By editorial board • 

McMinnville’s can-do attitude paying big dividends these days

Like virtually every other place on the planet, McMinnville has experienced plenty of boom and bust cycles over the years.

But to the community’s credit, it has never been content to ease back and roll with the tide. It has always striven to catch, if not create, a wave of new prosperity.

And not perhaps since the legendary McMinnville Industrial Promotions campaign of “Nine in ‘69,” which ushered in Cascade Steel, has it matched the success experienced today. Our community appears to be on a roll of almost unprecedented proportions.

On the public side, the state is concluding the first four miles of the planned 11-mile Newberg-Dundee Bypass. Decades in the making, it promises to reap enormous economic benefits for a community bedeviled by transportation constraints.

Meanwhile, the school district is using bond money to renovate nearly every element of its facilities. The city is using bond money to widen and realign Hill, Fifth and Old Sheridan roads, and turn Alpine Avenue into the spine of an inviting new commercial quarter to augment downtown and the adjacent Granary District.

The state is setting out to renovate a two key rural bridges and gearing up to replace McMinnville’s crucial Third Street Bridge. Room tax revenue is funding a sophisticated new tourism marketing effort, and Water & Light is proceeding with important infrastructure improvements.

Urban renewal funds are holding increasing promise as a means of transforming an old industrial district into the city’s trendiest new lure. Finally, the city is in the process of giving its airport a long-awaited overhaul and adding yet another jewel to its acclaimed parks network.

On the private side, aggressive new owners are helping ease the fallout from the catastrophic Evergreen International Aviation collapse, exacerbated by the Erickson Air-Crane pullout. Almost all of the old Evergreen campus is now being repurposed, and a key holdout will soon be acquiring a new owner.

New tenants include TTR, a national tax advisory firm, and Jackson Family Wines, which is planning to augment already substantial acquisitions with a new $7.8 million winery.

Meanwhile, a $6 million luxury hotel is going up downtown, WinCo is undertaking a major expansion, Organic Valley has overhauled the old Farmers Co-Op Creamery, Harbor Freight has moved into the original Rite-Aid quarters and the Bitter Monk is developing a new brewery.

This sort of across-the-board infusion doesn’t happen by accident, folks. It takes purpose, planning and commitment, which we applaud. Let’s keep it coming.


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