IPRE Publishes A New Study that Gives Oregon Communities an "Upper" Hand

Photo of the historic Apartment complex, the Kohlhagen.

In the midst of the state’s housing crisis, the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research & Engagement (IPRE) is urging Oregon communities to turn their attention upwards: the upper floors of historic and downtown buildings. Working with Oregon Heritage and funded in part by the Oregon Cultural Trust, a new report was released, What’s Up Downtown? A Playbook for Activating Oregon’s Upper Stories. This document inventories the status of core buildings in 33 Main Street communities across Oregon, identifies reasons for their disuse, and outlines potential ways to rejuvenate the spaces. 

“In the regular course of conducting business, Oregon Heritage saw how programs like the Federal Historic Tax Credit and Oregon Main Street Revitalization grants could bring new energy to old spaces,” said Kuri Gill, Grants and Outreach Manager. “Our communities have so many universal needs, like housing, work space, and new spaces for cultural events and community gatherings. We hope this report will help community leaders define some new possibilities for their downtowns.”

Having determined the extent of available building spaces and explored how to increase their use, the study found that even when resources are available to support redevelopment, they are hard to find and access. The report recommends possible solutions at the state and local level, with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and property owners.

To reach IPRE regarding their program and resources contact Aniko Drlik-Muehleck.

Read more What’s upstairs in Oregon’s downtowns? & New report analyzes how best to revitalize upper floors in Oregon's historic downtowns & What’s Up Downtown? A Playbook for Activating Oregon’s Upper Stories