On deck: More businesses eye downtown sites

In just the past year, Medford has generated interest from corporations that are either planning to move downtown or want to relocate here.

Community leaders predict the 70,000-square-foot Lithia headquarters eventually will be surrounded by hotels and other corporate offices. Two new parks will become the focal point for many downtown activities.

Between the Medford Urban Renewal Agency and Lithia, more than $30 million has been invested in The Commons redevelopment project.

To the south and west, a $9 million corporate center should start taking shape next summer at West Main, South Fir and West Eighth streets.

The 105,000-square-foot building — 50 percent larger than Lithia's headquarters — will house the corporate offices of Pacific Retirement Systems Inc., Rogue Disposal and Recycling and Procare Software.

An even more expensive complex of offices and a six-story parking structure are planned at the old federal building site on Eighth Street between Holly and Ivy streets. The county anticipates a $28.5 million investment in the project, which could be under construction by spring.

The Jackson County Housing Authority has proposed building a 50-unit, low-income housing project at the corner of Sixth and Grape streets.

Lithia has been courting various businesses that are interested in locating around The Commons, including a hotel, bank, another office building and a restaurant.

"We will have some announcements later this year," said Mark DeBoer, Lithia's vice president of real estate.

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