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Urban Renewal

  • Building Rockwood's future: A citywide vote in 2003 established the 1,211-acre Rockwood-West Gresham Urban Renewal Area. The 20-year Urban Renewal Plan is improving Rockwood's economy and community, and is a partnership among residents, property and business owners, and the City of Gresham.

    The  Gresham Redevelopment Commission administers the Rockwood-West Gresham Renewal Plan.

    Voter decision 2022

    The City Council approved asking voters on May 17 to extend the urban renewal district for six years to 2029.

    • The Future of Urban Renewal
    • What is Urban Renewal?
    • Urban Renewal Accomplishments
    The Future of Urban Renewal

    Rockwood-West Gresham proposed renewal extension FAQs

    The City has proposed a plan to continue the urban renewal district through June 30, 2029, an extension of six years from the current expiration date of June 30, 2023. If the proposed ballot measure passes, the extension would allow the City to spend approximately $37 million on new projects, including transportation, housing, job creation, small business support and parks and recreation.

    What is Urban Renewal?

    Urban renewal is an economic development tool used in over 100 urban renewal areas in Oregon.

    Urban renewal does not increase your property taxes. 

    How it works

    • It dedicates funds to an identified neighborhood so a city’s urban renewal agency can focus on improving the area. 
    • It is often used to provide infrastructure to help spur economic development.
    • Urban renewal changes how the existing taxes paid on a property are divided out amongst different taxing districts like the City and Multnomah County. 
    • As the value of properties in the urban renewal district increases, money becomes available to use on the projects.
    • Urban renewal in Gresham can provide funding for projects.
    Urban Renewal Accomplishments

    Invested $44.1 million in the Rockwood-West Gresham area.

    Attracted $179.2 million in private investments. 

    Added 670 jobs to the urban renewal area through 40 new businesses. Average salary: $62,000 a year. 

    Generated $161 million in new-business revenue that can be sent back to the community. 

    Awarded 86 grants to the community that funded business expansion, storefront improvements, construction support, and repairs to apartments to provide 1,652 living spaces that are safe and energy efficient. 

    Read the 2020 Rockwood report

    • U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer talks with Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall on the sidewalk during a tour of Downtown Rockwood in 2021.
    • GALLERY Accomplishments Downtown Rockwood and La Villa
    • City staff wearing hard hats stand in the center of the Rockwood Market Hall looking up at the skylights, twinkle lights and indoor design of the almost-finished Market Hall.
    • The three story Innovation Hub building built from the ground up stands in the sunset in Downtown Rockwood.
    • A woman walks across Burnside to catch the MAX train in Rockwood..
    • GALLERY Accomplishments Open School East exterior
    • A gym full of young people warm up for a game of basketball at the CareOregon Boys & Girls Club in Rockwood.
    • Two Migration Brewing employees stand in front of machinery in the company's brewing facility in Rockwood.
    • A customer orders a coffee to go in front of the Dutch Bros coffee store in Rockwood with new paint.
    • The Rockwood Station apartment building is painted a cheerful yellow with an apartment rehabilitation grant.
    • A new widened path offers safety from passing cars along Sandy Boulevard's industrial area.
    • An outside look at the Rockwood Public Safety Facility

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    • Watch this short video for factual information about the Rockwood-West Gresham Urban Renewal Plan and the proposed urban renewal extension set for a public vote on May 17.

    • Downtown Rockwood webcam and construction slideshow

    • Congressman Earl Blumenaur and Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall tour Downtown Rockwood at 181st Avenue in 2021.

    • Downtown Rockwood's La Villa restaurant opened in 2021 in the Lumen Building. The Rockwood Market Hall under construction, right.

    • Opening in spring 2022, City staff get a progress tour in January from Downtown Rockwood Market Hall Manager Justin Bardwell.

    • The Lumen Building offers support services from a preschool to foster young minds, to workforce training and small business coaching.

    • This urban renewal project with TriMet modernized the Rockwood/E 188th Avenue MAX Station with added safety features and  "Rockwood Sunrise" art. It reopened in May 2011.

    • Open School East brings expanded youth services to Rockwood and revitalizes the Stark Street corridor.

    • The CareOregon Boys & Girls Club at Rockwood opened in October 2017; fun at the dedication event.

    • In 2018, Migration Brewing opened a production facility and restaurant in the Rockwood urban renewal area.

    • Dutch Bros. Coffee in Rockwood after an urban renewal storefront improvement grant.

    • Welcome! Rockwood Station apartments after an urban renewal rehabilitation grant.

    • Sandy Boulevard street improvements completed in 2021. This public improvement project will attract new industrial development to the urban renewal area.

    • Providing a safe presence, the Rockwood Public Safety Facility opened in 2013 at 675 NE 181st Ave.