Over 50 Attend Community Brainstorm Session

Last week, DOCA invited the community to help us think through what Downtown could look like in 5 years. We were not disappointed! Over 50 people joined us to give their opinions, their project ideas, and their passion for Oregon City. 

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After a quick round of introductions, we dived in head first into a mapping activity. Each table created a map of the things that they used and thought were important to the community or daily life and then layered on top ideas from their wish list; what they wanted to see Downtown. We had 8 different groups present their ideas for the future and we got some great potential projects! 

These maps lead to a whole host of ideas - some new, some recycled, some in process - including the following:

  • Grocery Store

  • Parks

  • Fireworks

  • Boutique Hotel

  • Condos - Residential

  • Retail Parking

  • Pedestrian Main Street

  • Tie Prom to Downtown Activities in Spring

  • Parking Garage

  • Businesses of Necessity - Consummables

  • Rooftops

  • Utilize the Promenade Somehow

  • Musical Toilets "Portland Loo"

  • Dog Park

  • Restaurant at top of Elevator with Outdoor Seating

  • Elevator Run Later

  • Light the steps up to the top of the bluff

  • Extend Parking along Railroad

  • Specialty Shops

  • Glass Blowing Shop

  • OC Branded Merchandise Store

  • More Clothing and Shoe Stores

  • Pedestrian Bridge from Mill Site to Promenade

  • Ice Cream Store

  • More Sweets 

  • Dessert Bistro Open Late

  • Business Incubator at Courthouse

  • Public Restrooms

  • Activate Liberty Plaza

  • Food Cart Plaza by White Rabbit

  • Bike Lane Down Main Street and Route 99

  • Street Fairs

  • Patio with Food next to Arch Bridge

  • Courthouse to Become an Arts & Cultural Center

  • Sculpture Walk throughout the Whole City

  • Maker Space

  • Hotel

  • Small Event Space - Workshops - Classes - Family - New Moms - Kids

  • Residential Mixed Use Building

  • Art Walk

  • Pedestrian Plaza on 8th Street

  • Sweets Row

  • Moving Art on the Elevator

  • New Year's Eve Ball Drop at the Elevator

  • Gallery

  • Arcade/Family Gathering/Activity

  • Outdoor Eating Food Cart Pod on Vacant Lot

  • Ethnic Restaurants

  • Spray Park 

  • Second Story Housing

  • Walkable River Front

  • Splash Pad

  • Quiet Zone

  • Recycle Bins

  • Boat Dock behind Courthouse

  • River Walk

  • Develop Mill Site

  • Change Code to Allow Food Carts

  • Bring Murals Back

  • Trolley System

  • "WeWork" Community Space

  • Artisans

  • Brew Pub

  • Conference Space

  • Parking Structure

Some of these ideas are simple, some massive undertakings, but all great ways to continue to move Downtown Oregon City forward.

Next up at our Community Brainstorm was to take big topic areas like Fostering Downtown Growth or Accessibility and making them real through practical and feasible projects that could be accomplished within 3-5 years. The night's participants went straight to work and came up with nearly 150 projects! Here are a few of the night's highlights:

Short term ideas

  • Create an app of Downtown businesses, activities, and events
  • Work to develop vacant properties as green space
  • Bring back murals and add new ones
  • Light the Elevator staircase 
  • Created some shared parking options for more parking on nights and weekends
  • Fourth of July event with Drone Lights instead of Fireworks

Longer term ideas

  • Create a shuttle or trolley option to get to Downtown easier
  • Activate Liberty Plaza on a regular basis with entertainment, art, and more seating
  • Make use of Rooftops 
  • Public Restrooms
  • Repurpose the Courthouse
  • Increase the amount of public/green s

If you're interested in these ideas or in figuring out how to make them happen, join us in September for the First Meeting of 8 different Task Forces. 

Jonathan Stone