Strawberry Station News

Strawberry Station brings new vibe

By Josh Nelson, Contributing Writer
Published: Friday, September 7, 2012 12:08 AM CDT

If Portland needs a “vibe,” it may have found one.

“I feel like we’ve created a location,” said Ken Robson of Strawberry Station.

Robson bought the old Farmer’s Bank building on Main Street last May and is turning it into a mini-mall. The ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Friday.

Robson bought the building almost on a whim.

“There was an auction by the city, and I saw the sign (for it), and went the next day,” he said. “I don’t know what it was, but I just thought it was good. I could see something. I think it was meant to be.”

Robson referenced the revitalization of Franklin, Tenn. and Franklin, Ky. as similar situations.

“I really think we can do the same thing here in Portland,” he said.

He calls the building “Strawberry Station,” which features six office areas open for rent and an “event room.”

“We don’t need to lose downtown,” Robson said. “I hope this gives it new life, and I hope people enjoy it. We need to enjoy it, and get people who don’t like malls away from them.”

Robson said he has renovated the building to make it more attractive.

“It’s elegant,” he said. “We’ve tried to do something special with it.”

He hopes it will it ignite Main Street.

“I haven’t parked on that side of (Main Street) in probably 12 years,” Robson said. “The street looked desecrated. My wife said, ‘don’t go to that auction,’ but I just had a feeling. I just felt there was a reason.”

“Hopefully, this is a rejuvenation of (Main Street),” he added. “I can see the potential, and I hope this is a spark.”

A grand opening/ribbon cutting event will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7. The public is welcome to visit and see what he’s done with the building.