Historic Downtown Oregon City

Welcome Downtown

Downtown events are going to be bigger and better this year. Interested in sponsoring or participating as a vendor? Visit the following links below:

5th Annual Cruise to Historic Downtown Oregon City Car Show
September 13, 2014

5th Annual First City Celebration
July 26, 2014

Downtown Oregon City Calendar

Check out this calendar for events such as the First City Celebration, Downtown Car Show, Trick or Treat on Main Street, Oregon City Tree Lighting and more!

Also, if you are interested in getting involved in making downtown a better place, check out the listed meetings.

Last Minute Shopping – Downtown!

Have you shopped local yet this holiday season? Downtown has a growing list of shops, restaurants, and businesses. Check out these great promotions and opportunities currently going on:

MSOC Downtown Map Letter - v1.2
Click the image to download a PDF map of downtown.

Community invited to review final concepts for the 23-acre former mill site in Oregon City 

(Oregon City, Ore.)— Oregonians are invited to review and comment on final concepts for the former Blue Heron Paper Co. in Oregon City at an Interactive Community Event on December 12 from 6-8pm. Community members will be able to see a graphic presentation of site opportunities in preparation for a land-use zone-change application in early 2014.  Concepts are based on the results of a market study and more than 4,000 comments and discussions.

Attend the event to participate in a review of final concepts, interact with fellow community members, project partners, and consultants to discuss concepts as they relate the interrelated core values of public access, economic redevelopment, healthy habitats and historical and cultural interpretation. Opportunities to review in-depth demonstration plans and parking and access concepts will be provided. Excited to help make this a reality? Sign up as a Community Champion to stay engaged over the long term.  All ages are welcome; light refreshments will be provided.

What:                   Final Concepts Review for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project
When:                  Thursday, December 12, 2013, 6-8 p.m. 

Attend an in-depth review and presentation from the designers of final site concepts based on community feedback this fall, existing conditions and the summer outreach process. Follow up in-depth opportunities to review demonstration plans and parking and access concepts and identify what inspires you and how you can become a Community Champion for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project.

Where:                Ainsworth House and Gardens, 19130 Lot Whitcomb Drive, Oregon City, OR

One of the most beautiful and historic natural wonders in the country, Willamette Falls served as a Native American fishing and gathering site and the site of the nation’s first long-distance transmission of electricity (from the Falls to Portland). It was mentioned by Lewis and Clark in their travel diaries in the early 1800s. In 2011, Blue Heron closed its doors in a bankruptcy, leaving an opportunity to redevelop the site.

The City of Oregon City is leading the Willamette Falls Legacy Project; other leading project partners include Clackamas County, Metro, the State of Oregon and the site’s bankruptcy trustee. For more information, please visitwww.rediscoverthefalls.com

Tree Lighting Next Saturday

Oregon City will be hosting its annual tree lighting on Saturday, December 7. Festivities will begin at approximately 4:30p and the tree lighting ceremony will begin at 5:00p with the arrival of Santa. Join Santa, the Mayor, and the Dickens Carolers for this family friendly event.

Following the tree lighting ceremony, children and families will have an opportunity to sit with Santa. Mini cupcakes will be provided by Wrightberry’s and coffee, cider, and hot chocolate will be provided by Coffee Rush and IceHouse. Candy Canes will be provided by the Elks.

Architect Tom Meyer Presentation Monday

The City Commission invites you to a presentation by Tom Meyer, award winning architect for Mill Ruins Park and currently leading the project team to redevelopment Centennial Mills. Tom will provide background on his projects, lessons learned and thoughts on the potential for Willamette Falls Legacy Project.

November 4, 2013
City Hall- Commission Chambers
625 Center Street

 Tom Meyer- MSR Architects

A registered architect with 40 years’ experience, Tom is a founding principal of MS&R. He is well-known nationally for his work with historic preservation and the Mill City Museum complex (recognized with a national AIA Honor Award for Architecture, National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award, and The Waterfront Center’s Excellence on the Waterfront Top Honors). Tom’s career is threaded with a strong interest in the correlation between old and new that has resulted in work with historic district planning, building rehabilitation and restoration, adaptive reuse projects, new construction in historic districts, and museum and interpretive center design. In addition to his professional practice, he teaches design at the University of Minnesota College of Design. Tom was elected into the AIA College of Fellows in 2006 and is past president of AIA Minnesota.

Mill Ruins

Mill Ruins Park is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis and is adjacent to St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge. As the centerpiece of the revitalization of Minneapolis’ historic West Side Milling District, Mill Ruins Park combines an exploration of the history of Minneapolis with present day activities for all ages.

This industrial powerhouse was the catalyst for the development of Minneapolis and the birthplace of a number of companies which remain significant to this day, including General Mills, Pillsbury, Washburn Crosby (WCCO), and Xcel Energy. Mill Ruins Park lies within the St. Anthony Falls Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Mill Ruins Park is directly adjacent to the 1883 Stone Arch Bridge, a National Historic Engineering Landmark constructed to connect Midwestern farmers and their crops of wheat to the booming flour production mills.

