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A memorandum from Canby Economic Development Director Renate Mengelberg, sent through City Administrator Rick Robinson to Mayor Brian Hodson, provides a snapshot of ongoing economic development projects funded through the city's Urban Renewal Agency.

ARTISTS RENDERING SUPPLIED BY THE CITY OF CANBY - The latest architect's rendering of what the Dahlia Building will look like when completed in downtown Canby sometime next year. 
Keep in mind that the City of Canby uses code names — often somewhat humorous once the company is revealed — for economic development projects to keep private the names of prospective companies considering moving into Canby because companies typically don't want to reveal their interest in a given area or location for many reasons, an important one being that real estate holders could increase the price of their land or building if they learn of a company's relocation intentions.

And economic development directors are notoriously tight-lipped about revealing any information regarding prospective deals, which may be a good thing depending on one's perspective. Mengelberg is on vacation and could not be reached for comment.

The memo states that a Canby property owner is negotiating with the company behind "Project O Plant PJ." This company plans to invest $22.5 million into constructing a 20,000-square-foot facility and initially would create 20 to 25 jobs. A priority for this company, which is why it deems Canby a fit, includes access to a railroad, and proximity to the company's existing "clients."

Another economic development opportunity for the City of Canby is called Project Pressure. This company is a Canadian-based pressure washer manufacturer that wants to consolidate its sales, manufacturing and warehousing operations into one convenient location. The company wants to construct a 35,000-square-foot facility that has enough room to increase to 70,000 square feet "in the future." According to the memo, the company is conducting "due diligence on a Canby site."

Economic development projects that have been in the works for more than one year, and that many Canby Herald readers may recognize, include:

Project Blue Ice: This project would include street and infrastructure improvements inside the Pioneer Industrial Park along Sequoia Parkway, which have been discussed in previous public meetings held by the city.

This company wants to purchase a 15- to 20-acre land parcel and "the number of employees, wages and site size needed is increasing as the company expands its options to incorporate technological advances."

City officials expect the company will decide the location of its future operations base soon, the memo states.

Premier Gear: This is the rare case where a company did divulge its name and interests. Portland-based Premier Gear and Machine Works, a metals manufacturing firm, plans to purchase a six-acre piece of property, owned by the city's urban renewal agency, with plans to begin construction of a build-to-suit, 60,000-square-foot building "as soon as the property transaction is final," the memo states.

The Canby Herald will print more details about this development in the weeks ahead.

It's also worth noting that a previous prospect, dubbed Project Frostbite — a British company that manufactures synthetic materials that visited Canby in mid-May and toured locations in the Pioneer Industrial Park in consideration of constructing a 120,000- to 140,000-square-foot facility, investing $80-$100 million into the facility and hiring as many as 125 employees — is no longer considering Canby in lieu of pursuing locations in Washington state and the city of Gresham.

Hanlon Mixed-Use Development: Otherwise known as the downtown city block development — located on the site of the old city offices, including the long-time city council chambers and the city's planning and finance departments, as well as the still-existing headquarters for Canby Utility — this project broke ground in June, although an official ribbon-cutting ceremony most likely will occur in late August, Robinson told the Herald.

The Hanlon development, also known as The Dahlia building, a 69-unit, four-story complex that will have three floors of studio and one-bedroom apartments on top and a ground floor of retail establishments — numerous public discussions and studies, previously reported by the Herald, reveal there is more than enough existing parking spaces downtown to accommodate the facility, as well as a planned 45-stall parking lot where Canby Utility's building currently stands — now has a dedicated web page with project highlights located on the city's website at canbyoregon.gov/canbycivicblock.htm.

The memo states that "several prospective (retail) tenants have been directed to Hanlon Development for consideration," although the city has yet to reveal any specific prospective tenants.

If this building attracts people and businesses as city officials and Mary Hanlon hope and plan, it holds the potential to change the economic viability of downtown Canby for many, many years.

Video of the last public meeting and discussion about The Dahlia is available to view online at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XauVSdJbIRM

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