BEAVERTON, Ore. — A Beaverton landmark is slated to be demolished as part of a revitalization effort in the downtown area.
“I’m angry on one hand because I think they’re making an uninformed decision,” said Michele Kemp.
Kemp started selling antiques and other items at the Curiosities Vintage Mall five years ago. She never could have imagined it would pay off like it has.
“It’s been so busy here and it’s been successful,” said Kemp. “I’ve really done well here and a lot of others have too.”
Kemp is disheartened to learn the mall’s days are numbered.
“We knew something was going on,” she said. “We just never imagined they’d do something this drastic.”
“In a lot of ways they’re more shocked than I am and need to find their way through this,” added Travis Diskin.
Diskin runs the Curiosities Vintage Mall. He says on June 20 the city notified him they were terminating the lease. The building must be vacated by August 19. Diskin says a temporary parking lot is set to replace the decades-old building that currently houses more than 60 small businesses.
“These are in some cases elderly people, single people, single moms, this is the income they depend on, without it they’re scrambling,” said Diskin.
Kemp certainly counts on the sales she makes.
“I do supplement my income from this every month.”
Kemp is hoping to sell as much of her stuff as possible in the coming weeks. The future is uncertain.
“I have no idea,” she said. “This is all brand new.”
The city released a statement saying it is working with Curiosities Vintage Mall on alternate locations.
“The city has a strong history of supporting local businesses and approaching redevelopment in a balanced way that maintains the unique history and charm of our central core while finding opportunity for all within Beaverton’s city center,” said Cheryl Twete, Director of Beaverton’s Community Development Department.
On Tuesday, a group of dealers and supporters of the mall marched to City Hall to voice their concerns.
Tuesday night, the City of Beaverton released the following statement to KGW, explaining why they want parking in the location:
"The city is legally obligated to provide 165 parking spots for people living and working in The Round during upcoming construction activities planned for the area—including the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts and new district public parking garage planned to break ground in fall of this year. The city has explored a number of different options in the vicinity, which must be within 600 feet of their current location. Tonight’s City Council meeting evaluated a lease with Goodwill Industries for 21 spaces. The interim lot where Curiosities Vintage is located, which was our last option, would provide some additional relief for that need during construction. After which we would proceed with our longer-term vision for that property, which is to find redevelopment opportunity that supports Beaverton’s community vision for a vibrant city center. That development selection process will begin this summer."
More than 2,000 supporters have reportedly signed a petition to save the building.