The Albina Vision plans to restore a 30-acre area into a version of the largely residential neighborhood that existed 60 years ago, before it was razed for construction of the Memorial Coliseum and other structures. Led by Rukaiyah Adams (Chief Investment Officer with the Meyer Memorial Trust) and Zari Santner (former Portland Parks Bureau director), the "Albina Vision" hopes to "rebuild a community, not just physical spaces" and "be honest about the destruction of this neighborhood, not back away from that history."
“The plan will keep the Memorial Coliseum and Moda Center, but build new streets and buildings in the areas around them. It will also include a large "cap" covering I-5, Interstate Ave and the railroad tracks, stretching from NE Clackamas Street north to beyond NE Broadway Ave. and west to the riverfront It would provide public access to the river, create new buildings and streets, and move existing parking underground”
When Project Leader Zari Santner and Architects Hennebery Eddy were invited to help develop a physical and economic vision for the district, they recognized the “opportunity to use design to reflect the needs, goals and aspirations of a community, convey possibilities for integrating the district into the city, and incorporate the relationships and connections to nearby sites, prompting community conversation and input.
“A group of engaged citizens and community leaders collaborated over six months, conducted five in depth work sessions to review the history of the district, its current configuration and status, the range of prior proposals and current studies under way, articulate values and develop a physical framework for the future. These advocates of the city were given no specific development agendas, free to establish their own standard of a successful outcome.
“The resulting Albina Vision is not prescriptive, but rather is a framework to foster the growth of a diverse, sustainable, urban district – on par with great neighborhoods of the world. It includes short, mid- and long-term goals, considerations and aspirations that address transportation infrastructure, the built environment, and what it means to foster a diverse, sustainable community. “
Rukaiyah Adams, Chief Investment Officer of Meyer Trust, has spearheaded the Albina Vision. She says she is driven by the belief that “we are all just trying to take care of one another.” A desire to succeed in the capital markets for the benefit of everyday people brought Rukaiyah to Meyer Trust.
She was born in Berkeley, California but grew up in the Walnut Park area of northeast Portland, now called the Alberta Arts district, and attended King Grade School. She holds a BA from Carleton College with Academic Distinction, a JD from Stanford Law School, where she served on the Law and Policy Review, and an MBA from The Stanford Graduate School of Business
Rukaiyah said the current Rose Quarter is an example of the “primacy of the car” and that she wants to, “rebuild a community, not just the physical spaces” of a neighborhood that she refers to as “ground zero for the discussion about equity and history in Portland.”