of energy is taken seriously. Denmark-based Vestas Wind Systems A/S, a major international player in wind turbines, has its U.S. headquarters in downtown Portland. Iberdrola Renewables Inc. (formerly PPM Energy Inc.), a huge wind-energy producer, and Sun Edison LLC, which acquired local company Renewable NRG in March 2008, sell wholesale renewable energy back to the grid. In addition, Portland General Electric for three years running sold more renewable power to residential customers than any other utility in the country, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Nearly 70,000 PGE customers pay an average of $7 a month extra for power from renewable resources. That’s about 8.5 percent of the company’s customers, and the raw number is growing by 10 percent a year, says Joe Barra, PGE’s director of customer energy resources. The area is well positioned to build on its success. The October 2008 federal financial bailout package extended tax credits for investment in renewable energy, and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski got a state business energy tax credit enacted in 2007. Wind farms are springing up east of Portland. P H OTO B Y TO D D B E N N E T T
SUNNY FORECAST FOR SOLAR As long as the wind blows and the sun shines, Portland will be well served. “All over the world, demand for renewable energy is growing dramatically,” says Jan Johnson, spokeswoman for Iberdrola Renewables. The region’s robust solar industry is buoyed by a talent pool with its roots in the semiconductor boom of the 1990s. “In order to grow fast, Portland was an ideal location,” says John Sedgwick, co-founder and vice president of Solaicx, which started in San Diego in 2003. “The international semiconductor concerns had set up shop and left and also left a large cadre of highly skilled people.” With demand for solar products rising, Solaicx expects to double or triple its workforce of 60 people by the end of 2009, Sedgwick says. The company specializes in growing monocrystals that are sliced into silicon wafers and sold to companies that manufacture photovoltaic devices. SolarWorld Industries America takes a different approach. It starts with pure
silicon, grows ingots (or crystals), slices wafers and makes the solar cells. “The business model was from cradle to grave,” says Anne Schneider, head of public relations for the U.S. operations of Germany’s SolarWorld AG. In 2007, SolarWorld bought a semiconductor facility that a Japanese company had built in Hillsboro but never used. Production started in October 2008 in what is now North America’s largest solar-cell manufacturing facility. By year-end, about 250 people were working there – a number that Schneider says could grow to 1,000 by 2011. Meanwhile, PGE is building a $1 billion wind farm just east of the region that will power the equivalent of 100,000 homes. Locally, the utility installed 328,000 square feet of solar panels atop ProLogis distribution warehouses in northeast Portland, the largest such project in the Pacific Northwest. “There is a strong ethic in Oregon about environmental issues,” says Bill Nicholson, PGE’s vice president of customers and economic development. “Always has been.” – Pamela Coyle
Bora Tan inspects a newly manufactured cell at SolarWorld.
Illuminating Solution SOLAR-GENERATED POWER HELPS LIGHT A BUSY HIGHWAY INTERCHANGE An Oregon highway is in the fast lane. The country’s first “solar highway” project, dedicated in January 2009, is producing 28 percent of the power needed to light the Interstate 205-Interstate 5 interchange south of Portland. The Oregon Department of Transportation teamed up with Portland General Electric and US Bank to install – on a slice of right-of-way – an array of solar panels the length of two football fields. “Even in the middle of the night, with so few motorists, [lighting] has to be on,” says James Whitty, DOT’s manager of innovative partnerships. “The more traffic you have, the more lighting there is. Urban areas with a lot of traffic [require] a lot of lighting.” Oregon officials want the state’s agencies to use renewable resources like solar power to meet electricity needs. Proponents say this project aims to show that a public-private partnership can work and serve as a model for others along Oregon’s highways. The idea is not so much about saving money – Oregon will pay the same rate for power generated
by the 600 solar panels as it does for other electricity – but more about reducing carbon dioxide emissions and setting a standard for innovation. Because the project involved a private equity partner, US Bank, it was eligible for state and federal tax incentives. PGE will manage the $1.3 million project through a new corporation, Sun Way I LLC. The panels will export power into the grid during the day, and PGE will feed it back to the lights at night, says Joe Barra, the utility’s director of customer energy resources. Oregon’s goal is to issue requests for proposals in 2009 and secure financing to build additional solar arrays along some of the state’s 16,000 miles of public rights-of-way, Whitty says. The solar highway is getting national and international attention. Whitty and PGE officials began fielding calls from other states months before the switch was flipped. More details about the project are available at www.oregonsolarhighway.com. – Pamela Coyle
Portland General Electric rolls out vehicle charging stations
