If you’ve paid any attention to the business advocacy efforts of the Salem Chamber, a term that is used quite a bit is “Urban Renewal Area”. But what is an Urban Renewal Area? Well…let’s unpack that just a bit, then dig a little deeper on what happens inside of one.

An Urban Renewal Area (URA), in Salem, is a chunk of land that the City (meaning City Council) believes is ripe for an economic boost. This boost can come in any number of ways – infrastructure improvements (roads, utilities), beautification (streetscapes) and repurposing of property are common examples. These financial investments are made through funds that are available to a URA either to an existing business to make necessary improvements, or in the case of infrastructure improvements, the City can act as the developer through the Public Works Department.

See the City’s Urban Renewal page by clicking here

Now let’s focus on an Urban Renewal Area that has seen a great deal of activity lately, the North Gateway Urban Renewal Area.

This particular URA stretches essentially along Portland Road from I-5 to the railroad underpass. If you’ve driven along this stretch lately, it really puts the “R” in “renewal”. As in…it’s in need of some love. 

It’s time to give our Urban Development Department with the City some appreciation on this part of Salem. Through some strategic outreach and knocking on doors of businesses in this area – they were able to determine some very specific needs of businesses. In one case, it was learned that a business was about to relocate due to a need for more space. Moving, in this case, would not have been the best business move – and the City is working side by side with them to help them grow where they are. This would not have been known without the targeted outreach on the part of the City.

If your business is growing, and you need to expand – please consider a conversation with the City’s Urban Development Department. You’ll find a willing partner in your growth – and there may even be some financial incentives to help you along.

To start, email nick@salemchamber.org – I’ll help you get going in the right direction.

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