A Renaissance Story
September 14, 2019
By Dan Egan, Vice-President of Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation
The heart of Springfield is healthy and rocking……and waiting for you to visit!
The anatomy of a healthy city includes a strong and distinctive heart a successful and growing downtown that pumps life into the entire community. Residents and visitors alike feel this vitality in a community with energy, an optimistic future, and people who work hard to make it happen.
Twenty years ago, downtown Springfield was in trouble; trouble that had been chronic and systemic for decades. It suffered from many underutilized and vacant storefronts; a revolving door of failing businesses, and a street life that was defined by drugs, prostitution, and the state’s highest rate of property crime.
The heart of Springfield was barely alive.
Fast-forward twenty years….
Today, downtown Springfield is vibrant and healthy.
Businesses are being attracted daily. New additions include a pizza parlor, steak house, Ethiopian and vegan restaurants and many more food choices. The Arts, history and entertainment take many forms from the theater, to museums to art centers, to perhaps the greatest array of downtown murals in Oregon. Friendly markets, music and bike shops, salons, yoga studios and much, much more now call Springfield downtown home. Each week brings a new grand opening and a new opportunity for a brewpub, or new restaurant or gift shop to join the increasingly interesting mix of storefronts lining Main Street and side streets in the City Center.
These 80+ businesses are located in a compact district with great re-purposed buildings sporting wonderful facades and murals. Through thick or thin, Springfield retained its street grid and core of distinctive storefronts and historic buildings. Today, that heritage provides a safe and fun walk able downtown with a bright future (and great pedestrian lighting!)
In addition to business life, personal living in downtown is making a strong comeback. Today, many more housing choices are available from one-bedroom utility units, to recrafted lofts, to upscale spacious apartments. More housing is on the way in response to the strong demand to live the good life in this fun and functional Oregon downtown.
The architects of this new downtown include many partners: Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation, the City of Springfield, Emerald Arts, the citizens of Springfield together with many forward-looking business owners and developers to name a few. They understood the need to revitalize downtown, the dedication it would take to continue the momentum, and the satisfaction of experiencing the change the work brought.
Now, Springfield’s wish is to share in this renaissance with its neighbors near and far.
So, visit downtown Springfield, and don’t wait too long to return and see what is next in store for this ever-changing heart of Springfield.