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|Articles - June 2010|
|Thursday, May 27, 2010|
GRESHAM Like most cities around the state, Gresham has been hard hit by the commercial real estate crash. Its downtown core is dotted with vacant storefronts, left behind by businesses that failed or moved out of town. But unlike most cities, Gresham decided one way to bring business back to its downtown was to waive all development-related fees as well as first-year license fees.
“Businesses are having a hard time getting over the hurdle of not being able to borrow,” says local businessman Dwight Unti.
Unti is president of Tokola Properties, the developer of 3rd Central, a mixed-use property at NW Third Street and Miller Avenue. Unti also is co-owner of Lillian’s Natural Marketplace, the first business to take advantage of the fee holiday. The market will open in July in 3rd Central’s ground-floor retail space. Unti estimates the fee waivers saved him $20,000.
“Relief on the front end really matters,” says Unti. “In this economy it has been a demoralizing barrier when you add it to the lack of lending.” When the city reduced the front-end costs, “it was exactly what was needed to make the difference.”
Two other businesses — Bella Cupcake and non-commercial radio station KZME — also have taken advantage of the program and will open at 3rd Central this summer. City officials say an insurance company and an ice cream shop also are interested in the program, which runs through March 31, 2011. Community development director Eric Schmidt estimates about 30-40 businesses could benefit from the program, saving about $150,000 collectively in fees.
The city has long wanted a locally owned grocery downtown so residents don’t have to travel out of town to shop. Market operator and co-owner Lillian Negron says about 12 to 15 full- and part-time jobs will be created at the market. She sees fee relief as crucial to getting small businesses off the ground: “It’s an opportunity to bring your business back to Gresham.”
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY
Ben Kaiser holds his ground.
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
BY GREGG LEWIS | OP-ED
The issue of green-washing remains a significant challenge to those of us who would like to see the building sector in this country do more than make unverifiable claims of sustainability. Transparency about the impacts of a given material is the only way to allow designers to make intelligent choices when selecting building products.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE AND LINDA BAKER
Child care in Oregon is expensive and hard to find. We delved into the numbers and talked to a few executives and managers about day care costs, accessibility and work-life balance.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
We get the education we deserve.
Thursday, October 08, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
In an era dominated by self-promotion and marketing speak, John Bradley, CEO of R&H Construction, is a breath of fresh air.
Monday, September 28, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
To attract technology companies, the U.S. Bancorp Tower repositions itself as open, light and playful.
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