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  • Brian Vanneman

Downtown Portland Retail: Healthy but Vulnerable

On September 4th 2008, Dave Leland delivered a presentation at Portland’s Central City Commercial Development Symposium titled “Downtown Portland Retail: the most visible part of the city’s heart.” Portland is known for its active downtown and progressive urban planning—but Dave pointed out that while downtown’s retail remains healthy, it is also vulnerable. Rents remain strong, vacancies are relatively low, and new residential, office, and hotel development will support retail expansion. But like other American cities, downtown Portland must contend with stiff competition from suburban lifestyle centers and big boxes, perceptions that the core is unsafe, and the challenges of maintaining a cohesive marketing strategy.

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