Yesterday evening Katherine Krajnak of the Portland Development Commission sat in my living room and laid out an idea being floated that could potentially be a goldmine for Portland's fashion and design industry: an incubator in the downtown core that would be a hive of affordable work spaces, a centralized retail destination, and a venue for classes, receptions, and other related events. It's currently still in talks, and even an aggressive estimate probably wouldn't put anything into motion until the end of this year, but it takes time, and a lot of thought and consulting to make something like this launch successfully. I think this could be a tremendous boon to Portland's ability to attract and hold on to talented designers. It would show an investment, a commitment, to the design community from city institutions. It's just as important that it launches with the support of the strongest members of our community designers as much as that of the city, though, and the committee, led by member of the PDC as well as the Portland Business Alliance, can only benefit from your input to ensure that the project happens, and that it does so in a way that will effectively benefit designers, shoppers, tourists, and Portland's reputation and growth as a whole. So speak now—I'll be following the developments on this with a lot of interest, so feel free to leave comments and questions here or email me directly to swap perspectives.
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