Mississippi Marketplace and the adjacent building was envisioned, designed and built in 2009 by Roger Goldingay, a private "real-estate rehabilitator" who lived in the neighborhood. Here is the video:
This area of N. Mississippi was a vacant lot and a boarded-up building when Roger Goldingay took on the project of renovating the building and turning the vacant lot into a community gathering spot. The renovation of the building was done to keep its style in tune with the local historic neighborhood and was lovingly done by Roger and Michael Tunson, Eterne Construction. It was then rented to Prost! a German Bier pub.
The vacant lot was the first lot renovated, permitted and designed specifically for food carts. The City of Portland required excavation of the earth, placement of gravel and overlay of pervious asphalt for an eco-lot and storm water management. One of the first bike corrals in the City was locate don N. Mississippi and and native trees and potted Japanese lace leaf maples completed the design.
Meet the Owner/Designer
Roger Goldingay, a former member of the original Portland Timbers NASL team in 1975, had lived in many neighborhoods in Portland, but decided to move to the N. Mississippi Ave. neighborhood in 2002. At that time it was an area of boarded-up buildings and known more for crime problems than as an historic district. He and his wife took on the renovation of the Historic John Palmer House (a National Historic Registry House built in 1898) and then the upgrade of several nearby buildings, including the laundromat and restaurant (which had been called as the Soup and Soap) and the adjacent residential Blackson House. They advocated for neighborhood safety and improvements including designation of N. Mississippi as a Historic street, graffiti abatement, neighbor watch, installation of a traffic stop, and building of a local park now known as Triangle Park. Starting in 2006, they began ideas for renovation of the building on the SW corner of N. Mississippi and Skidmore - which had been a pharmacy and a church during its 100 year history and a part of the vibrant community that existed in N. Mississippi. They researched the architecture characteristic of this neighborhood and along with Michael Tunson, of Eterne Construction, the building was redesigned to fit in with the historic neighborhood - streetcar era design. The concept was to build a gathering space that would benefit the community and anchor further renovation of the Historic Mississippi Ave area.
Here are photos of the before and after of the vacant lot - that became Mississippi Marketplace food cart pod - and the building that was rebuilt to look like an historic building and is now leased by Mississippi Marketplace to the German Bier pub Prost! here is the photo album
The construction and permitting for the first food cart pod in the City of Portland took longer than anticipated and required many extra steps to make the vacant lot conform with the code the City developed as we were building. Ultimately the City required the lot to be constructed like a parking lot - so we did end up paving "a paradise" and putting up a parking lot due to the City requirements. Trees and native plants were incorporated into the design and pervious asphalt was used for storm water management.
Food carts began being recruited to this location in early 2009. Roger carefully choose carts that had different types of food that would compliment each other. The first carts opened in summer 2009. Here is the link to the first review of the carts First review of the pod by Food Carts Portland here
Karen Brooks of the Oregonian, wrote one of the first reviews of the pod after it was just constructed in October 2009 read it here
First review of the pod by Food Carts Portland here