This past Friday, 12 of the Mercado’s future tenants spent three hours learning about the vibrant world of food carts and the relationship between indoor and outdoor eating spaces along N. Mississippi Street. Later, the business owners and Hacienda staff visited Portland Food Trailers in SE Portland to get a better sense of the purchasing and outfitting of food carts – now set to be a central feature of the indoor-outdoor Portland Mercado. Led by project consultant, Michele Reeves, the group met with the owners of Prost and ¿Por qué no? on N. Mississippi St. for an afternoon of learning and conversation.
The first stop on N. Mississippi St. included a visit with Dan Hart of Prost, a German restaurant and bar. With a spacious patio and a vibrant food cart pod abutting the restaurant, Dan made the decision to invite food cart customers onto Prost’s patio. This has been a classic “win-win” for the food cart operators and Prost. By allowing food cart customers to buy beer while they eat on the patio, Prost has created more seating for accompanying food carts and he has increased Prost’s sales.
The last stop on the tour included a conversation with Bryan Steelman, the owner of ¿Por qué no? Having started his business 8 years ago, Bryan was excited to tell the tenants of the future Mercado his story as a small business owner. Starting in the basement of an old craftsman house, Bryan opened his business when N. Mississippi was less commercially vibrant than it is today. Winters were difficult and required specialized business plans. With additional catering and a strong work ethic, Bryan grew his business by opening another location on SE Hawthorne.
The last visit of the day included a trip to Portland Food Trailers. There Mercado business owners saw food carts being made up close. Everyone was excited to see how vibrant and clean food carts could be, and ended the tour energized to getting ready for the Mercado opening in 2014.
This week Hacienda, with input from Scott Edwards Archictecture and Monica Moreno from the Mercado Asamblea, selected Bremik Construction to be the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CMGC) for the Mercado’s development. Bremik was selected after a very competitive process that included several other high quality firms from the Portland area. Bremik’s expertise in adaptive re-use projects, its strong record in completing projects on-time and on-budget and its strong relationship with the Portland Development Commission were all points in Bremik’s favor.
“We’re very pleased to have been selected by Hacienda to work on this signature project for the Latino community,” said Brent Parry, President of Bremik Construction, “and we look forward to helping to build a landmark that the whole community will recognize as the Portland Mercado.”
Everyone working on the Mercado is thrilled to have taken this step and to move forward quickly to complete design and construction estimates for the Mercado soon. We plan to break ground this fall, with Bremik’s team of sub-contractors on board. Stay tuned as we start planning for both a groundbreaking event in the fall.
It has been almost a month since we have posted anything on our blog, but with good reason! We have been kept busy with several project tasks including design, leasing, project management and business owner trainings and technical assistance.
Last week, in the middle of the design phase for the Mercado, Hacienda held a design charette with the future tenants. “A charette,” is known in planning and architecture circles as a period of intense design and project planning. In these meetings, different stakeholders gather around a table to discuss different design scenarios for a project as well as design concepts that reflect the desires of each stakeholder group.
The future Mercado tenants were anything but short of design ideas. The conceptual planning and design ideas presented by the Mercado’s architect, Scott Edwards Architecture (SEA) were well received and the feedback helped SEA move forward with more substantial design charette this week among Hacienda staff and project consultants. Although we’d love to show you our plans for the future Mercado, they are still in development! Be sure to stay tuned as we move forward with the Mercado’s final design phase and ramp up for construction this fall. Pa’lante!
With Hacienda and Scott Edwards Architecture (SEA) kick starting their partnership last week, this week we would like to showcase a tie between the two organizations. Roseva Saa, introduced on this blog back in January, has come a long way in developing her relationships with the Mercado’s Asamblea as well as remaining engaged with community groups and initiatives within the Foster Corridor, the future home of the Mercado.
Particularly, Roseva, originally from Honduras, has been involved in the Foster Lents Integrated Partnership, a PDC initiative to revitalize the Foster corridor by creating jobs and supporting local businesses. Alison Wicks, a project coordinator for the FLIP initiative, is impressed with Roseva’s commitment to the Mercado project, “Roseva is bright, energetic, and a joy to work with. She is a liaison between Hacienda and the Foster Lents Integration Partnership (FLIP) and the on-going Foster Corridor Investment Strategy. Roseva shared information among partners, and attended FLIP Open Houses.”
