West Linn Waterfront Redevelopment

Nearly 125 years ago, the Station B Power Plant began generating power at the Willamette Falls, the home of the first long-distance transmission of electricity in the United States.

Station B was later renamed after T.W. Sullivan and is now the oldest operating PGE generating facility and the third-oldest hydropower plant in the country. Every year, Sullivan generates enough energy to power roughly 11,000 Oregon homes.

In 2017, the City of West Linn began creating a master plan for the future of the Willamette River waterfront area from the Arch Bridge to the Blue Heron Pond.

PGE recently partnered with the City of West Linn to engage the public and learn their priorities, vision and values for the future of PGE’s property — about 100 acres — in the middle of this waterfront. The community’s input will help to inform the long-term planning process.

Values that guide our approach:

  • The T.W. Sullivan plant will continue to operate and provide clean electricity.
  • The Willamette Falls Locks will be open and operational.
  • Transportation access and improvements will be consistent with ODOT and city plans.
  • Historical and cultural aspects of the site will be included in any plans for redevelopment.

We gathered input

More than 250 people attended two open houses hosted by PGE and the City of West Linn to share information about the property’s history, environmental stewardship, infrastructure and access constraints and the city’s traffic plans. Representatives from the Willamette Locks Commission and Willamette Falls Heritage Area and Landing Coalition were also on hand to share information.

In addition, we posted a survey for two months and 216 members of the public chose to weigh in, providing more than 450 comments.

The feedback gathered through the open houses and online survey identified key themes:

  • A strong preference for honoring history while looking to future possibilities
  • Significant interest in historical preservation equaled by interest in redevelopment and adaptive re-use that honors the site’s storied history and heritage
  • Awareness that building conditions vary; salvage and re-use may not be uniformly feasible
  • Preserving fish passage and the natural habitat are important; environmental cleanup is a concern
  • On the island, future desires include pedestrian access to open space, scenic views and some mixed-use building
  • For the upland, scenic views, mixed-use building and an historic park prevailed for the future vision
  • Ensuring any redevelopment is harmonious with the natural beauty of the waterfront and Falls
  • The traffic impact of any future redevelopment is concerning, although the desire for amenities – from historical parks to local dining – carry more weight
  • The community wants to ensure tribal culture and presence at the Falls continue

The full report with more in-depth data and sample comments is available to download.

We appreciated the opportunity to meet with so many people who are invested in defining the future of the waterfront along the Willamette Falls.

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