ūüŹôRevitalizing Salem’s Legacy: The Future of the Truitt Brothers Cannery Site

The Evolving Landscape of the Willamette Valley Real Estate Market

Revitalizing a property, especially one with historical significance and environmental sensitivity, is complex. In Salem, we face this challenge head-on with the redevelopment of a key property. 

The Truitt Brothers Cannery on Northeast Front Street was more than just a business; it’s a legacy deeply intertwined with this community’s fabric. 

It employed generations of people, playing a pivotal role in our local economy. It was a symbol of Salem’s industrial prowess and a testament to the city’s ability to adapt and thrive. 

The cannery also played humble yet integral role in community building and in Salem’s development. 

They were the strong, silent type that went to work under the radar. They were the generations of employees who became members of an extended family that called The Cannery home for more than a century. Its impact stretches nationwide as a testament to the greatest density of food processing in the nation. Salem once had more food processors per capita than any other city in the nation. However, over time, those dynamics shift, and we must adapt to those shifts, returning a once industrial powerhouse back to the community in a development that is inclusive of all, not just cannery workers. 

It’s located in the urban core. It’s right in the city’s center.

It’s time to re-develop it into something bigger, something better, something for families and this community.

Need for Development and Infrastructure

In the Willamette Valley, the development and infrastructure of our communities are pivotal for sustainable growth. 

Five themes we are keeping top of mind as we navigate this project:

  • Access, 
  • Activity, 
  • Inclusivity, 
  • Connectivity, 
  • And proof of concept

In our quest to rejuvenate Salem, the emphasis on development and infrastructure is not just a necessity but a pathway to prosperity. The term ‚Äúprosperity‚ÄĚ resonates deeply in this context, as it embodies hope and the promise of a thriving community. It is a powerful word that instills hope and promise for what could be.

A rising tide lifts all boats, and the right investment in infrastructure will benefit everyone in Salem. But someone has to be first. We need leadership to initiate these developments and bring stakeholders together. 

Whether building essential housing or stimulating the economy in North Downtown, these actions require time, research, significant investment, and community support.

The goal is to transform Salem into a place of pride and progress. To create a destination

The development of Salem is a complex yet vital endeavor. It’s about creating a legacy, as symbolized by the enduring mark of the cannery, and ensuring that our actions today pave the way for a prosperous and vibrant Salem. This is a generational opportunity to change our city forever.  

The belief that “If you build it, they will come” is not just a hopeful mantra but a strategic approach to urban development. Salem is an untested market, and our belief is that despite the challenges, Salem can and will support this first-of-its-kind riverfront development.  

Project Update and Timeline

First, thanks to the Chamber, the community, and everyone interested in seeing this transformational development come to fruition. 

Salem is an untested market for a development of this scale. After speaking to several international and national development firms, there is a clear desire for opportunities to develop outside of Portland. But while they are looking for other options, the problem is there is no data to support that developers will receive a positive ROI on any dollar they invest in our community. 

The development is substantial, but people need to be incentivized to develop. This means finding strategic opportunities to reward, recognize, and encourage continued development in expanding our downtown area.

As a city, we know that if we build it, they will come. When we bridge downtown Salem and the former industrial area together, the city will receive tremendous economic benefits. The city and community will once again benefit from enormous economic benefits that once powered a regional processing economy and have since been lost. By tearing down the invisible boundary of these two downtown regions, a new development can yet again be the economic engine for a thriving destination.

But development on this scale requires a massive amount of due diligence. 

Yes, the property is under contract, but the timeline for coordinating and creating a development plan that comes to fruition will be years. We are optimistic we have a winning solution, but even with everything coming together perfectly, the earliest we will see this transaction completed is a year from now.

Why is this so important?

The goal is to create a destination for Salem. We want people to come to Salem and stay in Salem. This should be an economic driver for our community.

When the cannery was operational, we had 800 employees, leading to a lot of revenue that came to the downtown area‚Äďservice providers, contractors, etc. We know we can bring these types of opportunities back.

We are excited to be able to partner with so many incredible people in this opportunity to revitalize the economic impact the cannery provided the community and create a stimulus for even more economic growth downtown. 

Since you are subscribed to FCRE Market Insights, we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on progress.

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