History of The Gateway Area Business Association


Gateway Area Business Association

The Gateway Area Business Association was started in 1950 as the Woodland Park Merchants, with 15 charter members. The purpose was to promote the area with services to the community.  One of the first activities was the organizing of a parade in 1951, with eager participation. One of the highlights of the parade was the annual appearance of the Senior and Junior Rose Festival Courts.

The first Fun-O-Rama days were held in 1952, with a carnival used as a fund-raising event. The Gateway Keystone Cops were a west coast-side fun group, appearing in many local and regional events such as parades and other fun-type activities.

In early 1954 construction of the Gateway Shopping Center began, to be completed August 17th of that year. Founder and owner Fred Meyer had an arch built as part of the center.  This would demonstrate, in a highly visible and meaningful manner, the importance he felt for the future of the area. In 1991 the arch had to be removed due to some deterioration of the structure.

In 1957 the Menlo Park Plaza shopping center was started with the opening of Kienow’s food store, followedby many other merchants.  The following years saw the construction of San Rafael Center, Mall 205, Glisan Street Station and 111th SQUARE.

In 1958, as the name Gateway grew in recognition, the group changed its name to Greater Gateway Boosters.

In 1993, it became the Gateway Area Business Association.

In 2002, the City of Portland identified Gateway as an urban renewal district, part of a decade-old plan to turn Gateway’s business district into a regional center. GABA is in the forefront of the effort to revitalize business in the neighborhood.

The Association serves Gateway Shopping Center, Mall 205, 111th SQUARE, Menlo Park Plaza, Glisan Street Station, Midway, San Rafael and all businesses in between.