The best path out of poverty has always been a good job, and that is why we have worked very hard in Gresham to attract economic investment and quality jobs. The development at the Gresham Vista Industrial Site has been some of the largest-scale economic progress in the entire State and certainly in Gresham’s history. We are now home to global companies like DeBeers Diamonds, Subaru of America, and Medline, in addition to outstanding global employers like Boeing, ON Semiconductor, and Microchip Technology. Not only do these companies bring new jobs, but their investments in Gresham also help boost our tax base, providing resources for critical services like public safety.
Having lead Gresham through the nation’s Great Recession, I know first-hand that our entrepreneurial residents are the backbone of our local economy. Through our Garage to Storefront Program, we were able to clear the way for small businesses during the worst economic decline in our lifetimes. In total, we were able to attract 144 new or expanding small businesses to key commercial areas, filling over 225,000 square feet of previously vacant, blighted retail space.
We have more work to be done. The remaining build-out of Gresham Vista is one of my top priorities, and reinventing core civic areas like Gresham Station, the K-Mart, and Civic Neighborhood are all on the immediate forefront. And don’t worry, my fellow Gresham residents, I will not stop until I cut the ribbon in front of a Trader Joe’s in Gresham!
What We’ve Done:
- Gresham’s Garage to Storefront Program attracted 144 new or expanding small businesses, filling over 225,000 square feet of previously blighted, vacant storefronts, all during the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. This aggressive program brought success to Gresham while other jurisdictions failed, and created the enduring vibrancy you can still see today in Gresham’s historic downtown.
- We have also made incredible progress attracting traded-sector jobs and investment, with millions of square feet of high-value industrial development coming to Gresham in recent years, attracting global companies like Subaru and De Beers.
- We’ve also had success “tapping into” the Portland area’s outstanding craft beer market, with Migration Brewing opening up a brewing facility and taproom in Gresham’s Rockwood Neighborhood this year.
- We’ve also been successful in fostering new housing starts. In the past three years, we’ve issued more residential building permits than we did in the six prior years combined. Every side of the affordable housing issue acknowledges, in some way, that supply is a critical piece of the overall affordability conundrum.
- Our Rockwood Urban Renewal Agency has leveraged $97 million in private investment, helping establish 400 new jobs, and generating $36 million in tax revenue for projects that improve the lives of people in the community.