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Plans advance for 945 acres south of Redmond


The State Land Board on Tuesday approved the next steps for developing 945 acres just south of the Deschutes County Fairgrounds near Redmond.

The project aims to bring tech businesses, a fairground expansion and military readiness center to the area.

Plans include bringing the parcel inside the Redmond urban growth boundary and annexing it into the city.

The Department of State Lands would exchange 140 acres with the county for an expansion of the county fairgrounds. Twenty acres will be reserved for the Oregon Military Department.

The remaining acreage will be industrial land and belong to the state until purchased.

“As an entire broad community, (we still) want living-wage jobs for employees and the benefit that comes from that,” Redmond Mayor George Endicott said Tuesday.

“Those are called multiplier jobs because those people want dentists, accountants and lawyers and all that. Any time you look at living-wage jobs, it’s not only the job for the individual and the family, but it’s that ripple effect through the economy,” Endicott said

The project is a collaboration between the Department of State Lands, the city of Redmond, Deschutes County and the Oregon Military Department.

The Deschutes County Fairgrounds wants the 140 acres to expand its property. The fair wants to add new amenities in the future.

“We might look at an off-road motocross track out there, it could be used for 4H horse events and horse trails or public trails,” said fair director Dan Despotopulos. “We could expand some parking. One of the biggest issues we have is the parking (…), so someday, if you’re talking about traffic, we could extend 19th
Street down to Deschutes Market (Road) down the road and we had parking back there. Traffic could flow in and out of here much better.”

The fair does not want too much growth right up against the fairgrounds.

Endicott said that by saving the rest of the land for industrial use, more jobs can be brought to the area.

“We need infrastructure there,” Endicott said. “We are also going to make an investment, about $2.5 million, into a pump station to be able to make sure there is enough pressure for water down there. A major road we need to the south, 19th Street, that will go through. I would eventually like to see it hook into Highway 97 south of Redmond.”

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