PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – Oregon lawmakers approved $2 million to support the ‘Made in Old Town Project’ last week.

Jonathan Cohen, Old Town Community Association treasurer, and his team plan to fill 10 buildings with manufacturing, office and retail space. At the same time, they want to help transform the neighborhood.

“Neighborhoods are revived by having stakeholders and by having foot traffic. We believe this project will do both things,” Cohen said. “The use of these buildings will be held by a trust in perpetuity so that the intention of the design, of the facilities, is aligned with the goals of the neighborhood long term.”

The 350,000 sq. ft. project will also provide housing.

Cohen said he wants to create an environment where people can be more connected with where things are made.

“We envisioned that a lot of people that are working in the district will also want to live in the district and be connected with other people that are doing the same. We’re trying to create an environment where there’s a lot of energy and there’s a lot of fun reasons to want to live in this district,” Cohen said.


The new vision for the Keller Auditorium was revealed, giving a glimpse of what’s in store.

Matthew Claudel, founder of design and strategy firm Field States, said there’s a lot of waste in the industry but the manufacturing process for ‘Made in Old Town’ will be environmentally friendly.

“By tightening the feedback loop, between the creative process, the planning, and the supply chain you see a huge amount of efficiency,” Claudel said.

Ty DeHaven of Hilos, a 3D printer footwear company, said they are trying to make shoes with as little adhesive as possible.

“So that we can then recycle and disassemble those parts into their respective places,” DeHaven said. “Using traditional stitching with future craft is really how we’re going to build a more equitable future for product and end-of-life scenarios.”

The Old Town Community Association will seek at least $6 million in more funding but plan to open by the end of 2024.



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