rian Toye’s life with an electric car just got a whole lot more convenient. Portland General Electric in September 2008 started installing six plug-in stations with plans to add more. One is in Lake Oswego, where Toye and his family live. Another is in Oregon City, where the stay-at-home dad often shops. His 2007 ZENN, which has a dedicated circuit in the family’s garage, can go about 30 miles on a charge. “We did sell a 5-series BMW, which was burning through $2,500 a year in fuel,” Toye says. “The ZENN will run us less than $70 a year, and it is doing the exact same job.” Portland already leads the country with the highest per capita ownership of hybrid vehicles – 17 per 1,000, compared with two per 1,000 nationally, according to Bill Nicholson, vice president of customers and economic development for PGE. Along with local and state governments, the company wants to position Portland for the next wave of hybrid plug-in and all-electric vehicles, making the region hospitable to owners as well as manufacturers. “We wanted to get out there early and with the right signals,” says Joe Barra, PGE’s director of customer energy resources. Porteon Electric Vehicles, a startup company, already is setting up shop in Portland, and PGE officials say they’ve
had “extensive discussions” with major auto manufacturers to ensure that future car lines will be compatible with PGE installations. The charging stations are an all-local affair. Shorepower Technologies built them, and Smith Creative Group came up with the look: a sleek blue-and-silver unit with an attention-getting recycled tire on top. The host government or business, Nicholson says, pays about $2,500 for the charging station and connection, and PGE provides renewable
energy for the power. During the current test period, hooking up is free. Additional charging stations in Portland are at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the Two World Trade Center garage and PGE headquarters on Salmon Street. Other locations being considered include the Nike complex in Beaverton, Shorenstein Realty Services, Columbia Sportswear and local government offices. – Pamela Coyle
Among the battery-electric cars driven in Portland is the Toyota RAV4-EV.
Hospital construction projects signify growth in medical services
he rat-a-tat-tat of jackhammers and the roar of construction vehicles are welcome noise in the Portland region, where expansions of health-care facilities mean improved and more convenient medical services for area residents. In February 2008, Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit network spanning five Western states, opened its gleaming cancer center at Providence Portland Medical Center. The cancer center is “designed from a patient perspective,” says David Underriner, chief executive officer of
Providence’s Portland Service Area. “We looked upon this as an opportunity to design a system of care to serve cancer patients in a different way. We offer a very strong continuum of care, tied in with research and communitybased programs.” The Providence Cancer Center covers 500,000 square feet on seven f loors, plus a garden level and space reserved for future growth. “It invites people to come in and interact,” says Underriner, describing the center’s main floor that features prevention and support services, a learning center, and a spa.
Medical-service floors house inpatient rooms, surgery suites and areas for advanced treatments such as the Gamma Knife Perfexion, which precisely targets 201 beams of radiation on head and neck tumors. Also setting the Providence Cancer Center apart is its research floor. “We’ve designed state-of-the-art research facilities that are attracting folks from around the country to come and practice, mainly in immunology,” Underriner says. “You’ve got scientists interacting with clinicians and patients, so they’re not just in a laboratory. It’s
The 500,000-square-foot Providence Cancer Center offers patient care that is tied in with research programs.
CONSTRUCTION STARTS FOR CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL Approximately $250 million is the price tag for Legacy Health System’s plans to build a new Emanuel Children’s Hospital and renovate Emanuel Hospital & Health Center in Portland. Legacy is a not-for-profit, Oregon-based health system with six hospitals. April Whitworth, Emanuel Hospital & Health Center’s chief administrative officer, says the Children’s Hospital is “a hospital within a hospital, and we wanted to give it its own identity.” Thus, Legacy broke ground in fall 2008 on a stand-alone children’s tower, adjacent and connected to the main hospital. “It will very much be a cornerstone and a landmark in this community,” Whitworth predicts. Opening the new Emanuel Children’s Hospital in 2011 will free up space in the main hospital for an expanded emergency department and more acutelevel and critical-care patient rooms. Emanuel Hospital, a Level 1 trauma center, has experienced an 8 percent increase in patient volume for three years in a row, pushing occupancy to 90 percent of capacity. The first phase of the project, a new parking garage, is scheduled for completion in spring 2009. About the same time, renovation and expansion in the main hospital will begin in phases, including a revamped main entrance and lobby. Legacy takes on this project just three years after it completed construction of Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital in Vancouver, Wash. – Sharon H. Fitzgerald
PHOTOS BY JEFF ADKINS
very motivating, and it really adds to the intellectual synergy.” Including a parking structure and extensive utility work, the project cost about $230 million.
