On the upswing: Friends of Old Town awarded grants, plan June 3 tour

June, 2017 Posted in Community

By Mary Owen

Two downtown buildings will get upgrades thanks to a grant from Oregon Heritage to Friends of Old Town Stayton.

“Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation, awarded 28 matching grants worth $2,455,700 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state for building projects that encourage economic revitalization,” Alan Meyer said. “Friends of Old Town Stayton has been awarded a grant in the amount of $17,500 to improve two buildings on Third Avenue in Old Town.”

Both buildings, one formerly occupied by Jensen-Kreitzer Family Clothing and Accents Northwest and the other housing Art Gone Wild, will receive new heating systems as well as other energy efficiency updates.

FOTS was organized in 2015 with a vision of revitalizing Old Town Stayton, a vision it upholds today, members agree.

“This came about in part through a citywide survey where citizens across Stayton identified revitalizing ‘old town Stayton’ as a priority,” said Priscilla Glidewell, city councilor. “As part of that vision, FOTS began working with building owners in the old town area to make their buildings ‘viable’ as places of business.”

Glidewell said the first grant FOTS supported was a “Diamonds in the Rough” grant for façade improvements to the Deitrich building, work that should be complete this month.

FOTS is now working with Jon and Teri Mesa, the owners of The Grove, now housed in the buildings.

“The vision of the Mesas for this building is a ‘market’ setting with several retail businesses, a coffee cart and seating area,” Glidewell said. “Currently, it houses a clothing store that operates in partnership with Break the Chain ‘Clothing for a Cause,’ Paul Toews’ Art Gone Wild art gallery, an antique/gift shop, and the Friends of the Library bookstore.

“FOTS’ ultimate goal is to have a thriving business area with retail shops at the street level and residential housing and ‘guest type’ housing above,” she added. “Since its inception, FOTS has been on the move. Their list of accomplishments continues to grow. If you drive through old town, you will see their presence everywhere, from the flower baskets to the parklet, where you can sit, borrow a book from the little library, and sip a latte on a sunny day.”

Friends of Old Town Stayton will host a tour of vacant commercial spaces on Third Avenue in Old Town Saturday, June 3, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Among those invited will be small business entrepreneurs, real estate brokers, and small business “start-ups.”

FOTS also seeks volunteers who can “hold a paint brush, caulk a window or dust a sill,” to help with upcoming projects, Meyer said.

“Contact Friends of Old Town Stayton today to become part of this exciting change happening in the heart of our city,” he said.

The new Grove project also needs volunteers, and a meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on June 10 at Moxieberry or visit the FOTS website or Facebook page to sign up, Glidewell said.

“We are looking for anyone willing to use a paint brush or a broom,” she said. “We have volunteer opportunities for all skill levels.”

Glidewell hopes folks will mark their calendars for the first annual Stayton Block Party slated for August. The Howl at the Moon event will take place from
5 to 9 p.m. on Third Avenue.

“This is your opportunity to howl about just how great Stayton and its residents are,” Glidewell said.

For more information about
volunteering with FOTS call Glidewell at 503-569-2270. Another option is to visit friendsofoldtownstayton.com or the FOTS Facebook page.

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