Beaverton has made the news and front page coverage the past 24 hours regarding the Curiosities Vintage Mall and the City’s notice to terminate their month-to-month lease.
I’ve been asked by multiple Partners and people on social media what the Chamber thinks about this.
Let me start by saying I am very sad we are here today for all involved – especially the 60 artisans and collectors that occupy space at Curiosities Vintage. I wish we learned of this transition earlier to be able to assist in relocating them more easily prior to the deadline. Our Business Advocacy Council works daily to keep our businesses aware of available resources, new laws and issues that impact business.
Redevelopment and revitalization of downtown Beaverton has been a community conversation since the visioning process which began in 2008. Thousands of residents expressed that establishing a revitalized downtown was the priority.
Our Beaverton Urban Renewal District was formed for this expressed purpose. Land acquisition has been a priority of BURA since its establishment by a vote of the people. This is a long-term effort that has been underway for years and it will continue as we see the hotel rise on the former Westgate property, the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and public parking garage come to life this fall, and other projects get underway in our city’s core. The City is contractually obligated to replace 165 parking spaces.
The building in question has been home to multiple businesses over its life span – I think the one we remember most is Ludeman’s which operated for more than 3 decades. Curiosities Vintage came in afterwards in 2013, and since 2016 has operated under a month-to-month lease. This site is not in the Beaverton Downtown Association boundaries nor is it a registered historic building or in the Beaverton Historic District.
The City of Beaverton did not use eminent domain or condemn any properties. They purchased them from willing sellers and in fact, have maintained the month-to-month leases for 18+ months. It is my understanding that the City has continued to engage in conversations with the tenants about the impending transition along the way. While the lots may be used temporarily for parking or construction staging, that is not the end game. Transit-oriented, mixed-use, and redevelopment has always been the community’s goal for this property.
Change is always tough. As a business that sits at the front door of what will be the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, the next couple of years are going to be incredibly disruptive to our business. We, as a business, have been anticipating the changes we will have to make during this process to accommodate our work.
We are in this for the long haul. And, the good news is……..Beaverton has a huge array of support services for both Curiosities and all of its vendors. This includes the City’s Economic Development Team which can help with relocation assistance and the Chamber can connect them to some terrific commercial brokers that know the ins and outs of Beaverton. IMPACT Beaverton – stands ready to provide one-on-one consulting for the artisans and vendors with business licenses. In fact, some of the vendors may be a perfect fit for the Chamber program called T.E.A.M Beaverton for small and homebased businesses. We have and will continue to reach out and hope to keep them growing and thriving in Beaverton.