Oregon Health & Science University overlooks Portland from Marquam Hill.
Breakthrough for Research at OHSU NIKE FOUNDER FAMILY’S $100 MILLION GIFT SETS THE STAGE FOR MEDICAL DISCOVERY The Oregon Health & Science University is worth a lot to Portland, and now it’s worth $100 million more. As a testament to OHSU’s pioneering cancer research, Nike founder Philip H. Knight and his wife, Penny, pledged that amount to the OHSU Cancer Institute in October 2008 – the largest gift in the university’s history. The academic medical center consists of healthcare facilities and practices, professional schools, and research programs, with about 4,100 research projects currently under way. Dan Dorsa, vice president for research, calls the Knight gift “transformational.” The first $2 million was put to immediate use to complete the Center for Cancer Cell Signaling, a $10 million facility where researchers are working to understand how cancer cells communicate. The remaining $98 million is in a current-use fund, available at the discretion of the center director, Dr. Brian Druker. Dorsa says OHSU’s cancer research, recognized internationally, focuses on identifying problems in cell components and devising drugs and agents to treat those problems. “That has resulted not only in scientific discovery and advancement, but has also led to the creation of some startup companies here in Oregon,” he says. One of those is Portland-based MolecularMD, founded by Druker and colleagues to help identify the most effective cancer therapy. OHSU stem-cell research is also notable. At the Oregon National Primate Research Center, scientists were the first to create primate embryonic stem cells from skin cells of rhesus macaque monkeys. Time magazine recognized the discovery, along with a human skin-cell advance, as the No. 1 scientific breakthrough of 2007. Dorsa says OHSU balances its research between investigations with shorter-term application and more deliberate basic research “We have many scientists who are extremely important to us who conduct very fundamental research for which the application is not immediately obvious. But in five to 10 years, it may very well be.” – Sharon H. Fitzgerald
New downtown hotels are luxurious and hip
ATTRACTING HIPSTERS AND CHRISTIAN GROUPS Elsewhere downtown, a massive renovation in 2007 and 2008 turned a one-time Days Inn into Hotel Modera – a firstclass destination for business travelers during the week and for leisure visitors on the weekend. Ace Hotel, another downtown destination that opened in 2008, has a boutique look that emphasizes natural materials. In 2008, The New York Times billed the Ace as the most Top right: The Nines hotel occupies a historic building. Bottom right: Hotel deLuxe decor spotlights Hollywood. Left: Olive Or Twist Martini Bar is a Pearl District magnet.
PHOTOS BY JEFF ADKINS
he Meier & Frank Building in downtown Portland was once a store where Portland residents shopped when they needed to dress “to the nines.” Today, the 101-year-old building is home to the Nines, a nine-story, 331-room hotel that sits atop a five-story Macy’s department store. “This interesting building has been completely recreated to blend the legacy of its architectural heritage with a worldclass hotel,” says Walter Isenberg, president and chief executive officer of Sage Hospitality, which manages the hotel. “The recent $115 million renovation represents a significant development milestone for downtown Portland.” Trendy and hip hotels around downtown Portland are becoming the norm, featuring luxurious guest rooms along with an array of amenities. Such is the case at Hotel deLuxe, housed in a 1912 building and adorned with 400 black-andwhite cinema photographs from the 1930s to the 1950s. “The architecture here has influences from the French and American art deco movement, art moderne movement and the 1940s, giving the hotel an elegant and timeless feel,” says Howard Jacobs, president and chief operating officer of Provenance Hotels, owner of Hotel deLuxe. Yet each room also has modern guest services such as 24-hour room service, iPod docking stations and high-definition f lat-screen televisions, Jacobs says. “In fact, we are the first hotel in Portland to offer full HDTV capabilities.”
