Forest Grove is Growing
Care to Join Us?
Jesse Quinn rendering
Credit: City of Forest Grove
Across Forest Grove, the pace of new development has been gathering speed. A snazzy four-story mixed-use apartment building, the first of its kind in the city’s historic downtown, is nearing completion. Major investments are also planned or occurring in new and expanding manufacturing plants, commercial buildings, restaurants…and nearly 800 new housing units.
Since 2016, more than 350,000 square feet of commercial/industrial construction alone have been completed, are under construction, or are in planning and design stages – representing nearly a $100 million investment.
Why is our city of 23,500 so popular? Let’s start with location: 25 miles west of Portland in one of Oregon’s largest and fastest growing counties. Forest Grove is close enough to Oregon’s economic engine for local businesses to benefit from proximity. Yet our progressive, business-friendly policies, low-cost utilities, and affordable land – coupled with no business tax – means we help developers get more for their buck and ensure businesses can compete on the world stage.
Two recent projects – one nearing completion and the other just kicking off – provide examples of why developers find Forest Grove so attractive.
The Jesse Quinn
The $16 million contemporary Jesse Quinn building in downtown Forest Grove will offer 73 apartments, 2,500 square feet of retail space and five “live-work” lofts. A playground, fitness center and “rain garden” are also planned by the developer, Tokola Properties.
To land the project, considered a catalyst for revitalizing the city’s retail core, Forest Grove partnered with Metro, a regional governmental body. The city is contributing nearly $1 million in urban renewal funds and waiving permitting fees up to $72,563. Metro provided a $250,000 Transit-Oriented Development grant (the development is located on TriMet’s #57 frequent-service bus line).
Beyond the public-private partnership, however, Forest Grove was attractive to Tokola because the city and business community demonstrated a strong commitment to restoring their downtown, syncing well with Tokola’s focus on development in re-emerging historic ‘main streets,’ said Dwight Unti, Tokola president. The presence of Pacific University is also a plus, he said, “because we value arts and culture for the richness it adds to a community.
MGC Pure Chemicals
Meanwhile, site preparation began in January 2018 on a new MGC Pure Chemicals America, Inc., (MPCA) manufacturing facility on a 20-acre industrial site along Elm Street. The producer of ultra-pure hydrogen peroxide used in the semiconductor industry, the MGC will invest $32.5 million in the plant, to go on-line in early 2019. It will hire 20 employees at start-up with 25 or more jobs likely as the company expands. Estimated average wages are $63,000.
Given MPCA’s creation of new, living-wage jobs in the community, the company qualified for Enterprise Zone property tax exemptions. It has also received a $40,000 grant through a state business development program. MPCA’s exemplary reputation as a green company makes it an excellent fit in Oregon.
The company looked at 15 sites throughout Oregon and Washington, but found Forest Grove the best fit because of available land with easy truck and rail access, low water and power rates, and it’s location near some of MGC’s major customers, according to company officials. “I would like to thank Business Oregon and the City of Forest Grove for working with (us) to bring our company to your city.” said Mr. Yasuaki Matsumi, MGC Pure’s President and CEO.
For more information about Forest Grove development opportunities, see http://forestgrove-or.gov/econdev