Vacant lots:

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There are a few changes that have been noticed around Pacific University. Two lots now stand empty; one empty lot is on Cedar Street and the second is on University Avenue. There is a third property that Pacific has acquired, an old church behind the Forest Grove Shopping Plaza on Cedar Street. Uncertainty surrounds the excavated sites and the old church building and curiosity about them is growing.

Does Pacific own the properties? Will they be used to relieve parking or will they be used for new offices? What does this mean for Pacific? Joe Lang, director of media relations in University Advancement sheds some light on the empty lots in question.

“Some properties we’ve acquired in recent years, others we’ve acquired in a fairly lengthy amount of time earlier,” Lang said. “These ones in particular have been recent acquisitions and again it’s to help accommodate our perennial growth at the university.”

With the acquisitions of the properties, Pacific is looking to the future and preparing for growth. This is a positive development for the university. More students will mean a greater need for parking, but also more facilities for staff. To maintain a balance requires efficiency and planning.

“At this point we don’t have any concrete plans for those sites; we’re always looking for what’s going to help our university, community and what’s going to increase efficiency in a reasonably economic sense,” Lang said.

Parking is a concern for students staying on campus and for commuter students alike. But parking is only one concern for Pacific’s plans for the future. The lease on Parking Lot O will be expiring at the end of the month and the old church will become the new O lot.

A statement from Facilities Management and Campus Public Safety, released on Pacific University’s website on Oct. 4 stated that on Nov. 1, Lot O will no longer be located in the Forest Grove Shopping Plaza parking lot, but will be moved to the adjacent church, 2037 Cedar Street, which was newly procured by Pacific.

The university has many demands that it must meet with its resources and assets and determining how the empty lots on University Avenue and Cedar Street will be used will require thoughtful planning.

“We really exercise a lot of care in thinking things through and determining what’s going to be the best use for the resources, both fiscal resources and hard assets such as property,” Lang said.

With Pacific’s growth potential, careful planning can make all the difference. Some choices can make growing pains less troublesome. Pacific is putting time, money and effort into these properties as they project the needed expansion to accommodate future growth. Time will tell what these empty lots will become, but it is good to know that the university is preparing for expansion.


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