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'Why are we targeting this demographic? '

Last night I had a dream: The potpourri of scenes included 400 BMWs, a hookah lounge, 200 dogs, a tattoo shop, 400 bicycles, a marijuana dispensary and a piercing parlor, all swimming in a puree centered in the Wizer Block development.

OK, in fairness, I have no evidence that any of these specters will actually materialize. On the other hand, there is probably little that could prevent them from happening (e.g., the Stars strip club).

Mind you, I don’t have anything against young single apartment dwellers, it is just that a recent Saturday visit to Portland’s Southeast Hawthorne District reinforced my belief that the majority of their interests are distinctly different from mine. But, to each their own, and viva la difference.

It is just that I fear the peripheral damage that a concentration of large numbers of them, and their accoutrements in the center of downtown might bring to our quiet, anti-weird, pedestrian-friendly, traffic manageable, rules obeying village of family-oriented residents.

I celebrate the vibe that the Pearl and Southeast Hawthorne districts bring to the metro area. But why can’t we be content to let our little piece of Oregon remain as it is? Why are we targeting this demographic when there is seemingly little in Oswego that interests them?

The absence of a club scene, proximity of other similarly minded young adults or a tech centric job cluster and anticipated high cost of renting these units seems to me to be an anathema to young people.

At (the Aug. 27) LORA meeting I heard numerous comments by the erstwhile Wizer Block developers praising the amenities that would be limited to the tenants of the apartment complex. Admittedly, the focus of the meeting was purposely on the design characteristics, however, the question that hung in the air was what market need is driving this development toward young singles, and more importantly, what is the public benefit of courting them?

After all, one could position a “Downton Abby” smack in middle of a Native American reservation to attract the landed gentry, but neither the landed gentry nor the Native Indians would likely be happy with it.

The most successful marketing efforts are driven by a genuine need and the absence of a need is often the death knell of even the best in marketing or architectural plans.

Roger Rollins is a resident of Lake Oswego.



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