Juliana Lukasik - Owner @Large Films, Portland Oregon

Portland Monthly – East Side Rising: Juliana Lukasik Interview

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In Portland’s historic industrial heartland, businesses new and old are making pom-poms, curing meats, designing clothes—and creating jobs

By Zach Dundas from The Portland Monthly

Juliana Lukasik Excerpts

“I think the entrepreneurs and companies that are interested in the Central Eastside right now are looking for authenticity,” says Jonathan Malsin, Beam’s director of operations. “It feels like a place where grown-ups come to work, where the purpose is productivity.”

“It’s great for the whole city to have a neighborhood where you can find a great bar or café next door to a small factory, next to an advertising production studio.”

“We work hard to say what we are and that we need to stay this way,” says Juliana Lukasik, vice president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, the neighborhood’s feisty business association. “Don’t mess with it. Our industrial businesses tend to be somewhat nervous about change, and they have every right to be, because the conditions that allow them to exist here are somewhat delicate and could easily change. And what we’ve seen in the history of development interest in the neighborhood is that many development entities are more interested in their own agendas than in the health of the district.”


Interestingly, Lukasik herself owns not a machine shop, warehouse, or factory, but a commercial production studio on the district’s northeastern fringe. Her company, @Large Films, makes commercials for Nintendo and Nike, among others. Thus, she is simultaneously an elected voice of the Central Eastside’s old-line industries and a symbol of its multifarious, creative new direction. The neighborhood’s organic hybrid of these wildly different business cultures results not from old-style urban-renewal engineering, but rather a sort of biological development model, in which diversity breeds resilience.


“We’re just kind of growing on our own,” Lukasik says of the neighborhood. “A lot of cool stuff is happening, and I love that it’s becoming a 24/7 environment where you can find a great bar next door to a factory or, you know, an advertising studio. What is happening here is unique in the country. So let’s not ruin it.”

—Juliana Lukasik, owner of @Large Films and vice president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council


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On September 13, 2013

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