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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

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Oregon wants to develop a downtown district to facilitate economic growth. The proposal is not new, but the city is eager to give it a much closer look this year.

“It’s not near-term. It’s going to be a five to 10 year effort,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley.

The district would include an area bounded by Isaac Streets Drive, Dustin Road, Navarre Avenue, and Harbor Drive, with the possibility of extending it to Pickle, he said.

“That area is in the heart of our business district. There is land that is not yet developed there – a lot of green space,” said Beazley. “By giving some careful thought to our zoning rules, and developing some additional roadway infrastructure, we can make it easier for property owners to put in new developments that would be good for Oregon.”

The concept of a downtown district has been discussed by the city for years, he added.

“But it’s something we have to start thinking about now to move forward. We’re looking at place making for Oregon.” Place making is a concept used by urban planners in which the unique assets of a public space are developed to strengthen a community’s identity and help revitalize the local economy.

“We did bring the issue up when we met with our Navarre Avenue/Isaac Streets Drive/Dustin Road area stakeholders a few weeks ago. We don’t have a plan, but it’s something the mayor and council are interested in exploring and moving forward. We can make Oregon easier for development, and create denser development in our core that could lead to other spin-off opportunities,” he said. “We’ll probably be further along with it later this year and have a community meeting in council chambers to discuss what’s possible. By giving it some thought now makes it a good time to engage the community to discuss it. It is something we’re excited about.”

The library and post office, as well as many businesses, are located within the proposed district.

“We already have many hundreds of people working in that area. There are some ways to make it easier for us to bring in more development that makes sense for the growth of the city,” he said. “This is in the very early stages. We’ve been engaging in conversations with some property owners in the area, and we’ve been looking at what other communities have done.”

 

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