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Redmond Celebrates New Downtown Businesses

REDMOND, OR -- Downtown Redmond boasts 15 new businesses this year, although commercial occupancy is down three percent. Chuck Arnold, the city's Urban Renewal Program Manager, says, "94% last year, down sliding a bit to 91%, really keeps us above that very healthy downtown of 80-90% occupancy."

New tenants range from dining to retail, along with a play place for kids and an exotic pet shop, "The changes that have been happening have been really good for the diversity of options, which is what we’re really excited about, and really is a bellwether for the health of the downtown," says Arnold, "There are now so many more choices of different types of things to do."

Arnold tells KBND News the city, "Provides some incentives to help improve buildings, and that really makes a big difference. We also see this critical mass of the investment made by the community with the hotel reopening, and some of the other businesses that have opened downtown because of the hotel, have started to make this momentum that’s really palatable." One of those grants was used to renovate what’s now the Blacksmith Public House, which opened at Third and Evergreen in April, "That was a conversion of an old industrial building that was really just one welding shop. And that got converted into this center now, where there’s just activity going on all the time. There’s a coffee shop there open in the morning, taphouse at night, live music, food trucks."

He says the focus in 2024 is on creating more downtown housing, "We have 150 units of housing in downtown right now; we’d like to see that grow by a good 10%-plus a year, if we can continue to work on incentivizing that. So, we’re working actively with the development community."

 

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