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Legislature Approves $5 Million For Blue Heron Mill Site

The Oregon Legislature has approved a $5 million bond sale in support of redeveloping the former Blue Heron Mill site in Oregon City. Planners see it as a coveted site for commercial development, and for the region’s greenways.

Blue Heron used to employ hundreds of workers without a high school diploma.

Blue Heron used to employ hundreds of workers without a high school diploma.

Rob Manning/OPB

Jim Desmond, director of the Sustainability Center at Metro, has been involved in the project.

“We here at Metro and many others in the region saw a once in 200-year pop to reconnect Falls with the public. The best viewing place has been industrially developed since the 1800s,” Desmond says.

He says the redevelopment may take ten to twenty years to play out, but the state bonds will make it possible to remove buildings from the site that are unsuitable for renovation, and make other improvements.

A California-based developer is proposing a mixed use project for the site. Regional governments that helped craft the deal say they will ensure the final design offers access to the falls.

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