Town Center History

  • 1971

    Wilsonville City Council adopts a General Plan for growth.

  • 1970’s

    Wilsonville Town Center was established in the early 1970’s. Payless Drugs (now Rite Aid) expressed interest in locating its warehouse and headquarters in Wilsonville. The proposed development location, north of Wilsonville Road and west side of I-5, was land designated for Town Center use in the Wilsonville General Plan. In response to this potential development opportunity, the City worked with land owners to move Wilsonville’s Town Center from its original location to its current location on the east side of I-5. At the time, the population of Wilsonville was 1,000 and the Town Center area was mostly fields, owned by 25 different land owners.

    A group of landowners in the new Town Center convened and hired architect Mel Kroker to prepare a master plan for Town Center. The Wilsonville City Center Plan (1973) recommended a suburban village approach to development with a mix of housing and commercial uses lining a loop road with a park or lake in the center. Kroker envisioned that one day the land would be in high demand and new development would fill in the center of the loop. As a result, the City Council amended the City’s Comprehensive Plan in 1978 to reflect the adopted Wilsonville City Center Plan.

  • 1980’s

    In the 1980’s, Wilsonville’s population growth increased demand for commercial buildings and development in Wilsonville Town Center. Initial development included small offices and a retail center in the southwest corner of Town Center and construction of the first portion of Town Center Loop West.

    Around the same time, the Courtside Estates neighborhood, consisting of over 200 single-family homes and condominiums, was built adjacent to the east of the Wilsonville Town Center.

    In 1984, the City contracted with Fisher, Wallin & Long to conduct a Wilsonville Town Center Study. Several design features were considered including implementation of a grid street plan (Town Center is the same area as nine square blocks of Portland). This idea gained little momentum, and the City maintained the original Wilsonville City Center Plan with one significant change: to remove the perimeter berms in order to promote more visibility into the Town Center. A Local Improvement District formed, working with the City, to construct the remainder of Town Center Loop.

  • 1990’s

    There was significant development in the Wilsonville Town Center during the 1990s along with citywide population growth. By 1990 the city’s population was pushing 8,000 and by the year 2000, it was well over 13,000.

    In 1990, the Town Center Park Apartments began leasing. Opening in 1991, Thriftway (now Safeway) anchored the Wilsonville Town Center Shopping Center along Wilsonville Road, which brought major retail development to the Town Center. Clackamas Community College opened its campus in the Wilsonville Town Center in 1990, Incredible Universe (now Fry’s) opened in 1992, and the Family Fun Center began attracting visitors in 1994. These major developments spurred additional retail and office buildings over the next several years.

    By the late 1990s, much of the Village at Main Street planned development was completed, which added over 500 new residential units, both multi and single-family, as well as over 100,000 square feet of commercial along the south side of Wilsonville Road. While Village at Main is not within the Town Center Plan study area boundary, its location directly adjacent to the south, makes it a key development that complements the City’s central commercial district.

  • 2000’s

    Activity continued in, and adjacent to, the Town Center into the 2000’s. In addition, the City’s significant residential growth (7,000 new residents over the decade) introduced a new wave of residents seeking to utilize the Town Center and its amenities.

     In 2002, Town Center Park was developed in partnership with Capital Realty who dedicated the land to the city. The Park planning process was driven by community charrettes and a proactive design process. The first phase of the park was completed in 2000-2002 and the second phase was completed by 2005. Since then, the park has been a popular hub of community gatherings and activities, including Rotary concerts, Fun in the Park, and Art in the Park events. The water park is a favorite destination for families during warm summer months. The park is home to the Korean War Memorial, developed by the Oregon Trail Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association and dedicated on September 30, 2000. The City of Wilsonville now owns the memorial.

    Shortly after the completion of the park, the property located directly across Park Place, developed into two retail commercial buildings (now Park Pavilion) providing nearly 15,000 square feet of new commercial retail space for small businesses such as a dental practice, preschool, and the Dar Essalam Mediterranean restaurant. Later, in 2007, Capital Realty Corp. constructed a three-story, 44,000 square foot, Class A office building and adjacent retail building on the southwest corner of the intersection of Town Center Loop and Parkway Court.

  • 2010’s

    Starting in 2012, the area north of the Town Center, began to develop with new residential opportunities, bringing even more residents within walking distance of the Wilsonville Town Center. Almost 60 acres were developed into more than 700 homes, including Terrene Apartments, Portera at the Grove – a 55 + community–, Jory Trail apartments, the Grove Single Family North subdivision, and the Brenchley Estates Single Family subdivision.

    Incremental redevelopment of existing commercial buildings has continued in Town Center, most prominently on the corner of Town Center Loop West and Wilsonville Road. The first complex to see reinvestment was the old Sunshine Pizza building, which was improved to accommodate Chipotle and Noodles and Co. Most recently, the property directly adjacent to the south went through notable façade improvements and re-opened as a Starbucks.

  • 2015

    After three decades of development and a lot of change, the City recognized the need for a new vision for the Town Center.  In 2014, City Council adopted Wilsonville’s Urban Renewal Strategy and the Tourism Development Strategy, both of which identified a Town Center Redevelopment Plan as a priority action item. In 2015, the City of Wilsonville was awarded a Metro Community Planning and Development Grant to help fund the Wilsonville Town Center Plan. The Plan will provide a community-driven vision and strategic actions for Town Center that guide development in Town Center to create a cohesive, unified district. The Plan may include new projects, programs, partnerships, or policies. Project initiation began in late Fall 2016 to prepare for the public planning process, which launched in 2017.