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|Articles - May 2011|
|Wednesday, April 20, 2011|
Page 6 of 6The 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.
Fregonese 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.
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New events series brings magazine to life.
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Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development.
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Leaders in Oregon's ag sector gathered this morning in Portland’s Coopers Hall winery/taproom to discuss the role of the region as an export gateway, impediments to exporting products and solutions to containerized shipping challenges.
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BY TAMSEN LEACHMAN | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
It is important to understand the EEOC’s priorities, and ensure that your leadership understands the shifting expectations of regulators and the heightened standards to which you (and they) may be held.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Leslie Carlson channels the big idea.
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