What is the Bend Central District?
The Bend Central District (BCD) is in the very heart of our growing city and has enormous potential to provide more housing and jobs within close proximity to existing businesses, services and activities that make up a livable community.
Bend’s population is expected to increase 45% by 2035, and with fewer than one resident per acre in the BCD, there is great potential for this area to help distribute the load of future growth.
When Bend was founded, the BCD was the eastern edge of town and industrial uses dominated because it is next to the railroad tracks. As the city expanded, Third Street became a main thoroughfare and automobile-oriented development took precedence.
Now this central location in Bend is underutilized and has been rezoned for mixed-use development.
The BCD features many local businesses and essential services that make up a livable community including a grocery store, local restaurants, banks, hotels, medical offices, hardware stores, auto repair shops, a lumber yard, a distillery, and a theater.
Its northeast corner is home to The Maker’s District, a collaborative group of small business owners and artists whose work inspires our community.
Since many of our beloved locally-owned businesses rent space in the district and are concerned about being pushed out of the area, we are working with business owners to implement economic development strategies to ensure local businesses and small-scale manufacturing are a robust and vital part of the BCD’s revitalization.
Missing sidewalks, limited crosswalks, few trees, and insufficient lighting make the streets in the BCD unwelcoming and unsafe for customers, families, and potential residents. Barriers such as Third Street, the BNSF Railroad, and US 97 Parkway make it difficult to travel between the BCD and the bustling west side of Bend.
Improving streets and connections for people traveling by foot, bike, and car with community placemaking will help bring the community vision for the BCD to life.
The Orchard District Neighborhood Association and the Larkspur Neighborhood Association make up the Midtown neighborhoods where many people live just east of the district. These neighborhoods are partners in advocating for the vision of a vibrant, healthy, and resilient mixed-use neighborhood.
More than a decade’s worth of surveys show the existing residents’ desire for improved biking and walking routes and more residential and retail opportunities in this area.
Despite its central location and access to many of the amenities Bendites love, there are very few housing options within the district. As of 2014, only 122 people lived in the area. Most of those homes are located along NE 4th Street which is zoned for residentially-compatible uses.
By catalyzing positive mixed-use development, we can add new housing options to the heart of Bend.