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City of Woodburn earns three downtown revitalization awards at Albany ceremony

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF WOODBURN - The city of Woodburn received three awards last week from Oregon Main Street, including Best Building Renovation for Metropolis, which was accepted by Mayor Kathy Figley and owner Robby Truong.COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF WOODBURN - Metropolis, whose owners received an award for Best Building Renovation, was featured on the Oregon Main Street bus tour, featuring the best of Woodburn's Mexican food and folkloric dancing from local dance group Cosecha Mestiza.
Last week, the city of Woodburn received three Excellence in Downtown Revitalization awards from Oregon Main Street.

The awards recognize the projects, people and activities representing the best in downtown improvements across Oregon. The three awards Woodburn received were:

Best Image Activity: Taste of Woodburn Branding and Imaging Campaign

Woodburn was in need of an image campaign that would recognize its culturally diverse businesses, residents and visitors. Downtown also needed to develop a brand for itself in order to bring awareness of the wide array of restaurants, shops, businesses and attraction on its downtown. To do so, the Woodburn Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC) and staff initiated the Taste of Woodburn campaign. The campaign developed imagery that represented the cultural diversity of Woodburn (i.e. downtown, historic train, tulips, Russian stacking dolls, Aztecan sun and piñata) and paced the imagery on banners, marketing materials, and hosted a "Taste of Woodburn" event in June to promote the branding campaign. Taste of Woodburn was attended by over 2,000 people. It was hosted to promote the campaign and included the distribution of a passport to tastes that feature the seven culinary regions represented by restaurants and businesses throughout the city.

Best Building Renovation: Metropolis Building

Built in 1891, this two-story, 10,000 square foot structure served as Woodburn's first office building. Damaged during the 1993 earthquake, the city acquired the building when it was vacant and deteriorating. After spending more than $850,000 to stabilize the integrity of the structure and restore the facade, the city sold the building to Novera LLC in 2016. The new owners created a Mercado style retail space on the ground floor, which includes a coffee shop, an Asian restaurant, a fresh fruit Mexican restaurant, and a churro stand, and an event center on the second floor.

"The commitment and investment of the city and owners Robby Truong and Hythum Ismail have restored life, vitality and purpose to one of the most historic and significant buildings in Woodburn," states the city of Woodburn's e-blast from Friday.

Outstanding Partnership: Republic Services (Woodburn Alleyway Beautification Project)

The Woodburn Alleyway Beautification Project has been an undertaking to clean up downtown Woodburn's alleys and create a safe, clean, walkable, pedestrian-friendly alleyway system. Elements of the project included installation of security lighting, enclosing trash receptacles, painting and graffiti removal, and providing a visually appealing pedestrian area. Republic Services was a key partner of this project.

Woodburn City Council will receive the awards Oct. 22.

Main Street communities participated in the three-day "Oregon Main Street" bus tour, visiting Albany, Dayton, McMinnville and Woodburn, before heading up to Washington to visit Vancouver and Camas. While visiting each town to see what main street efforts are being undertaken, participants were inspired to take action in their own downtown and were able to network with folks to hear lessons learned and best practices.

Woodburn hosted Oregon Main Street for dinner at the Metropolis, treating guests to some of the best Mexican food in the city, as well as an amazing dance performance by Cosecha Mestiza, a music and dance group that presents Mexican folkloric dance along with live music.

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