Stadium Fred Meyer Gives Back to the Community

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Stadium Fred Meyer has opened and now is the time to visit the store and see all of the hard work come to life. From the beginning, Fred Meyer had the goal to have Stadium Fred Meyer evolve into a store that would be an integral part of the community that it serves, a neighborhood store with something more. Seeing the store bustling with activity, people with smiles on their faces commenting on what a difference the store has made to their shopping experience is hugely rewarding. The Portland Business Journal agrees that this project made a significant impact on the community and awarded it the Better Bricks Retail Project of the year.

Fred Meyer has been a staple in Northwest Portland for many decades. The store on NW Burnside has always been conveniently located directly between the Northwest District, Goose Hollow, and Downtown Portland neighborhoods. This urban remodel provided Fred Meyer the opportunity to create a timeless building in a unique historic community.

From the earliest stages of the project conception, Fred Meyer’s design team of Mackenzie along with their consultants, Interface Engineering, Kramer Gahlen and Associates, reached out to the community. Through eight community meetings, they heard what was anticipated for a store in this prominent location. Early in the process, the Portland Design Commission made it clear that this store needed to make a statement –something that the city would be proud of for many years to come. Fred Meyer’s plan to expand the store south to the Burnside frontage and eliminating the previous obsolete, suburban parking and video store made a powerful entrance directly onto West Burnside.

There was universal interest in how the store would address Burnside and the surrounding community. Mackenzie looked to the architectural history of Burnside for cues on how to address the street and deal with the significant grade change along Burnside. Historically, many of the buildings along East Burnside such as the Hippo Hardware building included colonnades that extended to the street frontage.

These were actually created when Burnside was widened to handle increased traffic. Sidewalks and store fronts were pushed back into the adjacent building creating a wider street and a new covered colonnade embracing the street. The Stadium Fred Meyer echoes this approach by creating this colonnade providing a new front door access to outdoor retail space, seating, and a gentle staircase that easily accommodates grade change along Burnside. Mackenzie saw a great opportunity to incorporate these ideas into the design of the Stadium Fred Meyer store and make a clear connection to Burnside as well as activating the neighborhood.

The community centric theme of Stadium Fred Meyer did not stop at its exterior. On the interior of the store you will find community specific offerings, such as the sushi bar, wine, or growler bar. There are also several functions specific to this store that are geared towards this being a community meeting place. There is a spacious demonstration kitchen where classes are available to the public and other food and wine related activities can be held throughout the year. On the second floor, you will find a community room that is available for anyone in the neighborhood for special events. The connection between outside and in continues on all levels of the store with balconies for outdoor public seating as well as a patio on the project’s green roof.

The Stadium remodel has allowed Fred Meyer to give back to the community that they have long been a part of. The entire Mackenzie led design team was able to successfully balance the interests of the community, design commission, and Fred Meyer to create a historically influenced urban architectural response and a real the sense of community. I’m grateful and proud to have had this experience working on this wonderful project together with our design team.