To add to this commitment, Roseva brings even more energy and experience to SEA’s experienced architecture team with a degree in architecture and a familiarity of the Mercado’s development and future tenants. As such, SEA chose to hire Roseva as a member of their project team. Lisa McClellan, one of the firm’s lead architects on the project, appreciates Roseva’s contribution to the project, noting:
SEA is a strong believer in community involvement and was impressed with Roseva’s commitment in assisting Hacienda CDC with outreach activities for the Portland Mercado. We hope to provide Roseva with a strong beginning to her professional architectural career and look forward to her active participation in the Mercado project.
When asked about her new opportunity in the project, the always humble Roseva is thankful for the opportunity, “I am beyond thankful with Hacienda for sponsoring me and with SEA for giving me the opportunity to gain some experience in the architecture field. They have given me a warm and friendly welcome to their team.” With her excitement and skills, the Mercado is slated towards even better community engagement with cultural authenticity to boot.
With the hiring of an architect and now the employment of Roseva as a part of a project design team, Hacienda and SEA are primed to move forward as even stronger partners in the development of the Portland Mercado.
As a future resident of the Mt. Scott – Arleta Neighborhood, we are excited to take part as a community partner and promoter of our community partners and initiatives. An exciting initiative coming out of the neighborhood recently is a project called Alley Allies. Concentrated in the alleyways of Lents, Foster-Powell as well as Mt. Scott – Arleta, the new community group, Alley Allies, works to improve and enliven the often forgotten alley ways common in these Southeast Portland neighborhoods.
This Saturday, Foster Green will be leading a workshop event this Saturday, April 27th at the Bobwhite Theater (6423 SE Foster Rd) from 3pm to 5pm. The workshop will aim to improve preliminary alley concepts, create new alley concepts, and prioritize alley uses and designs. For more information, see the event flyer, here.
Hope you can make it!
At the end of March, culminating in a bidding process of five architecture firms, Hacienda selected Scott Edwards Architecture (S|E A) of Portland, Oregon, as the architect to move forward with the Portland Mercado Project.
Hacienda staff as well as Mónica Moreno, representing the Asamblea, presided over the very competitive and talented applicant pool eventually agreeing on S|E A as the firm best suited to fulfill the Mercado’s community economic development goals.
Hacienda and Scott Edwards Architecture already have a well-established professional relationship. The architects on Hacienda’s new office, called Comunidad Viva, as well as the Clara Vista affordable housing rehabilitation project, S|E A is no stranger to Hacienda. The two organizations are excited and energized to move forward with Hacienda’s flagship economic development project.
Nathan Teske, the director of Community Economic Development, was impressed by the caliber of applications Hacienda received during the closed RFP process. He particularly enjoyed S|E A’s application for its attention to design detail appropriate to the unique culinary use and culture of the Mercado. On the winning proposal, he noted, “We are excited to be working with S|E A and are glad that they bring not only a rich in-house team but also diverse team of sub-contractors to the project.”
Jeana Woolley, Hacienda’s development consultant for the Mercado project, was also impressed by S|E A’s proposal, “S|E A not only had a great proposal, but shined brightest in their final interview, impressing the entire team with their enthusiasm, energy, and detailed thinking about how the design process for the Mercado project should roll out.” She looks forward to working with S|E A and Hacienda staff as the Mercado continues to take shape.
This week, Hacienda and S|E A staff held their first joint meeting to celebrate the new partnership and project milestone. When asked about Scott Edwards’ involvement in the Project, Sid Scott, one of the firm’s principals, was ecstatic, “We are very excited and honored to work with Hacienda to translate their passion, enthusiasm, commitment and rich ideas into an amazing Mercado.” Joining Sid Scott as a lead on the project is Architect Lisa McClellan.
With an architecture firm selected, Hacienda moves forward in the coming months working with S|E A and the Asamblea to design the Mercado in ways that are consistent with the needs of each vendor and the surrounding community.
Through a generous grant from Neighborhood Partnerships and support of CASA of Oregon, businesses entering the Mercado will benefit from an infusion of capital from individual development accounts (IDAs). A main component of each business’ development, this week we give an explanation of what IDAs offer to business owners in line with the overall development of the Portland Mercado.
What is an individual development account (IDA)?
