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

10 Innovators in Rural Health

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

Telemedicine, new partnerships and real estate diversification make health care more accessible in rural Oregon.


Read more...

Staffing Challenge

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.


Read more...

Fixing Oregon’s broken roads

The Latest
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
RUCCostComparison rev4-30BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.


Read more...

Department of Self-Promotion

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 17, 2015

061715-awards1Oregon Business wins journalism awards.


Read more...

Urban renewer

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
UnknownBY LINDA BAKER   

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's landlord.


Read more...

Oregon needs a Grand Bargain energy plan

Linda Baker
Monday, June 22, 2015
0622-gastaxblogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.


Read more...

Store Bought

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Market of Choice is on a tear. In 2012 the 35-year-old Eugene-based grocery chain opened a central kitchen/distribution center in its hometown. The market opened a third Portland store in the Cedar Mill neighborhood this year; a Bend outpost broke ground in March. A fourth Portland location is slated for the inner southeast “LOCA” development, a mixed-use project featuring condos and retail. Revenues in 2014 were $175 million, a double-digit increase over 2013. CEO Rick Wright discusses growth, market trends and how he keeps new “foodie” grocery clerks happy.


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