There’s definitely a feeling of a momentum shifting in the community, lately. For a time, Portland’s startup activity wasn’t in Portland, at all. It was in the suburbs. Where communities like Beaverton and Hillsboro provided space for would be juggernauts. At the turn of the century, that momentum shifted to Portland proper and—more notably—the Pearl District. Now, there’s a new center of gravity emerging around the startup community: the Central Eastside.
Traditionally a neighborhood filled with makers, artists, and manufacturers and anchored by modern-day denizens like ADX, the Eastside has been growing in popularity with a variety of companies. Simple and Viewpoint call the south end of the district home. Large multi company workspaces like CENTRL Office East, Washington High School, and soon the Fair-haired Dumbbell provide affordable workspace. Uncorked Studios recently opened its new office on the eastern border of the district. With AutoDesk vying to be among the largest offices, next year.
But what about that traditional manufacturing culture? Well, that’s why I was happy to see that startup optics manufacturer Revant has secured the old Schleifer Furniture warehouse.
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Started from the garage 7 years ago and I'm excited to announce that we just closed a deal to turn this incredible space into @revantoptics next HQ. It may not look like much now, but over the next 8 months, we will transform it into a lens manufacturing and ecom powerhouse complete with a 360 rooftop view of the river, downtown Portland and Mnt Hood. It will also be used as a space to bring community together to learn and celebrate. Follow @revantoptics stories to watch the evolution.
It will be interesting to see how this move—coupled with the AutoDesk move—helps the district remain true to its manufacturing roots. And what else is in store for the district as more eyes turn to the Eastside of Portland.