B Street Sidewalk making progress

The B Street Sidewalk project is underway, but that doesn’t mean anyone will be pouring concrete any time soon. With preliminary survey work completed, the project’s current phase involves figuring out how to position the sidewalks, given the trees, utility lines and other potential obstacles in its way, said Nick Kelsay, a project engineer in Forest Grove’s Public Works Department.

City officials hope to install sidewalks on both sides of B Street, from 23rd Avenue (just south of Harvey Clarke Elementary School) north to Primrose Lane. Currently, children walking to and from the elementary school on B Street — and the high school a short ways north — currently have to walk in the street.

When project engineers have a layout in mind, the city will offer a couple of open houses to present the plan to neighbors and get feedback. Kelsay, who is managing the project, expects that to happen in the next month or so. But it won’t be until next summer that the sidewalk is actually installed, he said.

The Safe Routes to School project is being funded by $350,000 of federal money, with $50,000 in matching funds from the city of Forest Grove and another $30,000 from the Oregon Department of Transportation, which is also administering the project.

“We were hoping to get it done this year,” Kelsay said, but with all the requirements connected to the federal funding, “the wheels just don’t turn as fast as you think.”

Times-Litho meets Sycan B

The president of Sycan B Development met with Forest Grove city staff Friday, June 13, to discuss the possibility of developing the vacant Times-Litho property on the northwest corner of Pacific Avenue and A Street.

Richard Boyles toured the city and the site and plans to commission a market-feasibility study before deciding whether to submit a development proposal, said City Manager Michael Sykes.

City Councilors commissioned their own market analysis a year ago, which considered office, retail and housing options for the site, but not hotel rooms.

Sycan B has developed restaurants and retail centers, as well as hotels for companies such as Comfort Suites, Marriott and Holiday Inn.

Sykes said hotel guests might be more likely than apartment renters to visit restaurants, art galleries and other downtown establishments.

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