The group that wants to create a vibrant urban district called the Fire Blocks has already acquired the bulk of buildings on the 100 block of East Third Street.
But now, the Fire Blocks development group has expanded its reach with the acquisition of multiple commercial properties on the 400 and 500 blocks of East Third Street.
A group called 535 E Third LLC just spent $200,000 to buy the vacant, five-story building at the corner of East Third and Sears streets in Webster Station (535 E. Third St.), near the Cannery Lofts Apartments. A group called 431 E Third LLC spend $275,000 to buy the buildings at 431, 441 and 443 E. Third St. that were formerly used as KK Motorcycle Supply, a distributor of motorcycle and ATV parts.
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Scott Gibson is the registered agent of 431 E. Third LLC and 525 E Third LLC.
He is one of the main players behind the Fire Blocks District, and his companies continue to scoop up empty and underutilized buildings in the urban core, many of which are on or near East Third Street.
The Fire Blocks development group already owns the Kimmel, David, Elks and 124 buildings on East Third Street.
The Fire Blocks will have more than 150,000 square feet of activated street level amenities, 200,000 square feet of residential and hotel spaces and 100,000 square feet of new office spaces, according to the group. The group claims it has secured many millions of dollar of funding for the ambitious redevelopment plan, which would create housing, restaurants, bars and other attractions.
Gibson has long maintained that his group would tremendously transform the eastern section of downtown to connect the Oregon Historic District with the Water Street District and Webster Station.
But work to reenergize the sleepy 100 block of Third Street has not proceeded rapidly.
Wells & Co. Custom Tattoo moved into a renovated storefront space on that block. But a taco and tequila restaurant and crossfit gym proposed for the district have not yet materialized.
The five-story commercial building at Sears Street is near an old DP&L steam plant that is being renovated into offices, event space and other amenities.