|Scale: Too much toilet paper, not enough bridge collapse|
|McGilchrist Block in better times, circa early 1950s|
Salem Library Historic Photos
A total of about $150,000 in urban renewal funds are proposed to go towards the sidewalk at the McGilchrist and Roth Building rehab. Are these improvements that the developer should be funding instead?
I happen to think that even if the City ends up subsidizing the developer more than was minimally necessary, the prospect of the building's businesses, residences, and new street life, are so beneficial that it is in fact an investment not just in the development but in city vitality generally. (The very definition of "urban renewal," in fact.) We all benefit from more activity downtown. Or at least those of use who enjoy downtown and like to visit it.
(And if we had a rational downtown parking policy, there would be more "toolbox" type funds to support things like this instead of those same urban renewal funds having to prop up the aging infrastructure of our parking garages.)
|Roads and alleys to vacate at Blind School|
- The City proposes to vacate several remnant bits of public alley and street rights-of-way at the Blind School for the Hospital. (Here and here.) Though it would have been nice for the City to hold onto them as leverage for the whole project, the City has obviously no interest in this; and considered separately, if the development had been reasonable, there would be no good reason not to vacate these rights-of-way. Except for the fact that the Hospital is proposing something generally lousy, the vacation meets criteria. A critique of the project is already happening by means to the two LUBA appeals, and it would be a stretch to use this as a critique or roadblock as well. See the previous note here.
- In order for the Union Gospel Mission to relocate to the parcel where the retail store is on D and Commercial, the City needs to do some rezoning. See more detailed note here.
- The North Broadway Parking Study will finally move into code! See all posts here for that project. As others have pointed out, it is ironic the City is moving rationally on parking here, but seems unable to do so at the Blind School and elsewhere.