PORTLAND, Ore.—Friday, July 11, 2008—McMenamins Hotels, Pubs & Breweries has purchased the property at S.W. Stark & 12 Streets from Gerding Edlen Development and has begun renovation on a hotel to open in early 2009. The project realizes visions of both Portland-based companies—an extension of the Brewery Blocks across Burnside for Gerding Edlen, and a full-service downtown establishment for McMenamins. “Having a full downtown property with all of our offerings in one area has been something we've thought about for a long time now,” said Renee Rank, McMenamins marketing director. “This project is the perfect complement to our adjacent Ringlers Annex Pub and the Crystal Ballroom, and will be a great connection between the Pearl District and the West End.”
Heh heh..they said "west end."
Laughing matters aside, this building has been eyed by several prospective tenants (at one time there was a rumor that Portland Monthly would relocate its world HQ there). It will be quite interesting to see how McMenamins—who've seen a spat of trouble with supposed concert-goers to their Crystal Ballroom shoving up against the homos who strut proudly in this once primarily gay neighborhood—handles the transition of the space from reputedly raunchy to respectable and family friendly.
And don't even get me started on what it's going to be like to rehab the old "rooms."