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|Articles - September 2010|
|Friday, August 20, 2010|
The old Bright Wood lumber mill in Bend is the latest former mill to be redeveloped into something completely different. Gone are the blue-collar jobs, replaced by a fitness studio, a salon and a coffee shop. It’s the third former mill site in Bend to be reinvented in this manner, and developers and public officials are entertaining similar plans all over Oregon.
At the height of the timber industry there were 278 lumber mills in Douglas County alone. But the industry has lost more than half of its jobs over the past two decades, leaving many municipalities with large swaths of vacant land. Bend led the trend toward redevelopment with the Old Mill District, a diversified hub with more jobs now than in the old days.
But Bend is the exception. Nearby Prineville has made little headway on a similar proposal to redevelop the former Ochoco mill for shopping and restaurants. Progress has been similarly slow in Oakridge, where the former Pope and Talbot mill site sits vacant, with 64 developable acres available for industrial use at a rock-bottom $30,000 per acre.
Other mill sites have redeveloped with success, only to be upended by the economy. Mill Pond Village in Astoria replaced a shuttered mill with waterfront homes, but the area is riddled with foreclosures.
The most ambitious redevelopment on the horizon is the Croman Mill plan in Ashland, a 99-acre project calling for offices, light industrial businesses, and retail and commercial space. The projected 1,900 jobs from a 2008 report are looking a bit overly optimistic after two years of recession, but at least one growing Ashland business, medical software firm Plexis, is considering expanding there.
Still, for every Croman Mill or Bright Wood facelift, a dozen former mills sit vacant. “They’re tremendous producers of weeds,” says Oakridge city administrator Gordon Zimmerman.
Friday, April 11, 2014
TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The auto industry is starting to share more costs across manufacturers for complex and challenging design work, like new transmission design, and certain new engine technologies. What we’re not yet seeing is wholesale outsourcing of “unavoidable waste” components to specialist companies.
Friday, April 04, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS
The rapidly rising cost of higher education has left even the smartest researchers and the wonkiest of wonks wondering what’s happening and where’s all that money going. More and more, prospective students—and their families—are asking: Is college worth the cost?
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Health care and vacations rule. That’s the consensus from our reader poll on workplace benefits that help retain and recruit employees.
Monday, March 03, 2014
Check out interviews with employees from some of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon winners and find out what makes their company a great place to work.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY BRANDON SAWYER
Sales of small businesses surged in 2013 according to the biggest Internet marketplace of such transactions, BizBuySell, increasing to 7,056 reported sales, a 24% increase over 2012, when they dropped 7%. Portland Metro sales tracked by the site grew 9% to 73, capping three years of solid growth. On top of that, Portland’s median sale price jumped 67% to $250K, versus just 13% to $180K nationally. Portland was one of just six metros tracked where the median sale price matched the median asking price, with sellers getting, on average, 92% of what they asked.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
As retailers consolidate and newspapers fold, the business of modeling shifts to ad agencies, apparel companies and new media.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
A self-proclaimed “chile head,” John Ford “grows, eats and does everything spicy.”
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