The BCD: A Model of Thoughtful Revitalization

Bend Central District (BCD) illustrated map
Matt Johnson
By Matt Johnson, Principal Broker RE/MAX Key Properties

First published in the Source Weekly

This vibrant, walkable corridor will change the face of our city

The Bend Central District (BCD) is currently undergoing a major shift. And there is a lot to be excited about. Whether you own property in the area, are looking to buy or invest in a future development, or enjoy bike and pedestrian travel, this revitalization aims to create a vibrant, walkable corridor that will change the face of our city. It’s a great time to become educated about the opportunities.

The pedestrian connections will bring more commute options & walkability

First is the pedestrian connection that’s being built between east and west Bend, which is at the heart of the BCD’s revitalization. Improvements are happening at three points — Greenwood, Franklin, and Hawthorne, with the goal of connecting the BCD with downtown Bend.

Over time, the data has shown that what residents of a community value — especially younger generations — is walkability, which is a by-product of dense mixed-use communities. As far as demand goes, walkable urban locations have been outperforming sprawling suburban locations for many years in the US.

Housing, housing, housing

The second thing to be excited about is the BCD’s plans for housing (of which we’re in desperately short supply) and mixed-use projects. The BCD has a mix of support from the federal, state, and local level that’s unique. It’s not only designated as an Opportunity Zone on a federal level, but it’s also located within the expanded Urban Growth Boundary and Core Area Urban Renewal District. This surge of combined resources, plus development code that allows for dense building options, means that the BCD is primed to become a model mixed-use community in one of the country’s fastest-growing cities. That potential is attracting innovators. Take, for example, The Catalyst, the new event space and food court anchored by Spoken Moto, just one of many planned new investments in the BCD.

Attractive developments for private investment

With walkability and infrastructure improvements comes private investment — in shops, restaurants, and small businesses — as well as beautification and improvements to streetscapes, sidewalks, etc. This is the story of Portland’s Pearl District, which experienced a very similar revitalization. As the area becomes more attractive and more vibrant, it becomes more appealing to residents, businesses, and visitors. As demand grows, so do property values.

There’s going to be a very real and tangible impact, besides just higher property values. Significantly improved bike and pedestrian routes, an investment in trees, landscaping and beautification, wider sidewalks, innovative mixed-use spaces for things like events and farmers markets, an increase in foot traffic for BCD businesses.

Support local businesses – it’s how we Bend

The best way to get involved is to actively support the people and businesses who are in the BCD now. These are the pioneers, and they will be the ones to shape the district in the early days. Shop at their businesses, eat at their restaurants. If you’re looking to go deeper, you may want to connect with some of the organizations helping to drive the BCD’s development, such as the Bend Central District Business Association, which has over 85 members, or the BCD Initiative, a group helping to build momentum and support for the district’s transformation.

Featured Listings in the Bend Central District:

property at 1703 NE Meadow Lane Bend OR

1703 NE Meadow Lane
Bend, Oregon 97701

Click the image for details.

property at 442 NE Hawthorne Ave Bend OR

442 NE Hawthorne Avenue
Bend, Oregon 97701

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