AEI News: A Building for Makers and an Interview

Given the fact that there are a thousand apartment buildings being built in this area, I assumed that the new building nearing completion in my neighborhood was an apartment building. But as it turns out, the building – called The New York – is not apartments, but instead a multistory industrial building targeting “small-time manufacturers or tinkerers, and the creative office users who don’t mind working next door to them” as its tenants.

The goal, for The New York’s developers, is to confront the changing nature of manufacturing in artisan-rich places like Portland: heavy industry and large-scale mass production is no longer the dominant model of manufacturing. In other cities that have concentrated artisan activity, we see the same approach – places like the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit or 630 Flushing in Brooklyn. In Portland, there are numerous examples of old buildings that have been rehabbed to fit new uses (Jane Jacobs would be proud).

What makes this building different is that it is new from the ground up: this is the first example, that I am aware of, of a building built specifically for the artisan economy.

In other news (sorry for the cliché), Dr. Heying was recently interviewed by Ali Velshi on Al-Jazeera America. The interview is in Al-Jazeera’s archives, although the archives only catalogue the show (and therefore the interview) in one-minute segments. But the whole segment is viewable, even if you do have to click through 8 or 9 segments to watch the whole thing. Watch the interview here or watch the whole segment on the Artisan Economy from the beginning here.

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2 thoughts on “AEI News: A Building for Makers and an Interview

    • Ah yes, you have engaged my caveat (i.e. “that I am aware of”) even though there are no fewer than three Activspace buildings in my neighborhood! In other words, I am aware of Activspace and it slipped my mind while writing the post. It would have made a good comparison, for sure; thanks for bringing it to my attention. That said, my bigger point is that most of these types of spaces are situated inside of older, repurposed buildings (such as the Ford Building), and I found it interesting that The New York building is being built from the ground up, specifically with small-batch manufacturing in mind. Apparently, when it opens, it will be the first multistory industrial/manufacturing building to be opened in Portland in over 60 years (according to the developers, via The Oregonian).

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