The park tells this story through the now exposed historic walls and waterpower features long buried beneath many feet of sand and gravel. With the reopening of the historic tailrace canal, which carried water from the mill turbines back to the river, visitors have the opportunity to interact directly with an exciting water feature. Mill Ruins Park features the historic mill ruins, biking and walking paths, landscaping, raised catwalks, interpretive signs to provide information and guide visitors as they explore the river, and spectacular views of the falls and the Stone Arch Bridge.

Centennial Mills

Centennial Mills represents one of Portland’s greatest chances to create a community-defining riverfront while preserving a unique piece of the city’s history. Centennial Mills was acquired by PDC from ADM Milling Company in 2000 using urban renewal and City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) funds. The property was acquired to fulfill the River District Urban Renewal Plan’s stated objective of enhancing the waterfront with public open spaces and to facilitate connectivity between the River District, the Willamette River and the Willamette River Greenway.

In 2006, PDC together with the Bureau of Planning completed the Centennial Mills Framework Plan which outlines Portland’s interest and aspirations for redevelopment of the site. The framework plan is the result of a six month public process and was approved by the Portland City Council in December 2006. The plan does not posit particular redevelopment schemes for the property. Rather, it outlines various development opportunities and lays out five key principles to guide redevelopment: Provide Open Space, Capture History, Define a Community Focal Point, Strengthen Connections, and Embrace Sustainability. Redevelopment of the site is also anticipated to further the goals of the city’s Economic Development Strategy.

In March 2013, PDC and Harsch Investment Properties signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding, summarizing the intent of both parties to work toward a successful negotiation of a binding disposition and development agreement for redevelopment of the Centennial Mills site. Harsch is currently working on design and due diligence, with plans to present a refined concept for the site in early 2014.

Trick or Treat on Main Street – This Thursday!

Join downtown merchants for the annual Trick or Treat on Main Street this Thursday, October 31 from 4:30 until 6:30pm. Pumpkin judging from Saturday’s decorating contest will be at the Caufield House at 6:30pm.

Sponsored by Oregon City Code Enforcement and Parking Division with Main Street Oregon City.

Main Street Oregon City Hires New Executive Director

Main Street Oregon City Inc. is announcing its new Executive Director, Jonathan Stone. MSOC Inc. began a nationwide search after founding director Lloyd Purdy announced his new job as the Economic Development Manager for the City of Tigard. Interim Director John Southgate has served the organization since August 5th. John also led the hiring committee.

Jonathan is relocating to Oregon City from Boston where he most recently founded a growing retail store in his family’s home state of Rhode Island and was a Senior Research Associate for Marketing Edge Consulting Group. He has an MBA from Boston University and a background in architecture and small business consulting. His varied experience includes residential design and construction, adaptive reuse of buildings, and he has worked with small businesses in a number of different industries.

“I’ve always been fascinated with what draws people to a particular place,” Jonathan said. “To me, the most vibrant communities are ones that have a shared sense of identity and a strong downtown. Lloyd Purdy and the Board of Directors have accomplished many transformational projects for downtown Oregon City and I look forward to continuing that work. I’ve been fortunate to meet a number of business and property owners and other stakeholders in the community. The commitment to a revitalized downtown is clear. Oregon City has so much to offer and I am glad to be working with such a great group of people.”

Jonathan begins the transition with Interim Director John Southgate this week. As the eyes and ears for downtown, he will work closely with property and business owners and other stakeholders to ensure the program continues to have a positive impact on the community.

“We are pleased to have Jonathan take over the helm at MSOC”, notes Board Chairman Paul Culp. “We had a number of top notch candidates for the position, which speaks to what a strong program we have. We believe that Jonathan will bring some incredible gifts – a strong understanding of what it takes to succeed in small business and retailing, as well as an ability to help us move forward with our goal of spurring new mixed use development on Main Street. Jonathan is the perfect fit for the next stage of Main Street’s emergence.”

Downtown Programming Enjoys Higher Engagement

September’s Downtown Discussion covered a variety of topics including updates on the Car Show (this Saturday) and the Willamette Falls Festival (Oct. 5th and 6th). We conducted the first Public Involvement Session for the Downtown Gateway Project and had a roundtable discussion on Downtown Community concerns for the O.C. Police Department to address at future Downtown Discussions.

“I’m excited that attendance is growing at our monthly Downtown Discussions,” said Downtown Community Coordinator, Ethan Erickson.  “This was a fun program to implement, and I’m looking forward to the continued momentum of engagement in Downtown programming.”

Pictured here are prominent Gateway locations by mode, and desired design themes for each type of Gateway marked by Downtown Business Owners on September 12th, 2013.

