Downtown Dayton's dawn

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012

 

BY ROBIN DOUSSARD

0912 GamePlan DowntownDayton 01
Bill Stoller bought Dayton's First Baptist Church five years ago and is now renovating it. Stoller has bought six other properties in the downtown area.
// Photo by Sierra Breshears

Coming into Dayton off Highway 18, one of the first things you’ll see is the renovation of Dayton’s First Baptist Church that’s under way. It stands out as a visible sign of progress in a downtown marked by vacant storefronts and worn buildings.

The project is the signature of Bill Stoller, who was born and raised in Yamhill County. A prominent businessman (he cofounded Express Employment Professionals in 1983) and founder of Stoller Vineyards, he has deep roots in the community. So the struggles of tiny Dayton, population 2,500, are something he takes personally.

Five years ago Stoller started buying property in the downtown area. So far he has purchased seven properties, including the 1886 church, around the beautiful square, arguably the town’s biggest asset. Stoller is a key driver in Dayton’s efforts to reinvent itself. Founded in 1850, the town has the square, 50 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places, easy access from the highway and natural beauty. It is also right in the heart of Oregon wine country. But like many rural Oregon towns, it struggles in the face of few jobs, few businesses and few dollars.

“One of the reasons for doing this is that it’s my home. But Dayton also has significant future potential,” says Stoller. “That’s why I have gotten involved. I didn’t see anyone else stepping forward.” Renovating the church is a concrete statement of his commitment. After it is finished this year, he’ll then decide what to do with it. Over the next few years, Stoller plans to improve the area around the church.

“It hopefully will build the self-confidence of the town,” he says about the church project. “We need to get everything looking good. Within three years, we will have something that really kicks off Dayton. That will be the start.”

Getting started is something Stoller and others in the community feel is finally happening, saying the timing is right for Dayton to begin its turnaround.

 



 

More Articles

Free Falling

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, December 18, 2014
121714-oilprice-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

The implosion of the energy complex: The best thing for low oil prices is low oil prices.


Read more...

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

7 industry trends of 2015

The Latest
Friday, January 09, 2015
covertrends15-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Industry groups identify top trends for 2015.


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

Transportation Fairness Alliance holds demonstration in Pioneer Square

The Latest
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
IMG 3367BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Portland's cab companies urged city hall for consideration as officials weigh new rules for Uber and other ridesharing companies.


Read more...

Corner Office: Pam Edstrom

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seven tidbits of information from an agency partner and co-founder of Waggener Edstrom in Lake Oswego.


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