It was our intent to plan and help implement a development and neighborhood strategy for the Rockwood, Gresham neighborhood’s 6.5 acre former Fred Meyer site. The project coupled a mixed use, transit-oriented development in the heart of a troubled neighborhood, with activist community initiatives that would help improve the entire community, far from the boundaries of the project
Rockwood has crime, poverty, a high unemployment rate, and a bad reputation. It has a broken up community brought on by many new residents who rent and don’t socialize outside their immediate groups. It was essential to repair the community foundation before building a project so that the project could be all it could be. Through community meetings with neighbors and public service leaders, it was determined that Rockwood’s crime is brought on by low household incomes, no community watch and gang activity. Soccer, after school youth programs, a larger library were recommended to help reduce gangs preying on the neighborhood’s youth. Increasing household income strategies included: Adult education, job counseling, more family wage jobs. building a stronger community: for sale housing, soccer (parents socialize on the sidelines while youth play on the field), streets designed to maximize socializing, and locally owned retail.