PHOTOS BY JEFF ADKINS
original hotel in the country. Among its offerings are on-site eateries including Clyde Common, Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen and Stumptown Coffee. “Creative professionals stay overnight with us as well as traditional business travelers, tourists, hipsters, Christian youth groups, lots of families and touring bands,” says Shoshanna Cohen, media relations representative with Ace Hotel. “Downtown Portland has a lot going on in terms of music, art, graphic design and so forth, and using interesting vintage elements and reclaimed building materials was key when we developed this hotel.” Hotel Fifty (formerly Four Points by Sheraton) received a $7 million renovation in 2008 to its 140 guestrooms – 36 of which are river view suites. “Hotel Fifty is at the gateway to Portland, directly across the street from Tom McCall Waterfront Park,” says Christy Luther of Richmond Public Relations, which represents the hotel. “Hotel Fifty caters primarily to business travelers looking for a comfortable yet sophisticated retreat in the city. But we are also an ideal location for girlfriends’ getaways, shopping trips, and couples looking to enjoy a weekend in beautiful downtown Portland.” – Kevin Litwin
Hotel deLuxe exudes “cool,” but if guests want to sweat, Tom McCall Waterfront Park is just a few blocks away.
Growing to the MAX New light-rail line will extend from downtown to Clackamas County
MAX provides convenient light-rail service from outlying areas to the heart of downtown Portland.
et ready for a new north-south train to downtown Portland. Known as the Green Line, the MAX (Metropolitan Area Express) light-rail service is scheduled to begin in September 2009, traveling along 5th and 6th avenues between Union Station and Portland State University – and from there southward to Clackamas Town Center in Clackamas County. “TriMet’s fifth MAX line not only will serve the busiest transit destination in the region – Portland State University – it also will help revitalize downtown Portland,” says Mary Fetsch, communications director for the Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon, commonly known as TriMet.
TriMet is a public agency that operates the mass-transit system in Portland, including the region’s primary bus system and the MAX light-rail system. The agency projects the new line will have nearly 50,000 daily boardings by 2025. “The budget for this project is $575.7 million, with construction being completed in three- to four-block sections in order to minimize impacts to businesses,” Fetsch says. “This new line will also feature several other downtown improvements, including new brick intersections and sidewalks, better street lighting and eye-catching public art.” Other possible MAX extensions are being studied. – Kevin Litwin
Higher-education programs specialize in earth-friendly technology
larm about the planet’s depleting resources has spurred governments, businesses and individuals to look for cleaner, more sustainable ways to live and work. Long considered a frontrunner in the sustainability movement, Portland has a lot to teach others. And much of that learning takes place in the classrooms of the region’s higher education campuses. “Global climate change is the topic on a lot of people’s minds, especially for those in their early 20s,” says Robert Bass of the Oregon Institute of Technology. “Another big factor is the geopolitical situation. … We’re conducting wars for resources, and our young people recognize that. They know if they can get into the renewable-energy engineering field, they can make an impact.” Bass says about 80 students in Portland and another 30 at OIT’s Klamath Falls campus are enrolled in the renewableenergy engineering program that opened in fall 2008. Bass directs that program, the first of its kind in the United States. Not only will these students have a chance to affect the world’s environmental future, they also can anticipate a wealth of job opportunities. A large segment of the country’s engineering workforce is approaching retirement age just as many new jobs in the field are being created, especially in Oregon, where the legislature passed measures in 2007 to encourage sustainable businesses to open or relocate in the state.
PARTNERSHIP WITH SOLAR COMPANY At Portland Community College, students are preparing for a surge of jobs in solar technology. The photovoltaic program, part of the college’s microelectronics department, was started in late 2007 to train workers for SolarWorld’s new Hillsboro plant. Opened in October 2008, it is North America’s largest solar-cell manufacturing facility. (See story, page 16.) PCC offers an associate’s degree in photovoltaic technology. “In Oregon, this technology is definitely experiencing an impressive growth,” says Dorina Cornea-Hasegan, chairwoman of the college’s Microelectronics Technology Department. Cornea-Hasegan cites projections that solar-energy generation will be 20 times the current level by 2020. Power generation isn’t the only way to promote sustainability. Urban planning and civic involvement are other means of doing so, says Wim Wiewel, president of Portland State University. A $25 million grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation will help to broaden the university’s position in sustainability research and education, Weiwel says. It requires an equal amount of matching funds. “We had already selected sustainability as a focal area before we had an inkling of getting this grant,” he adds. “It’s an area we have strength in. It matches what the region is known for, and it’s something that society needs.” – Renee Elder
The Rock Creek campus of Portland Community College is an emblem of environmental friendliness.
