Gresham will benefit from nearly $800,000 worth of funding from Metro Regional Government for two major projects.

The Metro Council awarded $681,000 to Gresham and Portland for developing a concept plan as part of the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project, plus $100,000 for eco-industrial development at the Vista Business Park.

Both projects are among 20 across the region to receive $4.2 million in funding through Metro’s Community Planning and Development Grants program. Launched in 2006, it uses a regional excise tax on construction permits to fund planning grants for cities and counties looking to get specific spots ready for development that brings housing and jobs.

Metro councilors approved this most recent third round of funding on Aug. 15. A total of $9.9 million was distributed in two previous grant cycles.

Local governments submitted 26 applications this funding cycle.

Of them 14 projects received full funding, with six receiving partial funding.

“These grants are a direct way for Metro to help our communities find room for the housing and jobs new residents will need,” said Metro Councilor Bob Stacey.

The Powell-Division Transit and Development Project calls for Gresham, Portland, Metro and TriMet to work together to identify a preferred transit mode with possible transit stations along inner Powell Boulevard and outer Division Street.

The Gresham Vista Business Park grant will help fund a framework for eco-industrial development at the 221-acre site, which is one of a few undeveloped large-lot industrial sites in the Portland metro region that is earmarked for innovative, sustainable development through a partnership between the city of Gresham and the Port of Portland.

Grant funding also will pay for a “lessons learned” report to guide other industrial developments in the region, as well as implement four strategies identified in the Gresham Vista Eco-Efficient Implementation Action Plan, which is considered a roadmap to create projects resulting in economic, social and ecological benefits.

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