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  • 17 Sep 2014

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City gets peek at James Beard Public Market

The public will get a sneak peek at the site of the future James Beard Public Market at a Sept. 27 event in downtown Portland.

The daily year-round indoor and outdoor market, a long time in development, won approval from the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners in late June.

Now local elected leaders will help celebrate the project’s kick-off, as fundraising for the nonprofit public-private partnership begins.

Market leaders have launched a capital campaign to raise at least $20 million in three years. There's a tentative opening date of 2018.

Fundraising is the last big hurdle to overcome.

The market has established a development partnership with Melvin Mark, the land at the West Morrison Bridgehead has been secured after a lengthy process, and the market has received support from city, county, state and federal officials.

On Sept. 27, the market — along with partners Melvin Mark Development and NW Natural Gas — will invite people to enjoy music and regional wines, microbrews and food from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The site is at 433 S.W. Naito Parkway.

Attendees may become a “founding friend” of the market and hear from speakers including Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury.

Tickets for “First to Market” start at $25 per person. Advance tickets are required; visit http://jamesbeardmarket.brownpapertickets.com to purchase through Sept. 25 or until sold out.

There will also be a VIP reception for donors of $250 or more, hosted by the Hotel Rose, 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 50 S.W. Morrison Street.

Mayor Charlie Hales, Congressman Earl Blumenauer and representatives from the county are expected to attend; wine, beer and appetizers will be served.

“We are looking forward to sharing The James Beard Public Market site with the community and launching the next step in making the market a reality,” says Ron Paul, the market’s executive director. “The First to Market event will be an ideal way to connect Portlanders with their future market and enjoy the type of local foods and beverages the market will feature.”

Set to open in the coming years, the market will showcase the state’s bounty while promoting community health, rural and urban economic development, neighborhood revitalization and tourism.

Portland is the only U.S. city with rights to name a market after James Beard, the city’s most famous chef. The market is a project of the Historic Portland Public Market Foundation, which grew out of a citizen task force convened in 2000.

For more, visit http://www.jamesbeardpublicmarket.com.