Klamath Falls, Ore. – The site of the former Modoc Lumber mill in Klamath Falls may be a key to the future of the downtown area.
The 50 acre ‘Timbermill Shores’ area is poised for some major construction.
Developers are hoping the shoreline property along Lake Ewauna will be the area where downtown Klamath Falls will expand and grow.
Plans for a new Oregon Department of Human Services office have nearly doubled since they were announced earlier this year.
“We’re talking about around 90,000 square feet, as the building will be in its entirety.” Notes Developer Justin Hurley Braswell of Rubicon Investments. “Right now, we’ve calculated our investment into the community at about $30,000,000.”
“Pence Construction is planning on being here in April.” Adds Georgia Bunn of Rubicon. “And we’d like to be complete June of 2020.”
Hurley Braswell says Rubicon Investments has also secured five other lots in the Timbermill Shores area. “You’ve got a large group of employees that will be housed in this DHS facility, so you know you have banks and restaurants, and those kind of services.”
No specific company names have been released, though Bunn notes there has already been interest. “Those businesses will actually come to us, and have already been contacting us.”
The DHS choice of location hasn’t been without controversy.
Many expected DHS to be a key part of a human services campus now being developed less than a mile away.
But, the Timbermill Shores site is closer to the courthouse – and Hurley Braswell says that’s a benefit for DHS workers. “Approximately 1,500 trips a month get made to the courthouse from that staff – and now it’s a walking distance.”
Bunn hopes the project will help to rejuvenate the local economy. “This is going to be a good catalyst to get Klamath Falls back on the map.”
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.