Updates Are Everywhere You Look October 16, 2020

There is no shortage of exciting upgrades taking placethroughout Coos Bay. The City Council and its partners continue to work on behalf of our residents, addressing community needs.

One of the priorities we’ve tackled is the parking constraints in the downtown area and on Front Street. In an effort to add parking capacity in downtown, the Council approved the proposal to develop the vacant lot at the corner of Central Avenue and S. Third Street into a public parking lot. The necessary design plans are underway and currently being reviewed with our state and federal partners. Additionally, we’re working to repurpose a lot along N. Front Street between Cedar and Date avenues. The project is in the state permitting phase. Once completed we will not only have a public parking lot to serve the needs of the businesses on Front Street, while at the same time, cleaning and refurbishing a lot which was used for over 80 years as a salvage yard. 
In partnership with the Parks Commission, we’ve embarked on an aggressive plan to improve Mingus Park, one of the jewels in our community. This project proposes dredging the pond, adding a couple of fishing piers, elevating the small children’s play area and replacing the playground in that area, replacing restroom / pavilion, etc. The design and engineering process is nearly complete and we are in hopes of applying for grants in early 2021.
Another Coos Bay landmark, the Egyptian Theatre, is celebrating its 95th birthday this year. This year also marks the tenth anniversary of the Theatre entering the National Register of Historic Places. We recently completed the replacement of the 50-year-old roof. This $122,571 investment comes by way of generous grants and funds provided by the Egyptian Theatre Preservation Association.

I love the charm of the buildings you’ll find throughout downtown Coos Bay. The Council and Urban Renewal Agency is committed to working through public / private partnerships in an effort to maintain the integrity of these buildings in conjunction with improving the overall aesthetic of the downtown area. We’ve worked with several establishments, including Old City Hall, Tower Ford, Shark Bites Cafe, Kioski Building, Pacific School of Dance. and Tioga Building to upgrade the exterior and introduce new facades.
I am excited to see the continued development in and around the Front Street area. We will soon realize the addition of three new establishments. Located east of N. Front Street area, Coos Bay Village is a mixed-use, waterfront village concept. Starbucks, Spectrum and Facerock Creamery will be opening in their new location in the Village in the next few weeks. And as nearby Front Street neighbor, the Coos Bay Liquor Store will also be moving in the future to their new home which is under construction, across from Marshfield Mercantile, on Bayshore Drive.
The Confederated Tribes of the Coos and Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians have embarked on the development of the Hollering Place Tribal Museum and Cultural Center. This venture will be located in the Empire District and serve as a gathering place to learn about the cultures and people who have long called Coos Bay home. Just this week the Planning Commission approved the proposed site plan for that project.  

-Joe Benetti, Mayor of Coos Bay