PHOTO BY JEFF ADKINS
Portland, Vancouver harbor growing commerce
hree years running, Portland International Airport has topped Condé Nast Traveler’s ranking of the best U.S. airports and achieved the nation’s highest marks for security, comfort and design. It doesn’t hurt that PDX, the airport code by which locals know it, carries an industry-leading track record for on-time flights and went green long before the environment became top of mind. PDX electricity hums from solar panels; its lowflush toilets save about 80,000 gallons of water daily; and its food operations turn waste into compost. Guidance of the airport falls to the Port of Portland, which also administers operations at three general-aviation airports: Hillsboro, west of Portland; Troutdale, east of Portland; and Mulino, south of the city. A record 14.6 million passengers used PDX in 2007, and Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt is equally proud of the volume of cargo handled by the four port-owned terminals (not to mention the business generated at the port’s six industrial parks). “Due largely to the cargo moving through the Port of Portland, Oregon exports [in 2007] totaled $16.5 billion,”
Wyatt says. Marine freight reached a record 15 million tons, with 4.6 million tons of grain exceeding any total from the past decade. A major entry point for Toyota Motor Sales USA, the port moves 450,000 vehicles a year. With a 10,000-acre portfolio, the Port of Portland created the Troutdale Reynolds Industrial Park from a former 700acre Reynolds Metals Inc. site. FedEx Corp., its first tenant, plans to build a $130 million ground-freight facility and hire 950 people. The port itself will undertake $500 million of infrastructure work in the next three years to keep air and port operations cutting-edge – money that Wyatt says is well spent. “The port generates nearly $8 in tax revenue for every $1 it collects in property taxes,” he says. RAIL ENHANCES VANCOUVER PORT Across the Columbia River in Washington, the Port of Vancouver USA represents another vital economic link for the region. Vancouver joins Portland, Seattle and Tacoma, Wash., as one of the top four Pacific Northwest ports, says
Keeping City Moving Ahead
nty PHOTOS BY JEFF ADKINS
COLLABORATION BY PRIVATE, PUBLIC SECTORS SEEN AS KEY
spokesman Nelson Holmberg. The port has embarked on a $137 million rail project that will lengthen internal trackage from 16 miles to 44 miles. “We’re talking about more jobs and more cargo once that’s finished,” with the first leg opening in 2009, Holmberg says. The port’s bulk-cargo niche led it to attract 5.8 million tons of freight in 2007, including 265,000 tons of copper concentrate, 132,000 tons of bentonite clay, 308 wind turbines and more than 41,000 Subaru vehicles. The Vancouver port, which is now developing a 218-acre marine industrial park, recently purchased its second $4 million mobile harbor crane. In 2008, the first crane heaved five 90-ton reels of steel cable onto flat railcars for installation of a gondola at a British Columbia ski resort. “The cranes have allowed us to do things like handle that (type of) special cargo, which means more business for us,” Holmberg says. – Gary Perilloux
Cargo ships move in and out of the Port of Portland, which handled a record 15 million tons of freight in 2007.
A history of business and government leaders uniting behind common goals has helped Portland gain a reputation as a transportation pacesetter and one of the world’s best places to live. That’s according to Wim Wiewel, president of Portland State University and a national expert in urban planning. “I think a real key to success is collaboration between the public and private sectors,” he says. “Portland shows that to best advantage.” Born in the Netherlands, Wiewel held academic posts at the University of Baltimore and the University of Illinois at Chicago before moving to Portland in mid-2008 to take the helm of Oregon’s largest and only urban university. On his first day, he commuted by bicycle to PSU’s downtown campus, as do an estimated 2,000 other people who work or study there. Wiewel says he is proud of his new hometown, especially its position at the forefront of smart growth, urban planning and mass transit. “Urban form – how we work, live and transport ourselves between work and home – influences how much energy we consume and how we are able to maintain our social relations,” he says. A crucial challenge is to develop economic, environmental and social structures that will serve subsequent generations well while satisfying current needs, Wiewel says. “To do that, we will need to come up with specific solutions regarding water management, transportation and housing development.” – Renee Elder
Portland State University President Wim Wiewel sees transportation as one key element of urban planning.
