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Oregon Main Street Highlight: Hillsboro

August 16, 2017

This post is part of a series celebrating Oregon Main Street’s ten years of downtown revitalization. Throughout the year we will be highlighting some of our Main Street network communities and the great work they are doing. You can learn more about Oregon Main Street here. Main Street efforts in Hillsboro are being carried out by the Hillsboro Downtown Partnership and here is a snapshot into the work they are doing.

Out with the Vacant, In with New Business!

Us Main Street folks too often hear complaints from community members about vacant businesses and lack of desired merchandise in our Downtown districts. Because of this, The Hillsboro Downtown Partnership (HDP) partnered with the City of Hillsboro to take action by filling vacancies in the Downtown business district and diversifying the business mix. The City conducted a Retail Market Analysis for the district, with the goal in mind to pass recommendations to HDP’s Business Development Committee to implement. And the process is already working.

Initial findings from the market analysis show gaps in supply and demand and help us understand perceptions from different sectors of the community. Among the findings, bakeries, clothing stores, breakfast and brunch restaurants, home furnishings and anything related to natural and healthy products made the top of the list of community desired businesses.

PropertySellSheets_July2017_Page_01.jpgActions the Business Development committee is undertaking fall under the umbrella of helping existing businesses succeed, focusing on the top 3 to 5 retail ready vacancies and filling them, and finally organizing and implementing a target business sales campaign. Specific projects include workshops for business and property owners, developing a restaurant “boot camp” and restaurant week promotion, creating Downtown marketing packages for potential investors, and filling vacancies through aggressive marketing to successful existing businesses looking to expand and open in new locations.

We are just in the beginning stages of implementation; yet, we are already seeing success. Sharing market analysis findings with property owners has helped them

Decadent

Decadent Creations, a new bakery in Downtown Hillsboro.

identify better fit tenants to bring into their buildings. We have since had a new bakery called Decadent Creations, and a home furnishings store called The Sofa Studio open. Furthermore, D’Anu Wine Bar and a clothing shop, Nan’s Glad Rags, are opening in the month of August. The clothing shop is the first women’s clothing shop to open in Downtown in decades, and they were recruited by our own Business Development committee member, EJ Payne, who used market analysis findings to recruit the new business.

We are excited to see where this project leads us in the next year and beyond in our efforts to fill vacancies and diversify Downtown’s business mix.

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