Silver lining to Bike Republic snub; Bike rentals coming to Waterfront Park

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Scenes like this might become
common in Waterfront Park
by this spring.
(Photo: Wheel Fun Rentals)

Back in August we reported that the former McCall’s restaurant site in Waterfront Park would become Portland’s first-ever, full-service bike commuter facility. The concept, proposed by Ken Nichols of Bike Republic, would have brought showers and lockers, a small retail bike shop, secure, long-term bike parking and a cafe to the site.

Unfortunately we were a bit premature on that story, and soon reported that the Parks Bureau cooled on Nichols’ idea and the whole thing fell through at the last minute.

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Bike Republic development deal falls through

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The existing building, created
by John Yeon, has architectural significance.
(Photos J. Maus)

Negotiations between a private developer and the Portland Parks bureau that would have created a new bike services facility and cafe at the former Tom McCalls restaurant site in Waterfront Park, have ended.

The Oregonian reported a few hours ago that negotiations between Bike Republic — a company founded by Ken Nichols to create full-service bike commuter facilities — and the bureau have “fallen apart”.

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It’s official: Waterfront property will become ‘Bike Republic’

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

[Editor’s Note: Please read my follow-up to this story. It seems I jumped the gun a little bit and the deal isn’t quite “official” yet. Sorry for any confusion.]


Bike to Work Day

Ken Nichols, seen here at Bike
to Work Day in 2007, is the man
behind Bike Republic.
(Photos © J. Maus)

According to The Oregonian, the Portland Parks Bureau announced today that the building in Waterfront Park (just north of the Hawthorne Bridge) that used house McCall’s Restaurant will be turned into Bike Republic.

Bike Republic is a concept created by Portlander Ken Nichols (in photo at right) and the plan is to turn the building into a full-service bike commuter facility.

When we last checked in with Nichols back in April, his plan was to offer bike rentals, repair, and commuter amenities (like a place to change and shower), a cafe (to be operated by popular burrito joint Laughing Planet), and a small bike retail shop.

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Bike Republic concept still in the running for McCalls site renovation

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

The former McCalls Restaurant building.
(Photos © J. Maus)

The Portland Parks Bureau wants to re-imagine and renovate the old McCall’s Restaurant site in Waterfront Park (just south of Salmon Street Fountain).

As part of their ongoing process to select someone to redevelop and manage the building, Parks officials recently concluded a series of interviews with four groups that responded to a public request for proposals.

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Bike Republic would serve commuters and more

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
Bike to Work Day

Ken Nichols of Bike Republic.
File photo

Ken Nichols has a vision for a new facility for downtown bike commuters and “urban athletes”. He calls it Bike Republic.

Think of it like a cross between a Bikestation and le Maison des Cyclistes in Quebec.

The plan is to offer an array of services to the general public and for (a nominal fee) to members. Members services might include: secure full-service bike parking; personal lockers; showers; and dry cleaning/laundry delivery. The facility would also offer a small cafe, bike repair and rental and a retail store for biking and running products.

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