An IDA is a savings account in which business owners get a three-dollar match for each dollar saved. For example, if a business owner saves $1,000, the business owner receives a match of $3,000, with a total savings of $4,000. The goals of an IDA are to incentivize savings, create healthy savings habits, and allow savers who identify as low-income to reach asset goals in a shorter period of time. IDAs are designed to help a business owner build assets, such as investments like purchasing a house, paying for college tuition, or for capitalizing a small business start-up or improvement. The maximum an IDA saver can get is $9,000 in matching funds over a 3 year period.
How long do I save and up to what amount?
A business owner can save for a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years. The minimum amount an individual can save is $25/month or up to $3,000 total.
What can business owners purchase with a small business IDA?
For business owners purchasing business start-up or equipment for the Mercado, IDA funds may be used for technology, software, office supplies, commercial equipment, licensing and certification fees, among other needs. Business owners may not use IDA funds to purchase items that don’t help increase business revenues (e.g. office furniture), or to pay down debt.
What’s an example of an effective IDA for the Mercado?
A great example of an IDA participant in action is Andrés Perez. Andrés, with his wife Karen Perez, just opened an IDA through Hacienda last month. Through a 14-month savings plan, the two will save over $2,000 through monthly savings of $150. Using the IDA’s 1:3 matching formula, the two will have nearly $8,500 which the will invest in the start-up costs of their Columbian food business Sabor Colombiano.
When asked about the couple’s IDA, Karen is thankful for the opportunity, “It’s been a really big dream of ours to have a business – an economic base for us. When we learned about the IDA it gave us the opportunity to bring our dream to reality.” But beyond the effect it has had in opening their business, Karen noted the additional effect the IDA has had the couple’s outlook towards money, “it’s also created a habit of savings which has been good for us.”
With the help of Hacienda’s newly-hired IDA Specialist, Violeta Rubiani, the organization is dedicated to individual development account assistance in addition to technical assistance provided by CASA of Oregon. “It’s been really exciting for me to work in a program that helps so many people in such an impactful way,” said Violeta. Last year, Hacienda savers received $57,763.47 in savings and match; $12,000 of these funds went to small business start-up and development, and $45,763.47 went to participants saving to purchase their first home. Furthermore, over $950,000 were used by Hacienda savers to purchase assets.
Together, these partners help Mercado business owners with additional resources through the traditionally risky terrain of starting a business. Currently, Hacienda has 14 active savers fulfilling their asset-building goals for the Mercado, anticipated to open in summer 2014.
Having first made her way to the United States in 1994, Mónica Moreno has made a life for herself and her family in the United States from her native Mexico City. Over the past seven years she has worked selling Mexican treats (dulces) and party favors at La Pulga, the flea market in Gresham at SE 185th and Stark. Joining the Asamblea, as the future dulcería tenant for the Portland Mercado a little over a year ago, Monica maintains, “I am still learning on how to improve,” a statement which describes her development as a leader and her sustained leadership role as the group’s treasurer.
Regarding Hacienda’s organizational role of the Portland Mercado project, Monica stresses her appreciation for all of what the Microenterprise Development Program has provided her,
I am thankful for Hacienda because it has helped the group’s businesses’ grow and reach our dreams – we can grow, achieve our goals and a higher standard of living.
While the structure of the Asamblea is uncertain after the Mercado’s anticipated opening in the summer of 2014 each vendor will continue to receive one-on-one technical assistance as the construction of the Mercado moves closer. Mónica, with the help of Hacienda Micro-enterprise Developer Ali Brown, will work to create and implement her businesses plan which includes setting business development goals, growing a customer base and managing the business.
Coupled with one-on-one technical assistance, Mónica, along with the majority of business owners in the Asamblea, will participate in a matched savings program called an “Individual Development Account” or IDA. IDAs allow business owners like Mónica to have their savings matched to cover many start-up business expenses. Provided by CASA of Oregon, the organization has graciously provided funding for these IDAs through its VIDA program.
With the IDA program and her position as the Asamblea’s treasurer, Mónica has not only learned how to effectively save money, but Mónica Moreno (far right) in the leadership of the Asamblea.also how to work with other businesses in the group. Her understanding of her peers’ business concerns has enabled her to build leadership skills. As she states,
I have never been able to take on extra leadership responsibilities and this opportunity makes me more responsible, careful and respectful – when we want to achieve something, we need to be responsible.
According to Hacienda’s Portland Mercado & Microenterprise Program Manager Valentina Orantes, the group has been very responsible, “the group itself sets the processes it requires of members including group rules, responsibilities for saving money, developing a fair and impartial selection process of new Asamblea applicants and developing leaders to help run the group.” In effect, she says,
the group is comprised of Latino leaders led by Latino leaders.