arts & culture
Conspicuous by Its Presence Thanks to creative financing, public art abounds in the Portland region
rt can be seen just about everywhere in the Portland region. From the University District and downtown area to the Pearl District, Lloyd District and Old Town/Chinatown, artistic expressions abound – from stunning sculptures, fountains, mosaics and murals to ornately adorned stairways and solar-powered illuminations. This veritable wonderland of art is no accident but rather a statewide commitment to creating an enduring, uplifting, publicly owned legacy that’s accessible to everyone. Legislation called Percent for Art designates that at least 1 percent of capital construction budgets in all counties is used for the acquisition and care of public artwork. Portland
and Multnomah County have raised their designations to 2 percent. The collected money goes into a Public Art Trust Fund, which is administered for Portland and Multnomah County by the nonprofit Regional Arts and Culture Council. As a publicly funded arts advocacy and service organization, RACC also provides grants to artists, arts organizations and schools, along with offering affordable training. In addition, RACC collaborates with a wide range of agencies and organizations, including the Northwest Business for Culture & the Arts. This business membership organization advocates for the arts and recognizes top business donors to the arts.
“The business community is starting to pay attention to the importance of the arts to the health of the community, and it’s becoming actively engaged in arts activities,” says Eloise Damrosch, executive director of RACC. SPECTRUM OF TASTES According to Damrosch, the lion’s share of RACC’s $7 million annual budget comes from public partners led by the city of Portland and followed by three counties and Metro Regional Government. Most of this money goes out the door as grants to arts organizations and artists. This lively culture of collaboration, fundraising and promotion has resulted in a region brimming with creativity
A colorful mural by artist Robin Corbo decorates the Community Cycling Center at 1700 Northeast Alberta St. Above right: The Burnside Rocket Building at 1111 E. Burnside St. displays the creative expressions of various artists.
arts & culture
A Culture of Creativity
PHOTOS BY JEFF ADKINS
ARTISTS FLOCK TO THE PORTLAND REGION, LURED BY ITS WELCOMING VIBE
and vitality that’s visible in its wealth of public art. “I think it’s essential for us to have original artistic expression around us all the time, whether it’s at the swimming pool or city hall,” says Kristin Calhoun, public art manager for RACC. “A public art collection should represent a broad range of styles, media and voices, so it represents the work and thinking of many different artists as well as the spectrum of personal tastes of the citizens.” One new piece of public art in the works is a 50,000-square-foot, wildlifethemed mural on the Portland Memorial Mausoleum in the city’s southeast quadrant. When completed, it will be the largest hand-painted outdoor mural in the country. “It will be a destination,” Damrosch says. Public art has a way of drawing a community together and promoting a sense of pride, she adds. “It says to the community, ‘We want you to think about interesting ideas and encounter beautiful things.’ … It adds to the sophistication and the aesthetic well being of a community.” – Rebecca Denton
A couple of years ago, Richard Wolfson was looking to open a fine art gallery in a diverse, cosmopolitan city. Portland seemed the obvious choice. “Portland offers a thriving arts scene in a way that is more relaxed and inviting for an art lover than perhaps other cities,” says Wolfson, who moved to the area with his family from Carmel, Calif. He opened Portland Classic Gallery in the upscale Bridgeport Village shopping center in 2008. Portland Classic joins an array of galleries displaying regional artists’ work as well as the creations of national and international artists in the Pearl District, Alberta Street and Bridgeport Village. “We’re getting more and more artists all the time,” says Eloise Damrosch, executive director of the nonprofit Regional Arts and Culture Council. “Many young people are moving here because it’s a progressive city. It’s a very livable and accepting place. You don’t have to swim upstream to be a creative person in this community.” Wolfson already had customers in the Lake Oswego area, which helped draw him to Portland. His gallery focuses on representational and impressionistic fine art, and he fosters a warm atmosphere that caters to both experienced connoisseurs and beginning collectors. “Feedback has been tremendous and very complimentary,” Wolfson says of his gallery. “As we have a very relaxed atmosphere, we are able to take the time to talk to people about our artists and their techniques.” The gallery’s laid-back feel reflects Portland’s general welcoming vibe, which continues to attract the creative set. “We are blessed with a new generation of very creative people who need to be supported, employed and celebrated so they will stay,” Damrosch says. “Artists seem to be drawn here for the vibrant arts environment, the natural surroundings, relative affordability and liberal attitudes.” – Rebecca Denton
SEE MORE ONLINE Hear Eloise Damrosch talk more about Portland’s arts community and check out some of the city’s murals at www.imagesportland.com.
