Redmond on the Rise

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(Photo by Cascade Business News)

Redmond’s downtown scene is becoming a hip and trendy new place for locals and visitors to the area. With several new downtown restaurants and businesses the City is creating an appealing and enthusiastic atmosphere with shopping, parks and a new hotel in the near future.

One new addition to downtown Redmond is Kobold Brewing which expanded by purchasing a building that was formerly home to Redmond Smoke & Gift. Owner Steve Anderson converted the space into The Vault Taphouse, a tasting room featuring Kobold Brewing’s beers with guest beers on tap.

The 68-year-old building was renovated to include a food truck and beer garden. The project was within the Redmond Downtown Urban Renewal District which qualified the property for up to $9,000 in matching funds from the City of Redmond to improve the building signage and façade. The taphouse features an outdoor patio with a fireplace and tacos available from Westside Taco Co.

Redmond’s Downtown Urban Renewal Advisory Committee is devoted to creating an economically vibrant district in downtown Redmond. The restored buildings and business incentives are part of the City’s efforts to make downtown a renewed dining and entertainment destination.

“The Vault Taphouse and Westside Taco are exactly the type of project that the City’s Urban Renewal Agency wants invest in: destination businesses that attract people downtown,” said Chuck Arnold, City of Redmond Economic Development Manager. “Both businesses have been an immediate success as they provide another option for people coming downtown.”
Redmond Hotel at SW Sixth and Evergreen is currently under renovation and expected to open in 2019. Alpha Wave Investors, LLC purchased the building and CEO Ken Cruse plans to open the hotel with 46 upscale rooms on the second and third floors with a lobby, restaurants and tourism services on the ground floor.

“We’re very happy to be moving forward with a great design and architecture team. Design work is underway. We are currently exploring incorporating a rooftop venue and expanded dining and socializing spaces on the first floor. Looking forward to having the hotel and new dining and socializing venues open in 2019,” Cruse said.

Redmond Hotel will be the City’s only downtown hotel and will place tourists within walking distance to the nearby shops and restaurants. The renovation project preserves one of three nationally registered buildings in Redmond while economically benefitting downtown businesses.

“An active hotel in downtown will help bring customers to our existing businesses and create a vibrant core that encourages other businesses to invest in the district. The City is a partner on this project and considers it one of the most catalytic and important projects in the evolution of downtown Redmond,” Arnold said.

The New Redmond Hotel was built in 1928 after the original building was destroyed by fire. The upstairs rooms have sat vacant since 2005. Redmond committed one million dollars of urban renewal funds to the project with total investment in the project estimated at over five million dollars. Once open, Redmond Hotel will be a historically significant boutique hotel with upscale accommodations at reasonable prices.

“Public investment in downtown has been an ongoing and long term effort. Downtown districts are evolving as the retail environment nationwide has changed in the last few years. Districts like downtown Redmond are becoming more attractive places to locate a business that provides a unique experience that can’t be found on the internet,” Arnold said.

Redmond’s Airport is in the process of developing its next Master Plan to outline a 20-year plan for the future of the airport. Based on the continued population growth of Central Oregon and an increasing number of travelers flying into Redmond, Airport Director Zach Bass and his team have evaluated the future of the airport and proposed a new Master Plan.

The Plan is intended as a long-term planning document to guide future growth and development for the airport. Airport staff held a public open house October 18 to field input from the community as they continue refining the Master Plan.

The City will be expanding Centennial Park with the addition of an approximately 1-acre parcel that will connect the existing Centennial Park to the new City Hall. The expansion design will complement the existing Centennial Park, serve as open-space between the new City Hall and historic downtown Redmond and provide an open civic space for the community.

“Centennial Park Phase II is in the design phase right now after a detailed public process that involved input from all across the community,” Arnold said. “The resulting design is responsive to the request to have flexible open space in our downtown core as well as complement the existing Centennial Park constructed in 2010. The project is expected to break ground next year.”

The City of Redmond is exploring options to add more officers to its police force and has proposed a safety fee to help accomplish that feat. With the growing population in Redmond the current police staff is challenged to keep up with the growth and needs of the City.

The proposed safety fee would add $6 to residents’ monthly utility bills and would raise enough revenue to add up to six more officers. Redmond currently has 38 sworn police officers with the industry standard being 46 officers for a city of its size. The fee would generate approximately $864,000 per year and would only be used to pay for police related services.

Increased police presence would equate to faster response times, better safety patrols and more time to solve crimes. City Councilors have approved the police department and city manager’s office to begin public outreach about the initiative.

Redmond city planners and developers have had a busy 2017 and look optimistically forward to a continually developing lively, safe and easy to access City for people to enjoy many years into the future.

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About Author

David Clewett CBN Feature Writer

David Clewett is a writer and fly fisherman based in Sunriver, Oregon. He is a freelance journalist and poet with his most recent book being publish in late 2016 and two more collections of poetry expected to publish by the end of 2017. He enjoys hiking into and fishing the nearby lakes and streams of the Cascades and draws most of his inspiration from the clean mountain air and wildlife.

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