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Downtown Restoration Halfway Complete

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MEDFORD, Ore. — The restoration of Medford’s downtown is halfway complete. On Friday, Mayor Wheeler and representatives of the city council appeared for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Downtown Commons.

The project is divided into two parts. The first part, which officially opened Friday, is called the Downtown Commons. The second part is demolishing a dilapidated building to make room for “The Meadows,” a green space with a concert pavilion for concerts and gatherings. It’s also expected to be finished just in time for the tree lighting ceremony in December to coincide with the holidays.

The Commons, meanwhile, will host family activities, vendor booths, farmer’s markets, and even yoga or tai-chi classes. Mayor Wheeler says the two aren’t just for recreational activity, but also one reason for businesses moving into the area.

“Well, I think one of the things that attracted Pacific Retirement Systems, Rogue Disposal, and ProCare downtown was this. They’re seeing some activity here, and I think it makes people want to consider coming into the downtown area,” said Mayor Wheeler.

Downtown shops say they’re watching closely. The owner of one downtown shop said she’s cautiously optimistic. She says this is a great start, but what the city really needs from here is downtown living spaces. Until then, city planners say to look out for activities here in the commons. The first of which will be the Pear Blossom Festival in a couple of weeks.