A visitor to the Rake Art Gallery in Portland’s Pearl District views paintings by artist Marcus Gannuscio from his “People Watching” series.
Gourmets Many eateries use locally grown, organic food
PHOTOS BY JEFF ADKINS
reg Higgins has been an active organic gardener for decades, and he runs his Portland restaurant pretty much the same way he runs his kitchen at home. “Whatever is freshest and best out of my garden is what is going onto the plates at my restaurant,” says Higgins, chef and owner of Higgins Restaurant and Bar. “I’ve been in business for 15 years, and my focus has always been to source directly and locally, using as many organic and sustainable products as possible.” Higgins says his food is driven by the outstanding quality of local agriculture. “You can’t find healthier, fresher ingredients than on my menu, and I feature seasonal offerings,” he says. “For example, in the fall I will offer dishes such as forest mushrooms, halibut and duck. I always include one-third vegetarian, one-third seafood and one-third meat dishes.” Higgins adds that his background is French cuisine – not the butter-andcream French cooking but French country cooking that is found in farmhouses and bistros.
Steamed clams are a popular choice at Bluehour restaurant (lower right). Top right: Fresh purple peppers
“My customers appreciate nature and respect the lifestyle here in Portland,” he says. “They dine here frequently because of the freshness of the food.” Fresh and organic also can describe the offerings at other Portland restaurants such as Beast, Bluehour and clarklewis. Appetizer menu items at Beast include chestnut soup with garden-grown onions, and salads containing organic baby greens and local grapes. At Bluehour and clarklewis restaurants, owner Bruce Carey believes that any fine restaurant worth its lamb chops will design the menu offerings to reflect the best products available. “I use local, organic products for several reasons,” says Carey, who also owns the 23Hoyt and saucebox restaurants in Portland. “Local organics tend to be superior, and I have built relationships with the people we buy from. I also want to avoid shipping, because that hampers freshness.” As for specific dishes, he encourages diners to try the handmade pasta offerings created by Chef Dolan Lane at
clarklewis. “The pasta at clarklewis is sublime and peerless, and Chef Dolan simply adds accompaniment and love,” Carey says. “The entire healthy Portland food scene continues to evolve exactly at the right clip, and it always keeps me interested. I am never bored in this city – and always challenged.” FARMERS MARKETS GALORE As for cooking at home, residents can purchase fresh ingredients at more than 25 farmers markets in the metropolitan area, with perhaps the most visited being the Portland Farmers Market. It convenes three days a week in four different locations in the city. The market stocks the usual fruits and vegetables, but also has items such as Swiss chard, kale, cured garlic, parsnips and shiitake mushrooms. Also on site are meats such as beef, buffalo, lamb and pork, and seafood such as abalone, smoked salmon, rock cod and oysters. – Kevin Litwin
ECONOMIC PROFILE BUSINESS CLIMATE
DISTANCE TO MAJOR CITIES Los Angeles, 960 miles
Located on the Pacific Rim and bridging the states of Oregon and Washington, the Portland region is a strategic center of trade and commerce on the West Coast. Well served by interstate highways, rail lines, airport and navigable waterways, the region is an efficient and economical manufacturing and distribution point.
New York, 2,897 miles San Francisco, 632 miles
Seattle, 173 miles
Portland International Airport (503) 460-4040 (877) 739-4636 www.flypdx.com
7% December 2008
Portland region MSA (Oregon only) Total Employment:
Port of Portland (503) 944-7000 (800) 547-8411 www.portofportland.com Port of Vancouver (360) 693-3611 www.portvanusa.com
(ages 14 to 99), 1,000,000 Job Growth Projections: 76,200 from 2009-2013,
Computer and electronic product manufacturing
Other: apparel, textiles, plastics, chemicals and furniture
Clackamas County, 376,660
Primary and fabricated metals
Clark County, Wash., 424,200
Columbia County, 48,095
Multnomah County, 717,880
Washington County, 575,930
Wood products Paper products
Yamhill County, 94,325 Total, 2,237,090
Source: Oregon Employment Department, 2007
Property tax, Portland area 2008: Rates across counties in the Oregon portion of the MSA range from $9.29 to $26.85 per $1,000 assessed valuation. Property tax, Clark County, Wash., 2008: $10.51 per $1,000 assessed valuation Transit district payroll tax: .006618% of payroll THIS SECTION IS SPONSORED BY
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