Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, July 26 2012 at 4:46 PM, Updated: Thu, July 26 2012 at 4:57 PM
If 'location' is a key to a successful business, a busy highway interchange in Klamath Falls could soon become a major business hub...
Engineer Marc Cross says there's big plans for property at the Greensprings Interchange...
"This is a 46 acre, undeveloped commercial property. It's probably the largest commercial property in Klamath Falls that's undeveloped."
Any stores built here would provide the nearest commercial access for Running 'Y', Ridgewater, and Southview residents.
"We could have anything as small as a convenience store, gas station, fast food restaurant, all the way up to larger, major retailers." Noted Cross.
The property is adjacent to highways 97, 66, and 140... But that benefit also carries some uncertainty.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is still working on a 20 year plan to improve the interchange - and Cross notes that until those plans are final, development can't get underway. "So that's the major challenge with this project."
Once highway access issues are addressed, Cross says the area could be prepared for development. "With the commercial subdivision, we'd be looking at building that possibly next year."
The Klamath Falls Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to meet August 13th to discuss the proposed development.
The property owner wants to break up the 46 acres into 18 lots ranging from one to five acres in size. Long term plans call for different sections of the property to be developed over five construction phases.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.