There are several interesting matters that slipped under the radar and which deserve more interest and attention.
The biggest is a new project concept proposed for the large site sandwiched between the forthcoming Costco and I-5.
|A large new project proposed (Costco label added)|
|Staff Recommends denial|
Staff recommends denial. I was not able to read the full analysis and recommendation, and there might be more to say later. This is the sort of proceeding that seems unlikely to be decided after just one meeting.
At the West Salem Redevelopment Advisory Board, last month they got a sneak peek of the concept for the former Nordstrom site.
|Elevation from Liberty side (street labels added)|
That will be so much more lively than the bricked up blankness of the Nordstrom and the mall buildings!
It may be more generic than stylish, but on the whole it looks like it will be a tremendous addition to downtown.
|Approximate area of ULI study and panel|
Also the area immediately to the north
More directly germane to the responsibilities of WSRAB they also got a presentation on the forthcoming Urban Land Institute's Technical Assistance Panel.
Under a contract with the City, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) will be convening a Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) of experts to discuss the near- and longer-term strategies to generate ideas and input for spurring redevelopment in a portion of the West Salem Urban Renewal Area, west of Wallace Road NW. There is transition occurring with some of the manufacturing businesses in this area and three buildings are currently listed for sale, and one for lease. The City is recommending a new mixed-use zone in this area, but we’re hearing that the market might not yet support redevelopment of some of these buildings. We are making investments in 2nd Street NW, but traffic on Wallace Road NW and access to/from will still pose challenges for larger scale redevelopment. The focus of the TAP would be on near- and mid-term strategies to employ during this transition, attract development interest, and leverage our TIF strategically. A national ULI panel was engaged several years ago to discuss ideas for Salem’s downtown waterfront, including the former Boise site.
Maybe we'll come back specifically to look at the ULI panel and recommendations on the Boise site. The final project differs in many details, but in overall concept, is perhaps not so different. A comparison of study concepts to built reality might be interesting. At the same time, the mere existence of differences does not invalidate the study, and seems mainly to be an expression of changing realities on the ground.
We'll come back to this probably as the West Salem study commences in December or January. And of course there will be more to say on the West Salem site itself also, as it is an interesting mix of older industry, newer things like Xicha, and vacant buildings.