Stroll down Tigard’s Main Street and it may be difficult to remember how it looked only a few years ago. Restored and improved storefronts, new landscaping, LED streetlights and unique public artworks are just some of the amenities that welcome people downtown to shop, dine, walk the dog or connect with family and friends.
Urban renewal has been a driving force in downtown Tigard’s transformation, providing a stable funding source without creating new taxes. The City Center Urban Renewal Plan, approved by voters in 2006, has funded nearly 40 infrastructure and improvement projects.
Public improvements have attracted almost $50 million in private investment to downtown, including 234 new housing units, new streetscapes and pedestrian amenities, as well as 28 matching grants to businesses.
Upcoming projects include Universal Plaza Phase 1, which will bring Tigard’s first splash pad and water feature to downtown Tigard in 2022! I am also proud to say that Urban Renewal funds were made available to downtown business owners to compensate them for 100% of the damage their businesses sustained during the protest-turned-riot in January.
Despite these many enhancements to downtown, we know our work isn’t done. Further investments in downtown will increase connectivity, construct a parking facility, and design and build new streets to reduce traffic congestion.
Infrastructure improvements like paths, sidewalks, crosswalks, and bike lanes can help make downtown an equitable, walkable and accessible place for everyone. Investing in new housing, amenities and public spaces will create new opportunities for people to gather, learn and explore.
I encourage you to visit downtown at least once in April. New restaurants, distinctive shops and one-of-a-kind public spaces like the Tigard Heritage Trail are making the area a premier destination.
After you visit downtown, I want to hear your impressions – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or share them during a virtual Fireside Chat on Thursday, April 1, at 6:30 p.m.
You can learn even more about downtown during the 2021 State of the City – Late Night in Tigard on Wednesday, April 7, at 6:00 p.m. This virtual event will feature interviews with community members, a Top 10 list, and a ‘Mayor Walking’ segment.