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Progress cited for various developments in Sweet Home – lebanonlocalnews.com

By Scott SwansonOf The New Era/Lebanon Local

The demolishing of the former bank building-turned video store last month to make room for a long-anticipated Taco Bell got Sweet Home residents’ attention.

Then, in the …….

By Scott Swanson
Of The New Era/Lebanon Local

The demolishing of the former bank building-turned video store last month to make room for a long-anticipated Taco Bell got Sweet Home residents’ attention.

Then, in the last week, the former Santiam Drug store, just north of the Taco Bell site, came down.

Despite often-heard public perception that not much progress is being made in Sweet Home’s downtown area, more is happening.

An aerial shot shows the location of the new Taco Bell. Provided photo

Since the beginning of 2020, more than 30 commercially zoned properties have exchanged hands. But when Sweet Home Community and Economic Development Director Blair Larsen earlier this month hosted a meeting of downtown property owners, he heard about difficulties in renting downtown buildings and under-capitalized businesses that simply don’t last.

“I don’t think we’re having an uptick yet,” he said when asked about prospects for new businesses in vacant downtown buildings.

Still, things are happening. Last year, Mosaic Management purchased Wiley Creek senior living community and care center from Samaritan Health, where it broke ground Wednesday, July 27, on a memory care center that will be next door to a primary and urgent-care clinic to be built and operated by Samaritan.

Meanwhile, in the last year, Ridgeway Health has opened a multi-faceted walk-in clinic in a building owned by retired dentist Henry Wolthuis in the 1000 block of Main Street, next door to the Sugar Vibes donut shop, which had moved from Long to Main Street earlier in the year. Up the street, in late 2020, Scott Snedeker created a women’s clothing specialty shop operated by his mother-in-law, Cha Crown, at the corner of 12th and Main.

But in recent months, three businesses, Dan Dee Sales and Sweet Things Boutique, and earlier this month, The Swan Chinese restaurant have all closed their doors.

Larsen said the restaurant owners told him they were having issues with the facility, which had remained closed to public dining following the COVID pandemic, and ODOT curb and sidewalk construction work multiplied their problems.

“I don’t think they were treated very well,” he said.

He said he’s eager to hold another meeting with commercial property owners “to hopefully, kind of help them connect the dots.”

“We don’t have a bunch of money to throw around, but we do have some funding that we give for exterior improvement grants. We could work those into a project and make it help. It’s not huge and it still going to rely a lot on the property owner investing in their property, but …….

Source: https://www.lebanonlocalnews.com/progress-cited-for-various-developments-in-sweet-home/

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