The Asamblea has come a long way since its inception in the fall of 2011 and even further since the founding of the group’s leadership in February of 2012. Mónica Moreno is just one example of a leader who has carried this project as a part of her personal journey for self-improvement and empowerment. She credits her commitment to family as having an impact in her success, her husband Humberto Moreno and girls Stephanie, 18, and Sonia Elizabeth, 21, all firmly behind her. Describing the Portland Mercado, Mónica asserts, “This is beautiful. Once we get there we can change the lives of our kids, our lives and the lives of other families.”
A recent article in the Oregonian on the opening of a Grocery Outlet in East Portland served to underscore the excellent partnership between Hacienda and the Portland Development Commission. This week, Hacienda would like to highlight the many ways that PDC and Hacienda have collaborated to move the Portland Mercado toward becoming a reality. The article notes that the city’s grocery retail initiative has drawn back from efforts to draw large big box grocers to neighborhoods that lack food retail options, but has focused “on smaller efforts that will bring more food options to specific neighborhoods and demographic groups, such as their work to help bring a Latino-themed market called the Portland Mercado to Lents.” There is no question that PDC’s support of Hacienda and the Portland Mercado has been critical to its success thus far. PDC has “walked the talk” of its Neighborhood Economic Development strategy in the following ways:
- Signaled early support by sending bi-lingual PDC staff member John Jackley, along with PDC contractor Armando Gutierrez of All in Spanish to the Mercado’s Asamblea meetings
- Financial support in the form of a $12,000 Development Opportunities grant that funded Marketek’s market analysis, some preliminary architecture and cost estimating work on adaptively re-using the building at SE 72nd and Foster Road, and some preliminary financial modeling
- Signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for initial site control of the SE 72nd and Foster Road site that allowed Hacienda to successfully apply for the nearly $790,000 grant from the federal Department of Health and Human Services
- Signing a letter, co-signed by former Mayor Sam Adams, in support of Hacienda’s federal grant application
- Funding of Hacienda’s micro-enterprise development work through PDC’s Economic Opportunity Initiative (EOI)
- Connecting Hacienda team members to various city initiatives in the Lents Urban Renewal Area and the Foster corridor
Among the many folks at PDC we wish to specifically name for their support and outstanding collaborative attitude are:
Thanks to them and many others at PDC, the Portland Mercado is moving into a development phase that will soon see an architect hired and a final design process begin. ¡Gracias PDC!
Hacienda CDC and Depave have joined together in a partnership for the Portland Mercado’s site development. Later this fall, the two will coordinate the “depaving” of the Mercado’s existing parking lot and the construction of a community plaza on the site located at SE 72nd and Foster Rd. In addition to the plaza, the two organizations will work to add landscaping features and native vegetation to help manage stormwater on site in compliance with the City of Portland’s stormwater regulations and the Mercado’s green values.
Depave has graciously offered Hacienda technical assistance in project design as well as additional capacity for grant applications in the completion of the Mercado’s site plan. Together Hacienda and Depave will host a one-day volunteer work party to engage community members and partners who have been involved at various points since the Mercado’s active planning and development began in January 2011.
When asked about the new partnership, Josh Cabot Project Committee Co-Chair of Depave, stressed the importance of collaboration:
Depave is thrilled to be collaborating with Hacienda CDC to transform an empty used car lot on SE Foster Road into the activated social space that will be The Portland Mercado. Not only will this depave help to carve away a swath of unnecessary pavement in the Lents Urban Renewal Area and Johnson Creek Watershed; this undertaking also offers its participants, from planners to neighbors to volunteers, the promise of building new relationships at the most local of levels, further reinforcing the social dimension of sustainable development in Portland.
Likewise, Nathan Teske, the director of the Community Economic Development program at Hacienda lauded the collaborative process for the Mercado’s development:
We are thrilled to be partnering with a great community organization like Depave as we develop the Mercado site. We look forward to a fun depaving event sometime this fall that will bring in diverse community members and neighbors.
With the expected groundbreaking of the Mercado later this year, and the continued community support for the project, both Hacienda and Depave look forward to planting the seeds of a successful future partnerships. Make sure you are signed up for blog updates (link located on upper right) to remain informed about the forthcoming depaving event! ¡Gracias Depave y gracias a todos!