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Community vision come to life: Rockwood Market Hall

May 16, 2022

The smell of spices and grilled delicacies wafts through the air. The soulful sound of singing and guitar fills your ears. Is it Mediterranean-inspired? Latin infused? Both? It’s beautiful, as is the sound of children’s laughter off in the distance.

So much to see, taste, experience

Taste of Casablanca serves Moroccan cuisine at the Rockwood Market Hall.Mouhcine Cherkaoui, owner, Taste of Casablanca

Walking into the Rockwood Market Hall during the grand opening weekend overwhelms the senses in the best way possible. There is so much to see, taste, and experience and this is only the beginning. With dozens of food vendors and retailers filling the Hall, there is no shortage of options or cultures represented. 

But the Rockwood Market Hall signifies more than just delicious food and unique stores to shop in, it is the culmination of a community vision. It is a beautiful example of what can happen when we as a City focus our efforts, partner with private investors, and listen to our community.

Rockwood Market Hall grand opening May 6, 2022.Sheer determination

In 2003, Gresham voters approved the Rockwood West Gresham Urban Renewal Plan. It was created to use urban renewal funding to make updates across the community and over the years it has done just that.

Urban renewal has brought nearly 700 jobs to Gresham, increased access to affordable housing, and added community services through public-private investments that simply did not exist before.

The process to get to the Rockwood Market Hall was not easy. There were committees, focus groups, listening sessions and so much more to develop the vision behind the Rockwood Market Hall.

What sounded like a crazy idea at first, soon became the sheer determination of a community to fill what had historically been a food desert with the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds that represent a wonderfully diverse community.

Lots of room to gather on the community plaza outside the Rockwood Market Hall and Lumen Building.

Girl plays  on the jungle gym at the Rockwood Market Hall.This is how change happens 

Beyond creating access to food and culture the Rockwood Market Hall provides opportunity. By developing micro-sized spaces for restaurants, grocers, and retailers, the hope of starting a business is a far more attainable reality. 

This is how change happens in a community. Opening access to resources, opportunities for entrepreneurs to provide for themselves, and creating space for engagement and belonging. 

The Rockwood Market Hall is an illustration of what can happen when we work together, and that work is not over! Today (May 17), voters have the chance to extend the Rockwood West Gresham Urban Renewal Plan. The plans for Rockwood and West Gresham are not yet complete and we’re excited about what more we can accomplish if given the time.

We encourage you to learn more about urban renewal. Visit, and then we hope you exercise your right to vote!