Seven members of the Oregon Downtown Development Association resource team will be in Enterprise Oct. 15-17 to provide an estimated $15,000 worth of consulting services to the city of Enterprise, Enterprise Merchants' Association and Enterprise Hometown Improvement Group (EHIG).

The focus of their effort will be the old brick Slinker Building which currently holds Family Video, The Uncommon Thread and four apartments. The building is in the process of being sold.

Initial thoughts were to make the study on the Enterprise Mercantile & Milling Co. building north of the courthouse, but it was considered to be too massive of an undertaking for a three-day visit.

The team will bring to the city expertise in asset mapping, an architect, a construction manager/cost estimator, historical preservation specialist, team coordinator and Bruce Buchanan, regional field representative for the Oregon Department of Housing & Community Services who has been closely affiliated with Enterprise's community development work over the past few years. It was Buchanan who had a hand in bringing the resource team to Enterprise since no one applied for their services.

People with any interest in the visit are asked to attend an opening public meeting at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15 at Toma's Restaurant. Programs will be explained and questions will be answered. A second public meeting will be held Thursday evening,, Oct. 17, at the Enterprise City Hall to discuss the preliminary results of the study.

The work plan for the Enterprise project includes three days on-site collecting and analyzing of information, then making recommendations for improvements and next steps into a final presentation.

What is learned on the Slinker Building is expected to become a template for improvements on other buildings in the city.

Questions aired in advance to the resource team involve asset mapping, inventorying and master planning of historic and other existing buildings, how to motivate building owners to upgrade and/or invest in available downtown property and the availability of downtown housing. Other questions dealt with the possibility of an historic district, an urban renewal district or even an economic improvement or business improvement district. Traffic and parking were concerns, as were signage, lighting and store window enhancement.

Possibly the most visible of the team will be Mary Bosch who will be studying the areas of business recruitment and asset mapping. She is expected to interview many business owners in the city.

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