The Dalles sees payoff in a decade of steady effort

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

 

0911_TheDalles
Lone Pine Village in The Dalles is one of several projects that has helped advance the redevelopment goals of the city.
“I don’t know if there is a middle ground between a completely blue-collar town and a completely white-collar town,” says Robert Gilham, CEO of Lone Pine Village, a mixed-use residential community in The Dalles. But if such a category exists, Gilham says, “The Dalles is that middle ground.”

After about a decade of slow but steady growth, The Dalles continues to pursue a balanced model of development: gentrifying the area’s downtown with wine bars, cafés and streetscape improvements while also preserving industrial land necessary to attract employment. About $560 million of development is currently under way, including a Pioneer Square-style public plaza, completion of the 10-mile Dalles Riverfront Trail, expansion of the Sunshine Mill Winery Building and construction of a new commercial marina boat dock.

A developer has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the city to redevelop the vacant downtown Granada Theater. The goal, says Dan Durow, the Dalles’ community development director, is to build a “higher-end hotel” — along the lines of a Hilton Garden, he says — adjacent to a restaurant and conference facility.

Durow said the city’s urban renewal district, created in 2000, “has made a real difference” in city redevelopment. Along with state and federal grants, renewal dollars paid for several streetscape and parks initiatives, including a new skate park completed last year. The renewal district doesn’t expire until 2025, and once the latest round of projects is completed, Durow says the effects “will be even more amazing.”

About that balance. Over the past few years, several amenity projects have sprung up in The Dalles, most notably the $15 million Water’s Edge Health and Wellness Center, which is operated by the Mid-Columbia Medical Center and is the first commercial tenant to locate in Lone Pine Village. A LEED gold-rated building, the Water’s Edge also features a bistro and spa. Still to come is the Sunshine Mill expansion, including a remodel that will create loft space for local artists.

Industrial development is also a priority. Aiming to replicate its success with Google, which set up a server farm here in 2006, the city has created 120 acres of “shovel ready” land on the former site of the Northwest Aluminum Plant. “We’re trying to find a new soldier for that campaign,” says David Griffith, a port commissioner and auto dealer involved in his own real estate project: construction of a new 38,000-square-foot Toyota and Honda dealership, with an adjoining Griffey’s Quick Lube.

Not everything in The Dalles is moving forward as planned. Gilham says the housing market “madness” has stalled Lone Pine residential sales, and he is now converting some of the land dedicated to for-sale housing to a 48-unit apartment building. But even a sluggish, unpredictable economy can’t erode years of carefully planned city development, says Gilham. “The cogs have been turning slowly, and all of that is now coming to a climax.”

Linda Baker

 

More Articles

Photo Diary: Forest Grove Farmers Market

The Latest
Thursday, May 14, 2015
IMG 8469BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

Much ado about data-driven organizations, for good reason

Contributed Blogs
Monday, April 13, 2015
bigdatathumbBY GRANT KIRBY | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The mega-shift from technology-driven to data-driven organizations raises questions about Oregon’s workforce preparedness.


Read more...

The best crisis is the one you avoid

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
crisisthumbBY GARY CONKLING | GUEST BLOGGER

Avoiding a crisis is a great way to burnish your reputation, increase brand loyalty and become a market leader.


Read more...

Man for All Seasons

May 2015
Monday, April 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

A longtime technologist and entrepreneur, Dwayne Johnson, 53, is managing partner of PDXO/GlobeThree Ventures, a strategy and business consultancy in Portland.


Read more...

5 questions for Flywheel CEO Rakesh Mathur

The Latest
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
FW splashBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland is awash in rideshare options. We ask the head of Flywheel what sets his app apart.


Read more...

3 trends in the garden business

The Latest
Thursday, April 30, 2015
gardenthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Oregonians are scrambling to get their gardens in order for the summer. Here are three tips from landscaping and urban farming expert.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS