Home Back Issues June 2010 Gresham shops celebrate a fee holiday

Gresham shops celebrate a fee holiday

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010

 

0610_ATS09
Lillian Negron plans to employ a dozen people at Lillian’s Natural Marketplace in Gresham.
OREGON BUSINESS PHOTO

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.”

ROBIN DOUSSARD

 

 

Comments   

 
Norbert Belliveau
0 #1 Gresham's New Community Advocate is off to a great startNorbert Belliveau 2010-07-27 20:58:07
Lillian, as my friend for the last 23 years, I have watched you emerge as the leader you are now coming to realize. I am so proud and excited that you have this opportunity and I know that you are going to make your community proud. I love you and wish you all the best in your endeavor.

Love,

Your brother from another mother,
Norbert
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

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...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


Read more...

Poll Wrap-Up

News
Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 NewPoll-report-newsletterthumbIn this week's poll, we asked readers: "Who should pay for the troubled Cover Oregon website?" Here are the results.


Read more...

Launch

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

September's Launch article features Orchid Health, BuddyUp and Inter-Europe Consulting.


Read more...

Gender Code

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD

Janice Levenhagen-Seeley reprograms tech.


Read more...

A Good Leap Forward

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Agriculture businesses ramp up to meet international demand as workforce and succession challenges loom.


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