Forum Considers the Future of Downtown

Last night, the Downtown Corvallis Association held a community workshop at the Marriott Courtyard, entitled “Your Downtown: What’s Next?”  

After DCA President Jennifer Moreland opened the proceedings, the podium was turned over to Sheri Stuart, the state coordinator of Oregon Main Street. According to Stuart, “Downtown is the heart and soul of the community,” a symbol of its economic health, quality of life and history. She also argued that Main Street America was the original green movement, as “The greenest building is the one that’s already built.”  

Next was Simon Date, president of the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, who spoke of “the havoc online retail is playing with local retail.” While the usual overtures to buy local were made, he also placed some of the onus on local business owners: “Your consumer experience needs to be just that, an experience. Give them a reason to come to your store.”   

The talk was brought to a close by Kate Porsche, Corvallis/Benton County Economic Development Office Manager, President of the Oregon Economic Development Association, and Staff Support at Imagine Corvallis,who thanked the participating organizations. 

Tabling at the event were Corvallis Arts Walk, Oregon Main Street, Visit Corvallis, the Corvallis Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters, OSU Transportation Services, Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry.     

Salient Question from the Downtown Corvallis Association 

A standout was the DCA planning department’s table. Guests were given stickers to place on two maps of downtown: red dots for places they wanted to change, green for places they wanted to preserve. The library, courthouse and riverside parks earned the most green dots, while Tibet House was almost completely covered in red. Van Buren Bridge was an even split. 

Hyatt Lyttle of Imagine Corvallis said that they were “starting a campaign to gather ideas to update strategies.” Both she and Prosche expressed great satisfaction at the audience turnout.    

By Brandon Urey