Author: Olga Karavaeva
No wonder, Redmond residents pride themselves on being exceptionally business-friendly and progressive. Today, this is one of the fastest growing communities in Oregon, which is also home to the Greater Redmond Area Enterprise Zone, one of the most active and successful in Oregon. Enterprise Zones are territories where the government is implementing an incentive program encouraging economic growth and development. In Oregon, there are currently almost 70 such zones.
The second largest city in Deschutes County (Bend holds the first place), Redmond is located in the Central Oregon High Desert, on the eastern side of the Cascade Range, around 15 miles north of Bend. The city is situated at the elevation of 3,077 feet, and enjoys typical High Desert climate with cool nights and sunny days, providing the city’s residents and visitors with over 300 days of sunshine every year.
A Brief History of Redmond
The community dates back to the beginning of the 20th century when Frank and Josephine Redmond settled in the area in 1905. The place was lacking infrastructure, although railroad and irrigation system were projected. Thus, each week the city family had to make a 10-mile round trip to the Deschutes River to fetch water to last until the next trip. After the irrigation canals were completed, business began flowing into the area, which turned into a buzzing town incorporated as the City of Redmond on July 6, 1910.
Railroad (which is currently Evergreen Avenue) was completed in 1911. It opened this city to the world and attracted even more residents and businesses. Nowadays, the city remains well-connected. Situated at the crossroads of Highways 126 and 97, Redmond has easy access to Interstate 5 and Interstate 84, while rail freight services ensure easy and convenient connection to Portland.
During World War II, Redmond was a US Army Air Forces bomber base, using airfield built in the 1920s. After the war, the airport was sold to the city for $1. Roberts Field/Redmond Municipal Airport became the main commercial airport of Central Oregon, connecting the region to several hubs in the western United States.
With 216 people residing in Redmond on the day of incorporation, the population grew up to around 1,000 people by 1930 and nearly doubled by 1940. After remaining relatively unchanged through the next four decades, the population grew again in the 1990s, and literally skyrocketed in 2000-2006, growing by 74.3%. As of 2013, Redmond’s population was around 26,600, with 8% of average annual growth. The reason for such a population increase is good employment opportunities and low cost of living.