Building the village in Lake Grove
Back in 2008, the Lake Oswego City Council adopted a plan that promises a great vision for the future of Lake Grove, one of our City's two town centers. Never heard of this plan? Perhaps it's a distant memory of years ago? May I take this opportunity to re-introduce to my friends, patrons, and members of this community the one-and-only Lake Grove Village Center Plan.
When my grandparents opened Gubanc's Pub in 1976, Lake Grove looked nothing like it does today: A bustling hub of shops, groceries, restaurants and an array of professional and other services that serve all citizens of Lake Oswego and even those of the greater Portland area. While the quantity of businesses have grown through the years along with the size of the surrounding neighborhoods, Lake Grove remains an area dominated by independently owned and operated businesses. The Lake Grove business community has and always will be one tied closely to the residential community; it is a group that centers itself around providing the highest quality services and products to those of you right here in our backyard. To maintain the level of quality enjoyed by us all, these businesses have now and through the years made private investments to continue to provide the goods and services we all enjoy. In fact, over the next year, there is approximately $15 million in private investment occurring in Lake Grove. Some of it is visible right now such as the Lake Grove Shopping Center remodel, Sherwin Williams remodel of the former Andrews Furniture, the new Starbuck's in place of the KFC, and the construction of the Oakridge Park Senior Housing. Just as I (reflect back) to my grandparents' and even my parents' era in Lake Grove and see a different place than what we see today, I hope future generations will view us from a Lake Grove that is more beautiful and flourishing than we could have ever imagined.
The Lake Grove Village Center Plan (LGVCP) ensures the future success and vitalization of the Lake Grove area. The plan connects to surrounding neighborhoods, employment areas, downtown Lake Oswego and other adjacent centers through a variety of safe and convenient multi-modal transportation routes with Boones Ferry Road constituting our 'great street.' It celebrates its natural surroundings and rural beginnings while fostering a lively community of local businesses acting as the nucleus of daily activity for local residents. The creation of the plan was the result of five years of collaborative planning by Lake Grove businesses and their residential neighbors illustrating the close relationship between the business and residential community in our area.
Just as local businesses and neighbors have for many years been investing in the long-term success of our community, we now ask that the city partner with us by directing the funds and staff necessary to implement the LGVCP. The time is now for the city council to invest in the creation of a long-term funding strategy that will ensure that the livability and beauty of Lake Grove match the great character and charm of the business people and residents who drive and walk our streets each day. May Lake Grove remain the vibrant heart of the West side and continue to serve us now and for generations to come.
Joe Buck, Lake Oswego, serves as secretary of the Lake Grove Business Association and is owner of Gubanc's Pub.