Ecotrust is now leasing the Redd on Salmon Street, an initiative designed to nurture and scale a robust regional food economy. A two-block campus in the heart of Portland, Oregon, the Redd is envisioned as a place where young food businesses can spawn, grow, and connect to the region’s abundant resources. The Redd offers both the infrastructure and amenities essential to a growing enterprise, as well as a vibrant community where urban food producers to connect with the rural farmers, ranchers, and fishers that supply them. Read our booklet on the Redd here.
The Redd is founded on the belief that creative food producers can work in concert with farmers, ranchers, and fishers to increase demand for regional food whose production not only does not deplete, but regenerates the soil, water and air, while at the same time creating delicious, healthy food that is affordable and accessible to everyone. Exciting as it is imperative, increased collaboration between urban and rural producers is the way forward for a viable and resilient food system, and essential for the restoration of our soil, water, and farmlands.
Portland is an international mecca for vibrant, seasonal food and artisan producers. But too often, developing food producers can’t move beyond niche products sold at high costs (to offset high distribution cost), afforded by only a small segment of the local community. By developing much-needed facilities and infrastructure for regional food production, the Redd is targeting products that are beneficial to human health, and aiming to make them accessible to a larger portion of the community.
The Redd will serve “ag in the middle,” mid-size rural farmers, ranchers, and fishers who have outgrown direct-to-consumer channels, such as CSAs and farmers’ markets, and are looking to scale their business. The Redd will increase access to value-added producers, markets, and infrastructure (like warehousing, aggregation and distribution), a lack of which inhibits growth.
Settling in Portland’s Central Eastside, a vibrant and emerging district full of entrepreneurial spirit, tenants of the Redd will be among the district’s 1,200+ businesses that employ 17,000 people in diverse occupations, from traditional manufacturing and automotive repair to distilleries and design firms. The Redd is comprised of a two-block, 80,000-square-foot food production and distribution campus including two buildings: the Marble, a former distribution hub and sales center now open for leasing; and the Foundry, a 1918 ironworks. Restoration of the Foundry and a fully landscaped outdoor space and parking lot is expected to be complete in Spring 2017.
With over 20,000 square feet of warehouse space, the Marble building will serve as a cold storage, aggregation, packaging, and distribution center for the Redd, and also includes over 6,000 square feet of prime storefront and studio space for retail and ancillary businesses. Plans for the Foundry restoration include 16,000 square feet of food production space, including USDA-certified meat processing facilities and specially equipped facilities for value-added grain production. In addition, eight smaller spaces are under design for small-scale on-site food production.
In an exciting partnership with B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery, which will manage the Marble warehousing and distribution center, rural producers can make one efficient drop at the Redd — rather than dozens all over town — where B-Line will manage warehousing, aggregation, and last-mile logistics.
Learn about the vision and genesis of the Redd from Ecotrust founder and board chair, Spencer Beebe, speaking at the Redd on the theme of “climate” to an audience gathered for the monthly Creative Mornings lecture in March 2015.
Building from our history
To restore the existing 16,000-square-foot building, Ecotrust is partnering with Walsh Construction Company, OPSIS, and Green Gables architecture. Beyond certification by leading green building standards , the project will use local materials, capture and reuse water, and minimize energy use. The Redd will also provide the infrastructure to enable the mutually reinforcing web of farm to table that creates jobs and restores land, water, and habitat, while mitigating climate change — a web connecting the soil, water, forests, and farms to the innovation emerging from dynamic, growing, and evolving businesses.
The Redd is not Ecotrust’s first redevelopment project focused on repurposing a building to drive economic development. Ecotrust’s headquarters is in a building that spent a century as a hub for the goods of the industrial economy. Now it has become a focal point for a new economy in which “natural capital” — the flow of goods and services from nature — is our measure of prosperity and resilience. From the native timber Ecotrust used and preserved to the daily business and events that keep the building humming, the Natural Capital Center is an evolving expression of our commitment to the long-term wellbeing of people and nature.
The Natural Capital Center is home to over a dozen diverse organizations and social enterprises that share Ecotrust’s commitment to people and nature. More than 200 people work in the building — from asset managers to pizzaiolos, watershed restoration planners to acupuncturists, cartographers, to fair-trade coffee advocates. Its unique design — including open offices and a variety of shared spaces (including a kitchen, roof terrace, and expansive atrium) — creates an environment for sparking new ideas and building unusual alliances.