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Annual State of the City speech praises Center Cal plans for Kmart site

by: JAIME VALDEZ - Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden delivers his annual address about the state of Tualatin at an event organized by the Washington County Public Affairs Forum on March 4. Mayor Lou Ogden said during his annual State of the City address that the “year of transportation is over” and new developments were on the horizon.

Ogden actually gave his State of the City speech twice this year, addressing audiences at the Tualatin Country Club Feb. 27 and as a featured speaker for the Washington County Public Affairs Forum at the Old Spaghetti Factory on March 4.

The mayor opened his speech with a 13-minute video presentation that highlighted the city’s major financial and social accomplishments throughout its centennial year. Ogden called 2012 “a hallmark year for new development” in the city, which saw nearly $92 million invested in private building projects like the Stafford Hills Racquet Club and a new Portland General Electric facility.

The mayor noted that the city’s business community pays half of all property taxes collected in Tualatin.

“We also look forward to partnering with Center Cal this year as they develop Nyberg Rivers Shopping Center,” Ogden said during his presentation. “We are grateful for their interest in helping extend the Tualatin River Greenway Trail from Boones Ferry Road at the library, under I-5 and connecting to Nyberg Woods.”

In October 2012, CenterCal Properties confirmed it had signed a 75-year lease on the property at 7655 Nyberg Road, the site of a shuttered Kmart. The company developed Bridgeport Village and is in the process of submitting plans to the city for a nearly 300,000-square-foot retail center that is expected to add as many as 1,500 part- and full-time jobs to the area.

Moving on

“We can probably say that the year of transportation is over,” Ogden said during his video presentation, acknowledging the recent updates to the city’s Transportation Plan, finalized just last week after more than a year of public input and revision.

City Council heard public comment during its Feb. 11 and 25 sessions, then passed the final draft of the TSP with a vote of five to two. Ogden and Councilor Ed Truax objected, with Ogden voicing concern about removing two proposed projects he felt had not been properly analyzed. Truax felt there was little merit to opting for the draft’s low-build option over its much cheaper no-build option.

Money talk

“Despite continued challenges nationally and regionally, Tualatin continues to show economic strength and stability,” Ogden said, adding that large Tualatin employers like Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center and Lam Research, Inc. provide “high-paying, family wage jobs” in Tualatin.

Lam Research acquired Novellus Systems, Inc. in June 2012 for a reported $3.3 billion, moving into the former Novellus campus on Leveton Drive. The merger means that the new Lam Research Inc. is poised to be the fifth-largest semiconductor equipment manufacturer in the world, and its Tualatin branch employs 700 people.

A sense of community

Ogden also recognized the more than 1,200 residents who collectively gave nearly 30,000 hours of service through the city’s official volunteer program.

The mayor closed by reminding attendees that Tualatin will officially marks it century anniversary on Aug. 18.

As the Historical Society demonstrated during a lively Feb. 17 performance of its original musical docudrama “You Are There! A Celebration of the City of Tualatin’s Centennial Year,” this marks 100 years since Tualatin’s narrow vote to become an incorporated city — at the time, this allowed citizens to adopt Washington County’s permissive laws regarding alcohol sales, enabling Tualatin to tax liquor.

Visit tualatintimes.com for a link to view the mayor’s video, “Tualatin 2012: A Year in Review.”

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