Foster-Powell will soon be inheriting property slated for community use. The Wikman Building, located on SE 64th at Holgate, and just across the street from Laurelwood Park, was declared surplus property by Multnomah County in September, leaving potential uses for the site open to public input until November 7, 2011.
What was once the Arleta Library, built in 1919, and most recently a juvenile justice service center, the Wikman Building has a long history of serving the neighborhood. And with its historical significance, the County and its commissioners would like to see future use of the building continue in the tradition of benefiting the community. Specifically, District 3 Commissioner, Judy Shiprack, sees the Wikman potential as “an asset to the community.” With that in mind, she’s hosting an open house on November 1, from 3:30 to 5, designed to solicit ideas for future use from local businesses, community groups and non-profits. As stated on the County’s website, potential uses “range from a business incubator, a daycare and cultural center to a neighborhood meeting space.”
With the goals and visions stated above, Rose Community Development will be submitting a proposal that seeks to turn the Wikman Building into a neighborhood grange. Rose, which stands for Revitalize Outer South East, has a demonstrated history of strengthening the community by providing affordable housing for families, as well as various supportive services and economic resources. Their proposal seeks to restore the building for community use.
The Rose plan calls for the restoration and future use as a multi-cultural community center, grocery co-op, farmers market, and business incubator. Also included in Rose’s proposal for the site is a commercial kitchen, internet cafe, and space for community meetings, classes, and events. In its purest form, the proposal fits Rose’s vision for the building as a neighborhood grange, where communities come together to grow and benefit each other. And as stated in their plan, Rose takes the grange concept from farming communities, where people “band together for their economic and political well-being.”
With its historical significance and tie to the community, as well as architectural preservation, the Wikman Building creates a wonderful opportunity for the neighborhood. The Rose proposal seeks to ensure Foster-Powell and neighboring communities capture the full potential of the site.
As part of the process for turning the property over, the county is seeking public comment until Monday, November 7, at which point county staff will convene to draft a report and plans to work with the community. The county staff will submit their draft, as well as possible recommendations, to the Board on December 22.
To support Rose and their Wikman Grange proposal, you can get involved in any of the following ways:
- Sign up for the list serve; email firstname.lastname@example.org. [Twitter, Facebook?]
- Tell Multnomah County about your support for the Wikman Building Neighborhood Grange. Public comments will be taken through Monday, November 7. Submit written comments via mail to: Multnomah County Communications Office, 501 SE Hawthorne, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97214; via email to email@example.com; or call 503-988-3308.
- Tell your friends and neighbors.
- Contact Nick Sauvie at ROSE Community Development with your questions and comments: 503-788-8052 x16 or firstname.lastname@example.org.