In one of our most well-attended City Club conversations ever, we learned about what to anticipate as redevelopment takes place in the Bend Central District.
The featured speaker, Michele Reeves of Civilis Consulting, showed how development within the “existing fabric” of a city is different from the type of “greenfield” development we are familiar with in Bend. With existing fabric development, there is a mix of lot sizes, building heights, and designs from various architectural eras. Multiple uses take place next to or on top of each other. Reeves’ recommendations to make redevelopment more vital and attractive for commerce in the Bend Central District:
- Get comfortable with “messiness” so that all development does not look the same… including embracing more colors.
- Make the streets look great and attract a wide variety of people to the district who can feel comfortable to walk around and live their daily lives there.
- Incremental improvement is key. Do smaller projects, encourage existing building owners to improve their buildings, look at different uses within a building.
- It is never too early to think about who benefits from TIF (Tax Increment Financing) dollars – figure out how the city can support social goal investing to support the existing community.
The City of Bend’s Core Area Project Manager, Allison Platt, gave an update on the Core Area planning process including Bend Central District and surrounding Opportunity Areas. The citizen Urban Renewal Advisory Board (URAB) recently approved a draft boundary to begin studying the potential of an urban renewal area, which could generate TIF revenues. Potential projects will be identified in the next meeting.
Ways you can engage?
· Learn about the City of Bend’s Core Area Project.
· Follow the BCD Initiative, which is a local non-profit building momentum and support for the Bend Central District’s transformation into a vibrant, healthy, and mixed-use neighborhood.
· Attend the next Urban Renewal Advisory Board (URAB) meeting on October 1st (meeting info will be posted on their website)
Download slides HERE:
Thank you to our participants:
Moderator Anne George (Donor Relations Officer at The Oregon Community Foundation) and Panelists: Michele Reeves (Civilis Consulting), and Allison Platt (City Planner at the City of Bend).
Special thank you to the forum sponsors for helping create this important conversation!
Harcourts – The Garner Group, Sandy Garner