By Jason Boone
New development in and around Bend has certainly been at the top of mind in the resurgent last few years on the High Desert. For better or for worse, growth is on most everybody’s mind here in Bend.
But new development is not all that has been going up. In fact, there have been some interesting redevelopment and expansion news of late.
Redevelopment or an expansion of an existing property can be a particular boon to some areas, particularly those that are underserved or in need of revitalization.
Some projects we have known about, such as the expansion of McMenamin’s Old St. Francis School in downtown Bend. Construction on the three-story buildings, which will add 41 new rooms and 19,368 square feet to McMenamin’s, has begun and are slated to be completed by July. That should add some much-needed hotel space in downtown Bend.
And Deschutes Brewery is moving forward on yet another expansion, another sign of the health of the area’s bellwether brewery.
There are also some potential redevelopment projects yet to come to fruition. That includes:
- The Galveston Corridor has been among the great redevelopment successes in Bend. Over the years the neighborhood has become a burgeoning dining and shopping district with additions such as 10 Barrel Brewing and Brother Jon’s Public House. Those were among several projects that breathed life into older buildings, transforming Galveston into one of Bend’s go-to spots. Oblivion Brewing Co. will shut the doors of its new brew pub, and it is rumored by some that Sunriver Brewing will take over the space. Even though the Bend City Council rejected the city’s plan to redesign the roadway last year, Galveston remains a sought-after and bustling corridor that should bring new and interesting projects for years to come.
- The Bend Central District — between the Bend Parkway and NE Fourth Street, and is NE Revere Avenue and NE Burnside Avenue — is slated to become a pedestrian-friendly mixed-use area. That could spur a hot spot in Bend’s urban core, adding the potential for higher-density residential and a mix of commercial and retail space. One early addition to this area is Oregon Spirit Distillers, which relocated from northeast Bend to First Street last summer. As part of the move the family-owned distillery opened The Barrel Thief Restaurant and Lounge to showcase its spirits.
- The former church at 1203 NE Third St. — which currently houses the Platypus Pub and The Brew Shop — could be redeveloped into new retail space. A “national coffee chain” has shown interest, according to the Bulletin. Such a project could be a spark to the Bend Central District. But the landmark building would be missed if it is razed.
- Of course, resolution to the debate over what the Bend-La Pine School District should do with Troy Field should come this year. What happens with the patch of grass in downtown Bend could alter the landscape for years. On one hand, a new hotel could meet demand for more lodging in Bend’s core. On the other, open space is increasingly at a premium as Bend grows.
There is so much to look forward to in this thriving city. The most exciting thing might be knowing that some of the most interesting projects might only be idea in someone’s head as of yet.
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