DJC: Siteworks eyes Old Town Chinatown building for open retail marketplace



By: Shelby King in Real Estate and Development October 23, 2014 1:10 pm


Portland Bureau of development services has approved plans for the renovation of a 128-year-old building in Old Town/Chinatown, which will include a ground-floor open marketplace and office space on the two upper floors. (Sam Tenney/DJC)

Developers wanting to remodel a historic 128-year-old building in Old Town Chinatown received a go-ahead from the Portland Bureau of Development Services. The three-story, 9,500-square-foot building at 126 S.W. Second St., known as the United Carriage and Baggage Transfer Co. building, may soon hold an open retail marketplace on the ground floor and office space on the upper floors. The renovated building will be home to Pine Street Market, which will be similar to Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, said David Davies, vice president of Siteworks, the design and build firm developing the building. Davies said his firm envisions an open first floor with five or six different retail options – coffee shops, flower vendors and restaurants are among the ideas – for the businesses above and in the neighborhood. The warehouse building, which was built as a carriage house for horses, is currently vacant has been used as a timber storage facility, was home to the Old Spaghetti Factory from the 1960s to the 1980s, and most recently was an underage nightclub.

“After the horses moved out, the upper floors have always been storage,” Davies said. “You’ve got 130-year-old timber beams that have never been finished. You get in there and start thinking what’s possible; it’s just screaming for an update.”

The building in the 1980s was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and Davies said his firm is determining how to maximize the space’s potential while still staying true to its history. Davies said his firm is open to designing the 20,000 square feet of upstairs space to accommodate one large tenant, but said it also would consider leasing to several tenants looking to occupy 2,500 to 3,000 square feet apiece. “We have the flexibility to accommodate a range of different tenants,” he said. The next step is to apply for building permits, which Davies said his company would be doing within the next few weeks. They hope to begin construction in early 2015 and are shooting for opening for business in fall 2015.