Signs of life around The Commons

Lithia Motors headquarters has stood as the only citadel of business around the two parks that make up The Commons in downtown Medford for the past year.

That will change soon with the opening of SkyOak Wealth Management, which is in the process of converting a former Southern Oregon University building into offices, seminar rooms and even a living space for out-of-town clients. The project should be complete by December.

"The timing was great for us," said Jennifer Davis, president of the company. "We took a little chance."

She said she wasn't sure that the second park would be built, but looking out the window she can see that the park is almost finished.

Her husband and business partner, Derek, said, "It's turning out to be a great location."

The couple's financial service business has offices in Shady Cove, Grants Pass, Ashland and Medford that will be consolidated at the 9,600-square foot Mary Phipps building at 229 Bartlett St., built in 1955.

They bought the building, which was a former dormitory for women until 1984, for $284,000 in May from SOU. They will spend $300,000 renovating the two-story brick structure with views of Roxy Anne and Lithia's headquarters.

— Damian Mann

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