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Future Of Blue Heron Mill Site Under Study

Extensive studies of the old Blue Heron paper mill site have led Metro officials to recommend against a public purchase of all 23 acres. That conclusion comes as the governor pledges money for the site.

Metro officials studied the site’s environmental condition, historic buildings, real estate value and other economic factors.

The site next to Willamette Falls is in the hands of a bankruptcy trustee. So, Metro is not sharing details other than to say they found little contamination, but that government partners — including Oregon City — should not buy the whole property.

The governor’s proposed budget offers $5 million to acquire the site if local governments pitch in $10 million more.

Metro’s Jim Desmond suggests the public could purchase part of the site.

“We continue to believe that a significant part of the site would be appropriate for commercial development, and we don’t think it’s appropriate for the public sector to finance that, at this point.”

Desmond is proposing a year-long public process to re-zone parts of the property out of industrial use, while research at the site continues.

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