It is exciting to see the Youngs Bay Landing Revitalization project moving forward. On Tuesday evening some 30 people attended a brainstorming session about prospective uses for the reclaimed parcel.
The site that once contained a Pacific Power steam plant juts into Youngs Bay, giving it great views of the bay as well as Saddle Mountain. The property has waterfront access, which presents a valuable opportunity.
PacifiCorp is laudably pushing the project onward. Tuesday evening's gathering was the most recent chapter in a long saga. A three-day design brainstorm, called a charette, will occur in November.
Astoria Community Development Director Todd Scott offered a significant observation about Tuesday's gathering when he noted that, "the overwhelming consensus was to keep the random texture and character of Astoria, building on the existing architectural cues found on the South Slope, but also keeping in scale with other development in the area." In other words, a new project must fit the look and feel of its neighborhood.
Astoria has gained national renown for projects such as the Mill Pond and the Gateway area because it has put so much forethought into the process.
When citizens look at something like the PacifiCorp 5-acre parcel on Youngs Bay, they think about how much money is required for development. But the more important thing is the look, feel and function of the project. All the money in the world won't fix a development that obscures a town's innate historical character. Look at the Fred Meyer and Costco big boxes and the Youngs Bay Plaza strip mall in Warrenton.
Astoria's community development department has been adept at finding investment partners. PacifiCorp's participation in the venture helps enormously.
If you are intrigued with the possibilities of the Youngs Bay Landing Revitalization project, make plans to participate in the November charette.