The relocation of an icon

I lived most of my adult life in Portland, right after high school. And even before high school, whenever I'd travel to Portland with family or friends, I'd always notice the big smokestack outside the B&M baked bean factory. Mostly because it was one of the highest points on Portland's skyline.

As soon as I saw that they were taking the stack down, I thought it must be the end for B&M. Well, that's not entirely true. The parent company of B&M just felt the building was meant for another time. Another era. So they're moving the operation out to the midwest. So we'll still have our beloved beans, they just won't be made here.

So what's going down at that location going forward?

The good news is, most of the building is going to stay where it is. But it will be upgraded, and several buildings added onto it over time. The Roux Institute, part of Northeastern University, has purchased to property and intends to make create a campus for grad students in a variety of fields.

But the project, over time, will also expand to include student housing, shops, and restaurants. Also walking and biking paths, and other things that feel more like the direction that Portland is moving in, versus the dinosaur baked bean factory. Folks certainly do hate change, but at least it's not just being flattened for a new hotel.

According to an in-depth story from the Portland Press Herald, the project will take several years to complete, in several phases. This will not be an overnight project. But, it's nice to see an educational component, and not just another developer ruining Portland's waterfront. It's sad to see history go, but exciting to see what the future holds.

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