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Cogen: County has a deal for new public market

Multnomah County has struck a tentative $10 million deal to sell its surplus land on the western end of the Morrison Bridge to Melvin Mark Development Co. and the nonprofit James Beard Public Market.

County Chair Jeff Cogen announced the tentative sale Friday in his State of the County speech before the Portland City Club. Details of the contract are still being worked out.

Mark, one of Portland's largest office developers, has floated plans to build a 17-story office building there, with the public food marketplace on the street level. Backers say the James Beard market could provide 250 jobs and become a locus of the local food movement. Some hope it can be a tourist draw along the lines of Pike Place Market in Seattle.

The county land is used for surface parking.