On Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015, the Metro Council approved a $320,000 grant request to fund the majority of costs for the City of Wilsonville’s Town Center master plan proposal. The City is matching the Metro grant with $100,000 to cover the long-range plan’s total anticipated cost of $420,000.
This newly-funded project seeks to create a long-range plan and near-term actions for how the city’s Town Center area can better serve the interests and needs of residents, workers and visitors. The plan seeks to develop strategies for how the Town Center area can evolve into a more walkable, attractive and commercially vibrant, mixed-use district capable of supporting a range of small businesses. The approximate 100-acre planning area encompasses the properties north of Wilsonville Road, within and adjacent to Town Center Loop, including Town Center shopping center, Fry’s Electronics and the Regal Cinemas theatre.
Mayor Tim Knapp said, “Approval of this grant advances both the City’s goal to produce a redevelopment plan for the area and Metro’s goal of targeting investments in downtowns and main streets to spur economic development, and accommodate growth.”
Currently the Town Center area is comprised of low-density, low-rise, auto-centric commercial retail and office uses. While located near the heart of Wilsonville, the area could benefit from having a stronger sense of place and better pedestrian circulation and by more fully realizing the area’s potential to serve as the community’s central hub and gathering space. A well-planned, attractive and more vibrant downtown district can better serve the needs of residents, workers and visitors to live, shop, dine and play in Wilsonville instead of traveling elsewhere. The Town Center’s location with easy access to Interstate 5 makes the area attractive to private real-estate investors for redevelopment.
Work on the long-range plan is to begin in early 2016 and to be completed in 2017 for consideration and potential adoption by City Council. Creation of the plan is likely to be overseen by a local task force made up of community members, business owners other local leaders. Other community-involvement opportunities include public workshops, focus groups, visual preference surveys and online feedback tools.
Completion of a Town Center master plan is a 2015-17 City Council goal and is identified in the City’s Urban Renewal Strategy and Tourism Development Strategy adopted by the Council in 2014.
The Town Center master plan grant award is the fourth long-range planning grant the City has won in the past three years that total over $1 million. Other planning grants from Metro include funding for the Frog Pond concept plan in the amount of $341,000 and another Metro grant shared with the City of Tualatin for the Basalt Creek concept plan in the amount of $365,277. The City also is the recipient of a Transportation Growth Management grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation in the amount of over $80,000 for the Coffee Creek Industrial Area Form Based Code and Pattern Book.
Mayor Knapp said, “The City Council is most pleased that staff members are consistently presenting compelling grant requests to Metro and the State that cumulatively have won the City over a million dollars in planning assistance over the past three years.”
Metro awarded 16 grants to local governments totaling $4.7 million for the fourth cycle of the regional government’s community planning and development grant program. Previous grant cycles in 2006, 2009 and 2013 funded a variety of local planning efforts inside and outside the urban growth boundary, all made possible by a by a small excise tax on most construction projects in the Portland region that cost over $100,000.
For more information, contact Miranda Bateschell, Long-Range Planning Manager, at 503-570-1581; firstname.lastname@example.org.