The wisdom of forming an urban-renewal district along the banks of Sandy River in Troutdale is being confirmed by developers who share the city's vision for an even more vibrant retail core.

A citizen urban-renewal advisory committee recently recommended that Gresham resident Fred Bruning, whose company created Gresham Station and Bridgeport Village in Tualatin, be selected to develop Troutdale's urban-renewal area. Bruning's work in Gresham and Tualatin speaks for itself - those new urbanist developments quickly have become landmarks for their communities.

The Troutdale project is likely to be different in scope, but the same mixed-use concepts - combining retail, housing and public amenities - ought to be utilized. It's also possible that Bruning, if his company ultimately is chosen for the project by the Troutdale urban renewal agency, could acquire the neighboring outlet mall and open up more land for a unified urban-renewal plan.

Troutdale's urban renewal program still has many months of negotiation in front of it, and then many more months of planning and development. But the strong interest coming from Bruning and another developer (Williams and Dame Development of Pearl District fame) demonstrates that the community's vision for renewal along the riverfront was grounded in reality.

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