I'd started Kenton Cycle Repair three years ago and never really built it out the way I wanted. It was always temporary in my mind. I'd had a few home work shops two over the years and did a little work on them, but I always knew they weren't permanent either. I'm not sure if Norther is, after all we're leasing the building, and I hope one day to be able to buy a building and really make a space that will last long after I'm gone.
We spent months looking for a space for the shop. Business is booming in Portland, especially the weed business. Shop spaces are getting snatched up at an incredible rate. It also seems like people are going money mad so much so that anything that doesn't get scooped up the day it's listed is so absurdly overpriced it's not likely to get rented at all.
That being said we finally found a perfect space in the area we wanted. Lucked out if you will. Our new shop is in the Historic Baker Building, first built in 1912. Our little corner of the building has been in the business of hand made Portland things before. It's been a shoe cobbler, as well as a speak easy and pool hall and lots of other neat stuff over the last hundred plus years.
In 1984 the building was bought and our shop was walled off and became storage for a furniture store. That is until a couple of artisan contractors rented the building and decided to restore it more or less. They pealed up carpet, and striped paint and found the underlying beauty of a classic Portland building.
The second floor has already been transformed into work studios, including an Indi radio station, custom fabric looming, and music lessons. There's a large show hall up there too available to rent for shows or gatherings.
We had full say on what happened in our store front, but had to help with the work. It took us almost two months and there's still lots of work to do, but we're up and running mostly.
Check out a slide show of the place coming together. With any luck it will motivate you to come spend so money, or at least hang out and have a beer with us.