Medford architect would like to see more housing downtown

Medford, Ore. — Members of the community showed up Thursday night to weigh in on whether Medford’s Urban Renewal Agency should continue.

And if so, how it should spend 22 million dollars.

In addition to helping the Liberty Park neighborhood, some residents want to see more places to live in Downtown Medford.

“I’d like to see some attention in the downtown core put to housing,” ORW Architecture Principal David Wilkerson said.

David Wilkerson has been working in Downtown Medford for 15 years.

He’s would like to see the Medford Urban Renewal Agency use its money in the future to build more housing downtown.

“I think what we need is people on the street who want to be downtown, who want to eat downtown, shop downtown. We have a ready-made population of students downtown from not one but two colleges. I mean that’s a huge opportunity and we need to build on that by keeping those people here,” Wilkerson said.

He says housing in Downtown Medford is currently designed for families with kids, but he thinks young adults could be the key in making Downtown Medford a popular place to live and not just visit.

“There’s a whole other market that we’re not hitting yet,” Wilkerson said.

If the Medford Urban Renewal Agency decides to continue, the board can borrow up to 22 million dollars for projects.

Kevin Stine who is the chair of the agency says it’s important to hear from the community on what improvements should be made around the city.

“If we happen to see a large support for a certain project or a couple projects, than that’s probably the direction we should go in,” Stine said.

Wilkerson certainly hopes if the agency does continue, that downtown housing is selected as one of the projects.

“Putting people downtown would solve so many of the other problems of what Medford needs in order to really succeed and thrive,” Wilkerson said.

The Medford Urban Renewal Agency plans to have a complete list of projects from the community by January of next year.

NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Elizabeth Ruiz was raised in Northern Colorado. She graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism and Media Communication. She also minored in Spanish and studied in Spain. While at Colorado State, she was an anchor and reporter for CTV Channel 11.

Elizabeth loves Zumba dancing, singing and spending time with her family.

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