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Breaking Ground Around the Town - Improvements around McMinnville

Apr 20, 2017

The past two months have proved to be active ones when it comes to new construction, new improvements, business openings, and changes happening around McMinnville. At MEDP we are extremely excited to see these improvements taking place and recognize these events and activities as important landmarks on a quest for economic development around McMinnville. Whether it’s ground breaking, business openings, or improvements the month of March and the first half of April have proved important to the City of McMinnville.

Alpine Avenue Groundbreaking

A group of community members vital to the creation and development of Alpine Avenue celebrate the groundbreaking with golden shovels.
A group of community members vital to the creation and development of Alpine Avenue celebrate the groundbreaking with golden shovels.

On March 20, 2017 the City of McMinnville officially broke ground on the Alpine Avenue Project happening in the Urban Renewal area of McMinnville, Oregon. The Alpine Avenue Project is one of the five Capital Improvement Projects that was passed in the Transportation Bond that McMinnville voters approved in 2014. The project will improve the street surfacing, pedestrian facilities, bike lanes, utility upgrades and provide attractive landscaping to the area. The improvements will not only encourage economic development to the area, but also connect the Granary District and Alpine Avenue to the downtown creating a larger community destination for residents and tourists.

One of the big components of the Alpine Avenue Project was making a pedestrian friendly area. Part of this plan involves making the area a "festival street" closed to cars on the weekend to encourage pedestrians to explore the area. The area plans to reflect the authenticity and the historic nature of the surrounding buildings while mixing residential, employment, cultural uses, and support services. Because Alpine Avenue is in the Urban Renewal area, there are also incentives for businesses and others to start projects in the area and to make improvements to existing buildings. 

McMinnville High School Groundbreaking on the Career Technical Center

 School board members break ground on MHS’s new CTC building
School board members break ground on MHS’s new CTC building

With the McMinnville High School Band playing and cones marking the location of where the new building would be located, MHS’s new CTC (Career Technical Center) had an official groundbreaking on April 10, 2017. The CTC was approved through a May 2016 ballot initiative and will include new career pathways for high school students including fabrication/manufacturing, construction (woodshop), engineering, and horticulture.

The building adds to the high school's existing CTC programs including business, computer science, criminal justice, culinary arts, early childhood education, education, fire and emergency services, health services, and more. The bond also allows the school to add an addition to the existing cafeteria, construct a new field house, renovate Baker Field and repair their existing stadium.

Falls Event Center Holds a Grand Opening Event

Steve Down, with his wife and son, cut a ribbon to symbolize the grand opening the Falls Event Center in McMinnville, Oregon
Steve Down, with his wife and son, cut a ribbon to symbolize the grand opening of the Falls Event Center in McMinnville, Oregon

On March 29, 2017 the Falls Event Center in McMinnville, Oregon had their Grand Opening Event. The event was held in both the Evergreen Space Museum and at the Lodge in which a variety of local caterers, vendors, and entertainment provided a sample of products to those in attendance. CEO of the Falls Event Center, Steve Down, spoke at the opening, thanking the McMinnville community for welcoming him, the Falls Event Center, and his family with open arms. According to Downs, there are many plans in the works and he hopes to one day make the Evergreen Campus the top destination in the state Oregon.

Down owns the Space Museum building, Wings and Waves Waterpark, and the Lodge on the Evergreen campus. Though the planes and space museum are not going anywhere, the rooms above the space museum has been reworked to make a functional event space including a corporate meeting room, bride and groom rooms and a versatile event space in the Lodge. With a focus on “cause capitalism” the company also plans to give space to nonprofits when other events have not been booked and have a variety of plans in the works including a hotel and RV park on campus.


We at MEDP are overjoyed to see these new additions and improvements happening in our community. Each event brings us one step closer to our goal, 1,500 family-wage jobs in 15 years, and makes our community better able to receive, retain, and expand our manufacturing businesses.


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MEDP's monthly newsletter, The MEDP Spark, received a Silver Award from the International Economic Development Council in 2017.

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