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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.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Former Governor John Kitzhaber's resignation in February prompted some soul searching in this state about ethical behavior in industry and government.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY GREGG MORRIS
Rita Hansen aims to scale natural gas vehicle innovation.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
One year after he was appointed chair of the Portland Development Commission, Tom Kelly talks about PDC's longevity, Neil Kelly's comeback and his new role as Portlandia landlord.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Thursday, July 09, 2015
The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger. About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.
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