Coos Bay and Gold Beach win Main Street Awards | Local News



Oregon Main Street on Thursday announced the recipients of the 2021 Excellence on Main Award and posted videos of all of the recipients. In total, 21 companies, projects, partners and people were rewarded. Three of those recognized were from Coos Bay and Gold Beach based on nominations submitted by the Coos Bay Downtown Association and Gold Beach Main Street.

The best adaptive reuse went to the 999 N. Front Street building owned by Heidi Sause. This is the second year in a row that Sause has won this award. Beginning in April 2020, the 999 N. Front Street project leveraged a facade grant to salvage and restore a largely vacant, dilapidated and falling 1930s waterfront warehouse. collapse. Sixty-two local artisans representing 21 different companies worked for over a year, bringing expertise, talent and manpower to the restoration of this building. The 16,000 square foot warehouse has been converted into individual, unique and affordable workspaces. Ten of the 11 possible spaces rented immediately, demonstrating the demand for this price point and the size of commercial spaces for rent. Seven of these businesses are new to Coos Bay, improving the economic base and expanding the diversity of the city. Most of the internal building materials have all been reused from the renovation of the structure to bring it up to standard. Three unimproved buildings remain in this Front Street neighborhood and will soon face the same process to reclaim the highest and best use of buildings for the greater good of the community. The lessons learned at 999 will improve the effectiveness of future partnerships between the city and private investment.

The exceptional partnership went to Gold Beach Small Town Christmas. The importance of partnerships was forced home when Gold Beach Main Street had to pivot its traditional vacation activities to comply with COVID protocols. Switching activities increased meaningful partnerships and connections for Gold Beach Main Street beyond the usual suspects and included local artists; residents; utility companies; the port district; retail, professional and service businesses; local government and more. They worked with these partners and donors to organize three events, including a Santa Drive-Thru event, a Christmas art contest for kids, and an enhanced Christmas light contest for homes and businesses. By working together, this small town of 2,400 people was able to provide Santa Claus gift bags for 300 children, with a total of 458 people attending the drive-in style event. Gold Beach Main Street has also helped publicize partner projects that have sprung up after being inspired by COVID-friendly events, such as a social distancing Christmas light parade on Main Street. While Gold Beach Main Street had held similar events in the past during the holiday season, this was the first time they had tried to organize events with such strict precautions and, thanks to good partnerships, they had involved more people than ever.

Volunteers on Main Award: Tim O’Dwyer was one of six volunteers recognized for his volunteer efforts. Tim has been an asset to Gold Beach Main Street’s work over the past few years. He was the catalyst for the creation of 13 mini-parks and the installation of 26 benches along Main Street. These parks have made all the difference in creating a more enjoyable walking experience along the trade corridor for everyone. And, the pews have commemorative plaques that impacted the emotional connection people have with the sites. This project wouldn’t have happened without Tim’s hard work and expertise. And, these changes are prompting business owners and landlords to make improvements to the streetscape on their own sites, while instilling a greater sense of pride in the city.

The Oregon Main Street Excellence on Main Awards were created in 2010 to recognize the efforts of those who work day in and day out to revitalize Oregon’s historic downtowns and traditional shopping districts. Thirteen other cities in Oregon were recognized this year.

“2020 has been a particularly tough year on Main Street,” said Sheri Stuart, state coordinator, Oregon Main Street. “Our Main Street communities have demonstrated incredible resilience, working tirelessly to support, encourage and nurture the people, businesses and landowners in their communities. These awards recognize the outstanding efforts of local programs in creating and supporting projects and activities that exemplify Oregon Main Street’s mission to build equitable, livable and sustainable communities that will grow the economy of Oregon. while maintaining a sense of belonging.

The wide price range reflects the comprehensive Main Street Approach â„¢ for downtown revitalization developed by the National Main Street Center. This model is used by communities participating in the Main Street Track at three levels of the Oregon Main Street network. From 2010 to 2020, communities participating in the Performing Main Street and Transforming Downtown levels – the two upper levels – saw $ 125 million in private building improvement projects, $ 124.6 million in public projects, 1,347 projects rehabilitation projects, 639 net new businesses, 163 business expansions, 126 business acquisitions and 3,961 net new jobs. In addition, 250,348 volunteer hours were spent with local Main Street organizations in the upper levels.

Oregon Main Street is part of Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information, visit


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