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Old Mill District, Bend

4.2
#1 of 9 in Shopping in Central Oregon
Neighborhood · Shopping
The Old Mill District is a historic area formerly occupied by two lumber mills in Bend, Oregon. Encompassing approximately 270 acres (110 ha) along the Deschutes River, the Old Mill District is now a mixed-use area known for its shops, galleries and restaurants. It draws thousands of visitors and employs more than 2,500 people. The area underwent significant development since the mid-1990s, when the land was purchased by developer Bill Smith, president of William Smith Properties. He maintained elements of the original buildings, including the area's three signature smokestacks. There are nine historically renovated buildings on property. The oldest is the Little Red Shed used to store fire equipment and is now Dewilde Art Glass. Notable additions include the Les Schwab Amphitheater and the nation's first 12-station Fly Casting Course.
William Smith Properties and its partners also restored 14,000 lineal feet of the river area, which had been off limits to the public for close to 80 years. The banks were blown out to accommodate the floating logs and the river itself was mired with debris. The restored area is now a habitat for native species, such as fish, mink, otters and birds.
It was work like this that led the Old Mill District to become the only project in the Western half of the United States to receive a national 2017 Excellence on the Waterfront Award from the Waterfront Center, become a finalist for the 2016 Urban Land Institute's Global Awards for Excellence and garnered Bill Smith, and William Smith Properties, a Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2014 Building a Better Central Oregon Awards.
The Old Mill District is located southwest of downtown, roughly between Colorado Avenue on the west, Bond Street on the east and north and Reed Market to the south.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
243 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • view from above. shops open til 6 on Sunday. clean. traffic is a bit dodgy depending on whos riding though.  more »
  • the old mill district is right on the Deschutes river and restaurants have seating along the river. The river trail runs from the district for a pleasant stroll. There is a bridge across the rive...  more »

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