Downtown Action Planning Meeting Set for Feb 28

Release Date: 

The City of Hermiston and the Hermiston Downtown District group will be hosting a Downtown Focus Workshop February 28th, 2017 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center.  All members of the community with interest in downtown Hermiston are invited to attend.

The first hour of the meeting will be informational presentations about the current environment downtown, identifying the needs, and the potential for the future of downtown Hermiston.  There will be presentations from Sheri Stuart, Oregon Main Street Coordinator, Emma Porricolo, the Main Street Program Coordinator in Hermiston, and Mark Morgan, the Assistant City Manager.

Emma Porricolo will be presenting her report from the comprehensive downtown stakeholder interviews she conducted from October to December 2016 with downtown organizations, property owners, business owners and managers. The report outlines five major themes which were identified by the downtown stakeholders, which include:

  • A need for more retail and restaurants
  • A need for more downtown events and activities
  • A perceived lack of parking
  • Indoor and outdoor building upgrades and upkeep
  • Beautification.  

The second hour of the meeting will consist of breaking into task forces for the respective needs to create action groups. The goal is to recruit and establish the groups which will meet at a later date to work through Strategic Doing processes to create action plans and identify low hanging fruit projects for tackling the issues at hand.

“This meeting will be both informational, and action-oriented,” Porricolo said.  “Everyone who is interested in seeing a vibrant downtown is invited to come learn what the priorities of the downtown stakeholders are, and seize on an opportunity to volunteer on one of these committees and capitalize on the momentum that is building downtown.”

Downtown Hermiston has seen renewed activity and investment over the past year, and several major projects are about to kick-off in earnest.  In 2016, the downtown core of Hermiston has seen:

  • The opening of a $6M, 90-room hotel
  • Expansion of the Hermiston Brewing Company
  • Renovation and occupancy of a part of the long-vacant “Roemarks” building
  • Ongoing expansion of La Palma Restaurant
  • Ongoing renovation of the former Napa Auto Parts for conversion to a retail meat market

The downtown core is now primed for two major public investments to take place in 2017 and 2018, which include:

  • Construction of a 7,000SF, $2 million Senior Center, scheduled to open in early 2018
  • Approximately $1.5 million investment to develop a “Festival Street” event space, planned for completion in 2018

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