Tag: Portland Garment Factory

PGF Resurrected Across I205

After months closed due to fire damage at their previous location, Portland Garment Factory (PFG) staff will move into a new home. This formerly downtown Montavilla business will now produce zero-waste apparel outside the neighborhood boundary in the Forge Parkour building. This week electricians are on site preparing the recently purchased building for the clothing manufacturer’s equipment.

Located at 311 SE 97th Ave, the PGF staff will work across the I205 Freeway from Montavilla. The building became available after Forge Parkour shutdown permanently amid pandemic restrictions. The unique structure was purpose-built for its last occupant three years ago. Designers of the corrugated metal-clad building created distinct angles along the entire facade of the building, hiding its warehouse-sized interior. The building’s unusual shape is visible from the I205 Freeway and is eye-catching even when driving past the building at 60MPH. The property is located between SE Stark Street and E Burnside Street, allowing easy access from major streets.

PFG owner Britt Howard and staff recently posted a montage video chronicling their preparatory work on the company’s Instagram. The building is practically new and appears only to require minor alterations. Designed to hold a gym, the interior of the building is open with high ceilings. That configuration should accommodate the long bolts of fabric and large machinery used in the company’s manufacturing business.

After the fire on April 19th, the community mobilized to support this beloved Montavilla business. People expressed their support for PGF’s rebuilding efforts through a GoFundMe campaign that raised over $118,000. Many of the supporters have already voiced their excitement over the new building through social media. Britt Howard has maintained grace and perseverance when speaking publicly about the tragedy of losing a business, always working toward the goal of reopening. Keep an eye on the companies website and Instagram for updates on the official opening date.

PGF Arsonist Apprehended

The same week that demolition crews finished tearing down the fire-damaged building at 408 SE 79th Ave, Portland Police apprehended the person they believe set that building ablaze. The early morning fire from April 19th consumed the two-story building that housed the Portland Garment Factory, forcing that business to close until they can relocate. The arrest of the accused arsonist should alleviate community concern over a repeated incident.

On June 9th, Portland Police took a 48-year-old woman into custody on charges of second-degree arson and reckless burning related to the April 19th incident. Portland Fire & Rescue (PF&R) said an executed search warrant yielded evidence connecting the suspect to the fire. According to a June 10th Willamette Week story, investigators received a tip from a community member who had witnessed the accused’s activity near the fire. In addition, that same witness identified the person in the surveillance video of the incident by her clothing and gait.

Although authorities have found a suspect in the incident, the damage caused by that fire is significant. Montavilla now has a vacant lot where a historic building once stood, and a business lost everything overnight. Fortunately, Portland Garment Factory will reopen in a new location, thanks in part to a GoFundMe campaign that collected over $118,000. Eventually, a new building will replace the one lost, and the damage suffered in the community will fade from memory. Until then, residents can consider the incident resolved and look to better events in the future.

UPDATE – Earlier today, the editor took this article offline while investigating a reported error. A reader said that the accused person was no longer a suspect and released. However, an official confirmed that the person arrested for this crime was released on pretrial supervision. The DA is proceeding with the grand jury.

Montavilla News will not publish the accused person’s name until convicted.