Sponsored by Oregon Business

The decline of the tacky strip mall

| Print |  Email
Articles - May 2011
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The committee trying to rebuild McLoughlin is hoping to get things going sooner than that. They have hired a team led by Portland planning guru John Fregonese to turn their vision of an improved strip into a realistic plan. The team is studying traffic patterns, rental costs, local demographics and economics, as well as models of strip redevelopment from around the nation. They will be meeting with community members on May 21 and plan to release a report by September.

0511_StripMall_Graph03Fregonese says the strip on McLoughlin has more going for it than meets the eye, with a surrounding population equivalent to the City of Corvallis and a median household income of $62,000. “It’s the kind of environment where you can’t change around the whole corridor. You have to start with nodes, start someplace and be successful and then move onto the next thing. Because the corridor is too big to fix all at once, and it could really use a center.”

The prospect of a new light rail line through the area “gives you an opportunity to do some things you wouldn’t be able to do otherwise,” Fregonese says.

Abe Farkas, development services director for the economic consulting firm ECONorthwest, says the preliminary research indicates that McLoughlin could be a good location for retailers selling building materials, clothing and accessories, and some food services. Farkas is also looking into a strategy of developing rental housing, to lure young newcomers to the area and help change its image.

A mixed-use apartment on the McLoughlin strip would be a tough sell at this point. The area is so auto-oriented that walking can be unpleasant and potentially dangerous. Everything about the area is geared toward catching the attention of passing motorists. Convincing people to move in and spend some time will require changes in image, design and ambience.

Still, the mere fact that some of the region’s top planners are exploring ways to rebuild a place like McLoughlin Boulevard indicates that the trends identified by the Urban Land Institute are serious. The commercial strip as we know it may eventually become a thing of the past. Something else will evolve to replace it, and whatever it is, it almost certainly will be an improvement.



 

Comments   

 
Kevin Matthews - ArchitectureWeek
0 #1 Like West 11th in Eugene...Kevin Matthews - ArchitectureWeek 2011-04-27 12:53:38
The strip-convenien ce leapfrog scenario seems to describe West 11th Avenue in Eugene, along with the areas mentioned in the article.

Community leaders of Eugene from all around the political spectrum met in a consensus format from 2007 through 2009 and produced a shared vision for how to actively redevelop that two-mile strip into a new walkable main street for West Eugene:

http://www.eugeneneighbors.org/wiki/West_Eugene_Collaborative
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

4 winners and losers in the Kitzhaber scandal

The Latest
Thursday, February 12, 2015
021315-govorno-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Examining the governor's rapid fall from grace in a "bizarre" and "unprecedented" saga.


Read more...

Beam Me Up

April 2015
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY DAN COOK | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

An alliance of developers, academics and timber industry executives wants to position Oregon as a front runner in the glamorous new world of wooden skyscrapers.


Read more...

Downtown flower shop readies for the Valentine's Day rush

The Latest
Monday, February 09, 2015
021015-giffords-thumbBY MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Gifford's Flowers brings family approach to PSU-area shop.


Read more...

VIDEO: The 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015

videothumbVIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon


Read more...

10 Oregon companies positioning themselves for growth

The Latest
Friday, March 13, 2015
vcthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Ten startups have secured venture capital, angel or seed funding in 2015.


Read more...

4 highlights of the MLS labor deal

The Latest
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
timbersthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.


Read more...

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


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