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Monday, December 17, 2012

A Portland Curiosity

Busily mapping light rail systems, and as I look upon Portland, I realize--two shopping centers inside the beltway. We're not talking regional malls here--we're talking large strip centers. In Salt Lake in Phoenix, they are legion. Some might attribute it to the light rail, or the smart growth boundary, but I personally wonder if block sized does not play a major role. Portland blocks are about 200' on a side--tiny. Salt Lake's are 660' x 660', which makes for ten-acre blocks. Portland's blocks must be... 40,000 SF? Less than an acre, and certainly smaller than the 'anchor' tenants at even a small shopping mall. Closer inspection shows that 'Pioneer Place' has a skybridge, joining two blocks, and a 6-story parking garage next door. The second 'shopping center' is the Portland Galleria, a 5-story converted industrial warehouse. Certainly not your standard item.