John Shelk, owner of Ochoco Lumber Company, announced today he has met with representatives from Fred Meyer Inc. and is waiting for a proposal back to develop part of his former Ochoco Lumber mill site one mile south of downtown Prineville.
> Owner of Ochoco Lumber waiting for development proposal from Fred Meyer Inc.
Shelk gave a brief presentation at the Commercial Investment Division Meeting held in Prineville's Crook County Library this morning.
He said a grocery/clothing store like Fred Meyer or something similar and a movie theater multiplex would be a great draw for Prineville. He also said he is working with Bill Smith of Bend's Old Mill District on a master plan to create a "mini Old Mill District" on his 80-acre site.
"Prineville could immediately support a Fred Meyer," Shelk said. "But probably not a Victoria's Secret," he added jokingly.
The site is currently zoned industrial but will be moved to commercial and possibly some residential, Shelk said.
Shelk said if a deal is brokered with Fred Meyer it would take approximately two to three years in between breaking ground and "getting something moving."
Shelk said high gas prices may actually be a friend to Prineville businesses as many residents travel to Fred Meyer in Redmond to do their shopping.
The Ochoco Lumber plant closed in 2001. In March 2004 the sawmill, rollers and stock and hundreds of other items were sold at auction.
During the meeting, Shelk said another addition to the site under consideration would be a recreated old-style railway station, with a restaurant and themed memorabilia. The Prineville Railway tracks end at the old mill site.
Though the site, now with a new Starbucks across the street, will certainly prove to be commercially viable, Shelk reflected, "I'd rather be sawing boards."