Landscape architecture, urban design, planning and sustainable design firm Walker Macy will launch a planning and visioning effort this spring to transform a 23-acre industrial site along Willamette Falls in Oregon City.

An 18-member committee of stakeholders and government partners unanimously selected the Portland-based firm from a competitive process that drew 14 bids. The concept of preservation became a key issue for Willamette Falls when the City Commission considered the cooperative planning agreement (“Planners to hear public input on Willamette Falls mill site,” April 24).

“Walker Macy brings a very strong group of professionals,” said Oregon City Community Development Director Tony Konkol, who approved the selection May 8, along with Peter McKittrick, the bankruptcy trustee for Blue Heron Paper Co. “They not only understand the unique nature of the project, they also share our passion for this special place.”

Oregonians will be invited to help Metro, Clackamas County and the state reconnect the public with North America’s second largest waterfall, as well as an important cultural site for Native tribes and fish and wildlife habitat along the Willamette River.

By rezoning the site, planners hope this process will provide the certainty needed by developers considering an investment in Oregon City’s future. City commissioners envision reinvigorating downtown as a hub of employment, shopping, business, tourism and housing.

The planning process marks the next step for the property at the south end of downtown Oregon City, where paper was manufactured for more than 100 years. In early 2011, Blue Heron permanently ceased operations, laying off 175 employees.

The public partners hope planning for the property will create an opportunity to allow visitors to experience the power of Willamette Falls, offer cultural and historic interpretation, and restore habitat along the Willamette River. The partnership committed to “being a catalyst for the property’s transformation,” with four “core values” including economic redevelopment, public access, historic and cultural interpretation, and habitat restoration.

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine