Now that the new State Hospital facility is mostly finished, the parcel and buildings north of Center Street are surplus and the State is apparently looking to off-load them.
The last time we went through this we got Sustainable Fairview and the hospital's plan for a parking lot at the Blind School.
What should Salemites want from this 47 acres and likely development?
|So far anyway, Fairview looks nothing like this|
|Six Institutional Buildings (Including the 1910-12 Dome Building)|
and lots of greenspace at the State Hospital
|Dome Building last fall|
So here's one idea: The City, State, and a private developer should work out a deal to create a mixed use center with a good range of housing options, and offer State employees, including managers, significant incentives to live there and commute to State offices car-free.
If at least some folks are seriously willing to entertain the idea of spending $800+ million on a highway and bridge, why not offer incentives that will cost a lot less to encourage some number of state workers from Portland and especially from West Salem to relocate to a new mixed use development just 10 minutes by bike from the Capitol? Make it worth their while! There has to be some price point at which a low-car life there would be more advantageous than the high-car life in West Salem.
By building roads we subsidize housing far out in the West Salem hills. So why not shift the subsidy to something more valuable, a neighborhood that is near to downtown and doesn't involve much bridge crossing?
|It's 10 minutes by bike to the Capitol!|
- Reduces commuting traffic on the bridges
- Reduces long distance commuting and regional greenhouse gases
- Adds housing and families to a neighborhood near downtown.
- Puts property on the City's tax rolls
- With a grocery store and other commercial amenities, it creates a walkable neighborhood
So what's your crazy, big idea for the area?