Urban renewal got a boost in 2004, when the Madras Redevelopment Commission started the first phase of its downtown revitalization project, and other businesses and properties followed suit.
The Madras Coffee Station was the first of three businesses to complete its renovation using a grant and low-interest loan from the MRC.
The business, owned by the daughter-mother team of Teresa Leno and Sherrill Chandler, has a new store front, outside dining patio, and covered drive-up area.
The other two businesses which are part of the first phase, the World of Treasures, and Art Adventure Gallery, expect to begin their renovations in the spring.
The MRC isn't the only force driving change in Madras. "I think a lot of people are seeing a value in upgrading their facilities," said Mayor Rick Allen, who serves as chairman of the MRC. "Ultimately, the driving force is they see it as a way to improve their bottom line. It enhances their investment."
Allen recently completed a major expansion and renovation of the Oscar building, which houses Mail Copies and More. (The Oscar building and additional new businesses, renovations, and remodels will be featured in the Jan. 5 Pioneer.)
A few of the renovations and new developments include:
. Peggy Boyle and her daughter, Jennifer Oppenlander, remodeled a house on H Street behind Columbia River Bank and opened Raining Fresh Daisies, a scrapbooking store, on May 25.
. Eagle Ridge Business Park, owned by Allen and Oliver and Janelle Orcutt, is a 10,000 square foot building designed to house up to six tenants -- small manufacturing or light industrial. It opened in March across U.S. Highway 26 from the Jefferson Park Business Center.
. The dental clinic at 611 S.E. Fifth St., owned by Dr. Wayne T. Schultz, got a new stucco and brick front, courtyard and wall, parking lot and planters this year. The office houses the practices of Schultz, Andrew Toms, and Owen Smith, the former owner of the building.
. Jefferson Park Business Center is a 30-acre, city-owned industrial park, located on Cherry Lane on former airport property. Two businesses, Shielding International, and Taylor Northwest have purchased property at the site and expect to begin building in 2005. Proceeds from the sale of the property will go into the airport fund.
. The Pines at Madras is an 84-unit housing development under construction on McTaggart Road. Sisters developers Blake Weber and Quay Richerson plan a five-phase development of single-family homes. The fifth phase will include a small commercial strip.
. Buttons and Bolts' owner Janet Henderson opened a sewing and quilting shop in a remodeled historic house at 125 S.E. D St., Nov. 19. The new business features a variety of fabrics, sewing supplies, jewelry items and patterns.
. Strawberry Heights, a townhouse subdivision off J Street, broke ground in mid-summer. Ruf Investments has completed two homes, and will have another six finished by mid-January. When it's complete, the subdivision will have 230 homes, a playground, and a clubhouse, with an indoor swimming pool, fitness room, and gathering room, as well as other amenities.
"When you see everyone starting to update and modernize, it's catching and others will do it," said Allen. "It's pure economic. A building does not sit frozen in time. You have to reinvest some money."
Next week: School and hospital renovations, new businesses and remodels, and phase 2 of Madras revitalization.