Home Back Issues October 2012 Regional report: Valley city evolution

Regional report: Valley city evolution

| Print |  Email
Articles - October 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
Article Index
Regional report: Valley city evolution
Salem
Albany
Eugene/Springfield

BY LINDA BAKER

1012 ValleyCityEvolution 01
The Broadway Commerce Center, a project of Portland's Beam Development, opened in downtown Eugene last fall and has attracted a range of technology, design and architecture tenants.
// Photo by Sierra Breshears

The Willamette Valley is noted for its rich farmland, world-class wineries and charming covered bridges and byways. But if the region attracts plenty of accolades, the midsize cities themselves tend to fly under the radar. Portland generates its own gravitational forces, attracting and spinning out all that is green, tech-driven and hip. But the smaller I-5 corridor cities — Salem, Albany, Eugene and Springfield — don’t get a lot of buzz, and not just because of their size. Lacking a clearly defined “brand” — the rugged individualism of Bend, the tourist orientation of Cannon Beach — these midtier urban areas occupy a relatively amorphous role in the Oregon popular imagination and post-recession economy.

Salem is at once the seat of state government, a center for agriculture and a commuter destination for Portland residents, says John Wales, Salem’s urban development director. But as the Salem economy continues to founder, “We’re really trying to figure out what we do well and who we are,” he says.

In search of the corridor-city identity, we traveled down I-5, stopping in Salem, Albany, Eugene and Springfield. Snapshots of each town reveal different approaches to brand development, along with a few challenges and success stories. Salem is pursuing economic-development strategies that specifically represent the state’s second-largest city, Albany is evolving beyond its heavy-industry roots, and Eugene and Springfield are experiencing a long-awaited downtown renaissance. Collectively, these changes spotlight the evolving identity of a region often described in context of the surrounding landscape and not the individual character of its cities.

 



 

More Articles

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

South Waterfront's revenge

News
Thursday, July 24, 2014
MoodyAveBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Remember the naysayers?  Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle?  Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?


Read more...

OB Video: Oregon MESA

News
Thursday, June 26, 2014

ThumbOregon Business hosts an informal roundtable discussion about the Oregon MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement) program.


Read more...

Who said we should sell in May?

Contributed Blogs
Friday, July 18, 2014
BullMarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Back in May, we shared a common Wall Street quote about investing, “Sell in May and go away.” Fast forward to July and the most common question we have been getting from clients is, “When is the market pullback going to occur?”


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Oregon Business wins awards

News
Monday, June 30, 2014

ASBPEOregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.


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