Backers of the Gateway Green park and off-road bicycle complex raised $123,880 to pay for designs and other work over the crowd-funding website Indiegogo, easily topping their $100,000 goal.
It was the fifth-highest amount ever raised among 5,238 Indiegogo crowd-funding projects for community-based projects, says Ted Gilbert of Friends of Gateway Green.
Gilbert, a developer active in the Gateway area, came up with the idea eight years ago to use the park as a catalyst for development, on a site north of the Gateway transit center. The city of Portland has been banking on intense development of the area that has failed to materialize.
Gilbert wasnt that confident about raising money over the Internet. In all candor, I had no idea if people would participate, he says. But he came away amazed.
We ended up getting a contribution from a woman in Nairobi, Kenya, Gilbert says. Students at Sacramento Elementary School, who live near the site in Parkrose School District, collected pennies, and raised $72.
The biggest donation, $25,000, came from Coca Cola, which agreed to a 2:1 match of other funds. That wound up being enough to get the project over its goal.
In all, 756 people donated money for the cause.
Friends of Gateway Green was aided by many other groups, particularly Oregon Solutions, a program based at Portland State University that seeks to bring various community resources together.
The Oregon Department of Transportation plans to transfer the property to the city of Portland early next year.
Backers will now start working on site designs, Gilbert says.