Survey puts the business spotlight on Lake Grove

by: VERN UYETAKE Mike Buck of the Lake Grove Business Association stands by the area’s new Sherwin Williams paint store.

Attention all business owners in zip code 97035, all 725 of you.

A survey will soon be on the way that seeks your opinion on the business climate in Lake Grove, and it has a worthy goal: bringing more prosperity to Lake Grove.

'Lake Grove business people are friendly and cooperative,' said Jack Lundeen, president of the Lake Grove Business Association.

They just need to raise their public profile.

Lundeen has been vitally interested in Lake Grove's economy ever since he first hung out his law shingle in the basement of Naomi's Lampshades in 1979. 'Comfortable' is his word to describe the Lake Grove business climate for the past 32 years. But some moving and shaking are now in order.

'We need to make sure we're moving forward to be quietly successful,' Lundeen said.

The business survey will help. It is a bit lengthy, because it seeks information on just about any topic relating to business. Prices, traffic, cleanliness, products, hours, safety, even parking spaces. All of this will be put to good use.

'What we want to do is really stay on the city's radar,' Lundeen said. 'We want to be at a place where the city continues to use time, money and effort in Lake Grove. Lake Oswego has done a fantastic job in its downtown.'

The survey has been adapted from a project that didn't work out. A few years back Lake Grove and Lake Oswego attempted to build a Main Street program. It didn't happen.

'Main Street is extremely effective, but it takes a lot of volunteers,' Lundeen said. 'Main Street has a bunch of tools, and surveys are one of them. We've adapted one.'

Just to drive home the fact the survey is out, the LGBA Progress Tour was held in Lake Grove on Monday, and it featured fine folks like Mike Buck, owner of Gubanc's Restaurant, and Chuck O'Leary, owner of Bankers Investments. Both are absolutely ebullient on the subject of Lake Grove business.

And Buck, O'Leary, Lundeen and the others do have a lot to talk about regarding recent developments: The shopping center, anchored by Zupan's, right in the heart of the area, being brought by Deanna Bitar and Eric Shoemaker; the Boones Ferry Road Refinement Plan; new businesses like Starbucks and Sherwin-Williams; the possibility of obtaining a $1.4 million grant from Metro for implementing the Lake Grove Village Center Plan.

'There is progress to behold in Lake Grove,' Lundeen said. 'All of these things have enhanced the value of this area and could create a window of tax increment.

'If we can get an urban renewal district before the end of 2012, we can capture the enhanced value of what is going on with the Boones Ferry Refinement.'

Aug. 15 has been set as the deadline for collecting the surveys.

Lundeen believes the LGBA has achieved a lot, but that now there is a chance to do much more.

'We have a plan on the shelf,' he said. 'Our job is to get it off the shelf and get it moving.'