Spokesman

The State Land Board approved next steps in a long-discussed process that could help bring tech businesses, a Deschutes County fairgrounds expansion and a new military readiness center to Redmond at an Aug. 14 meeting in Salem, according to a news release.

The Department of State Lands would exchange 140 acres with the county for a fairgrounds expansion and sell 20 acres to the Oregon Military Department for the new readiness center. The remaining area of the 945 involved acres would become large lot industrial property, which officials said would help the area diversify its employment opportunities. It is intended to appeal to technology and other light industrial, low impact uses that require large parcels of land.

“The authorization positions Redmond to work with Redmond Economic Development, the state and other partners to focus on transforming that bare land into a hub of family-wage industrial jobs and to keep up with the growth in Central Oregon,” Redmond Mayor George Endicott said in the statement.

The land board decision allows the lands department to submit land use applications to the city and county, fund infrastructure improvements required for the large lot industrial zoning designation and partition the parcels for the fairgrounds and readiness center.

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