Good Outlook for Downtown Medford

In a pair of articles, the Mail Tribune reports on positive trends for business and liveliness in downtown Medford. After several major employers, including Lithia Motors and Pacific Retirement Services, opened new offices downtown last year, business is picking up.

And, seeing the benefit for their employees, more companies are considering locating downtown.

Attracting more businesses downtown can have a snowball effect for local economic fortunes, reports Damian Mann. As many as 1,000 new employees are or will soon be working downtown. Now more businesses are looking to relocate there from the sprawling Highway 62 corridor east of Interstate 5, Lithia's vice president of real estate tells Mann. "People just like being downtown," he says.

After some decades of decline following the construction of Interstate 5 splitting the community, things have been turning around for Medford. Historic buildings like the Sparta Building have undergone renovation, new restaurants are opening, and the streetscapes are improving. 

But a local historian points out that Medford needs more evening attractions to complete its transformation into a real destination beyond the working day. Some have suggested that reopening the Holly Theatre as a performing arts venue will help. The Craterian already attracts quite a bit of evening activity when it has events, Mann reports. Click here to read the full piece.

In a separate piece, Mann reports on major new employers and retail opportunities coming to downtown.

1000 Friends advocates for thriving downtowns throughout Oregon. Land use strategies that direct and promote employment and housing growth in these areas, instead of sprawling at cities' fringes, will play a major role in their future success. Slowing down traffic, improving walkability, and providing alternatives to driving alone will also improve safety and experiences downtown. Concentrating development in these areas will also save local taxpayers from wasteful infrastructure spending over the long-term, as well. Through our Cool Communities program, we're working for similar successes throughout Oregon.

Click here to learn more about our Cool Communities work. 

We reported on positive changes coming to downtown Medford in our Oregon Stories e-newsletter in April 2012. Click here to read that piece.