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Here's hoping for good things in Wood Village

Nobody knows today what will come of the former Multnomah Greyhound Park, but it will be better than what’s been going on at the site since 2004.

Since that day when the track in Wood Village closed, the property has devolved into an eyesore, a crumbling vestige of suburban decay — graffiti, broken windows and neglect.

So the news Thursday, Oct. 15, that the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde are purchasing the 31-acre property has arrived like Christmas in October.

The tribe is silent on its plans. But of course, the “C”-word — casino — has surfaced as a possibility. At least in the early going, it doesn’t sound as if that’s a realistic possibility. The tribe isn’t likely to open a huge casino in the metro area that would siphon business from its already successful Spirit Mountain Resort and Casino near McMinnville. Plus, state and federal law prohibit tribes from operating more than one casino. We suppose that could change.

But looking at the site, it’s difficult to imagine a use that wouldn’t somehow be better than absolutely nothing, which has been the case there since 2004.

People in leadership positions throughout East Multnomah County are already suggesting multi-family housing, commercial development, entertainment attractions — it all seems possible.

As the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde moves forward with demolition of the grandstand, we hope its leadership keeps in mind that people in East Multnomah County have waited a long time to see development at this property. It would be a shame to see the property languish for years to come as a vacant lot, only to serve the tribe as it protects its financial interests elsewhere.

We hope the tribes spend time speaking with the leaders from East Multnomah County, making sure that the end use fits with the long-term ambitions for the region.

Here’s hoping for great things to come from this purchase by the Grande Ronde Tribe. It’s been a long time coming.