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Portland business destroyed by arson gets new building

Portland Garment Factory will soon open on SE 97th Ave. between Stark and Burnside after the old building was destroyed in an arson fire last April.

PORTLAND, Oregon — Six months after arson destroyed the Portland Garment Factory, the business has a new home.

After 13 years in the Montavilla neighborhood, it has relocated to Southeast 97th Avenue between Stark and Burnside, not far from the old location.

“Our new space is amazing and dreamy,” said owner Britt Howard, pointing to the nearly $125,000 in donations she received from the public. “We didn't forget about how everyone showed up.”

Howard said the new building is bigger than her last. It has solar panels and multiple levels for quieter work spaces. She recalled the day she got the keys.

“That night I think I put my roller skates on and we roller skated and a lot of my different friends came over and we popped some champagne.”

RELATED: 3 alarm fire at Portland Garment Factory determined to be arson

Howard is especially grateful that her employees once again have a place to be creative and collaborate. She hopes to reopen Portland Garment Factory for business next month, noting supply chain issues have delayed the process.

“We've had so many setbacks," said Howard. "Now I'm in a bigger space, it's more expensive and there's a lot more pressure, believe it or not! My hope is that we figure it all out so that we can keep doing what we love to do.”

That includes giving back to the community. 

At the start of the pandemic, Portland Garment Factory was one of the first to mass produce and donate face masks. They've also made coats and blankets for donation drives.

“We can't wait to host people in our new space and be able to say thank you in person.”

RELATED: Arrest made in fire that destroyed the Portland Garment Factory