Gateway PI Locations - 120912

Gateway PI Design - 130913

The nonprofit MSOC is seeking a new Executive Director to lead downtown revitalization efforts in this 169 year old downtown.

Founding director, Lloyd Purdy, is moving to a position with the City of Tigard after four years leading revitalization efforts and building partnerships in downtown Oregon City.  If you know someone who is a self starter, partnership builder and skilled professional – then share the following job description with them and invite them to apply before August 15th.

Over the last four years the nonprofit MSOC has worked with partners to:

  • Recruit more than 49 new business downtown.
  • Attract and collaborate on more than $3.9 Million in State, Federal and foundation grants.
  • Guide the reintroduction of a two-way retail friendly Main Street.
  • Lead the Blue Collar Creative marketing campaign.
  • Support more than $1 million in annual private-sector investment.
  • Build partnerships with local, regional and state partners.

MSOC Executive Director

Position Details:

This is full time position with evening and some weekend work.

Salary Range: $55,000 – $70,000 with matching contribution to a retirement account.

Staff Supervision: 1 – MSOC Community Coordinator (full time staff position)

General Description:
Work independently and with the MSOC Board of Directors, Program Partners, and Volunteer Project Committees to cultivate a more active, vibrant and sustainable downtown. Focus on 4 strategic areas: marketing and promotion, capacity building, design and preservation, and business recruitment. Manage the day-to-day operation of the non-profit MSOC guided by annual goals and work plans. Support MSOC volunteer committees, projects and partners.

Major Job Elements:
Develop the capacity of the non profit MSOC (a 501c3) to implement volunteer based, locally driven projects in downtown Oregon City. Act as the point person for downtown Oregon City on a range of issues and build relationships with property owners, business owners, elected officials, developers, professionals and downtown stakeholders. Advocate for the vision of a more active, vibrant and sustainable downtown as an asset to Oregon City and the Portland Metro Region. Sustain program funding through renewal of the Downtown EID, programatic support from partners and through grant writing.

Reports to:Board of Directors via the President of the Board

Area of Major Time Commitment:

Downtown Manager Work Plan Implementation (Project Management) 23-35 hours/week

Meetings with Downtown Stakeholders 6-10 hours/week

Meetings with MSOC Volunteer Committees 2-6 hours/week

Organizational Development 5-10 hours/week

Management and Operations 5-10 hours/week

Minimum Requirements: Four-year degree or equivalent, 3-5 years of experience, familiarity with grants, public relations, and project management.

Well qualified applicants will have familiarity with one or more of the following: real estate, business recruitment, community engagement and/or finance.

Anticipated Results: Support the organizational goals as defined by board of directors (examples):

  • Encourage rehab/adaptive reuse projects.
  • Support new constructions projects initiated downtown.
  • Encourage the addition of residential capacity downtown.
  • Business recruitment.
  • Develop programs that activate downtown.
  • Expanded community support of MSOC and Downtown.
  • Increased level of “community building” downtown as the community gathers and coalesces around a shared sense of identity and shared vision for the future of downtown.
  • Develop a more active and sustainable non-profit MSOC to implement further change.

MSOC’s next Executive Director will build upon a foundation of success in order to lead the continued revitalization of Oregon City’s 169 year old downtown.  This position will be best filled by a true Jack (or Jill) of all trades capable of managing complexity and a comprehensive approach to program and partnership development.

As one of the leading downtown revitalization programs in the State of Oregon, Downtown Oregon City and MSOC Inc. are well positioned for continued success which includes addressing the following opportunities and challenges: integration of the Blue Heron Mill site development into the existing downtown, business recruitment, addition of more off-street parking capacity, the addition of residential development downtown, renewal of the Economic Improvement District.

As a response to this job posting please submit your resume, one-page cover letter and answers to the following questions to: downtownoregoncity@gmail.com before August 15th 2013.

1. Pleas share with us your experience leading a nonprofit focused on community building, place making and/or downtown revitalization. (Please limit your response to no more than 350 words).

2. Please share with us your approach and experience to building partnerships with organizational partners, stakeholders and volunteers (Please limit your response to no more than 350 words).

3. Please share with us your experience managing staff, volunteers and a budget (Please limit your response to no more than 350 words).

4. Please share with us your experience working on a redevelopment project and the role you played in the success of this project (Please limit your response to no more than 350 words).

5. Please share with us three examples of business recruitment that you would use in downtown Oregon City (Please limit your response to no more than 350 words).

6. Please share with us an example of your experience in grant writing or grant management. (Please limit your response to no more than 350 words).

Optional Responses (Please choose one – there is no “right” question.)

A. Please share with us your spirit animal?

B. If you were a Star Wars character what would your name be?

C. Describe your three most important values.

Thank you for your interest in Main Street Oregon City (MSOC). We will review submissions and contact eligible candidates for a series of three interviews; one with the search committee, local stakeholders,and the Board of Directors. Please submit all application material via email to downtownoregoncity@gmail.com before August 15th 2013.