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PORTLAND New restaurants and boutique shops are popping up in downtown Portland s West End neighborhood, thanks in part to new development project called Union Way.

Engineered by Lever Architecture, Union Way is a 10,500 square foot retail corridor that runs from Southwest Stark Street and West Burnside Street parallel to Southwest 10th Avenue.

What we re doing is creating a new type of retail experience in Portland, said Thomas Robinson of Lever Architecture.

The project cost $4.5 million. Robinson said he drew inspiration from Parisian passages and Japanese alleyways.

Ten shops will eventually line the pedestrian walkway. Quin, a candy shop created by St. Cupcake s Jami Curl, was the first store to open in the space.

I ve never been one to wait around for other people to take the lead, Curl said.

Other shops set to open include Danner Boots and a new restaurant called Boxer Ramen. Most of the shops will open in August.

KGW Business Reporter Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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