Medford 2050 plan proposes changes to downtown

Medford, Ore. — Medford is working on a plan to revitalize industrial parts of the city. The goal is to add onto the downtown area, bring in new businesses and increase foot traffic. It’s called the City Center 2050 Plan.

“Evergreen Way is supposed to be this kind of interesting pedestrian sort of area, where restaurants and bars and cafes back up to Evergreen, and people can walk up and down Evergreen, and go from place to place,” Planning Director Matt Brinkley said.

Currently, the area Brinkley noted is an industrial zone, but in the next 30 years, the City is hoping to work with business and property owners to rehabilitate it. Their vision is a thriving community area.

“It’s a real inviting pleasant environment, to kind of walk and to eat and drink and shop,” Brinkley described.

Part of that would include finishing a pedestrian path on Evergreen way.

“While the City and Urban Renewal have been successful in kind of developing a lot of Evergreen for that purpose, we don’t have a lot of land uses that we would want to see take advantage of that,” Brinkley said.

He noted it’s a joint effort between business owners and the City. Right now, Pallet Wine on Fir street is working to start that partnership.

“They were open to and supportive of that idea, of having that pedestrian linkage between Jackson and Fourth street, so you can imagine people spending time downtown, and then walking up or walking back and forth, and that’s exactly what we want to see,” Brinkley said.

The City Council is reviewing Pallet Wine’s proposal on Thursday during its regular meeting.

The City Center 2050 Plan is available on the City of Medford website.

Natalie Weber anchors Your Place @ 7, and reports for NBC5 News at 5 and 6. She is also the spokesperson for S.O. Close to Homeless, a community discussion on homelessness in our region, started by Access and NBC5 News.

Natalie began her career in journalism as an intern with NBC5 News during her senior year at South Medford High School. Following graduation, she was promoted to Producer for the morning news broadcast for NBC’s sister station, FOX26, then to Producer for NBC5 News at Sunrise.

Natalie took a break from news to work for the Medford Police Department as a Records Specialist. However, she missed the fast-paced environment of the newsroom. Natalie moved back to her hometown of Eureka, California to start her on-air career with North Coast News KAEF ABC23 before returning once again to NBC5 News.

Natalie attended Southern Oregon University. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, getting lost in a good book, and exploring Southern Oregon.

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