COOS BAY — The Coos Bay Planning Commission approved land use plans for the Hollering Place Cultural Center at a meeting held Tuesday.

The center, proposed by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, will be home to historical and cultural exhibits and will serve as a place to share Tribal culture.

It'll also be the first major construction at the Hollering Place development at the corner of Newmark Avenue and Empire Boulevard, where the Hollering Place Wayside currently sits.

"I'm impressed," planning commission member Jeff Marineau said during the commission's review of the proposal. "It's an absolutely stunning design for that corner."

The 4,300-square-foot cultural center will sit on the property's upper bluff overlooking the water, and is designed in a similar style to a traditional Plank house, with wood siding, storefront windows and standing seam metal roofing, according to application documents.

In 2008, city leaders published a three-phase Master Plan for the Hollering Place property, with the intent of developing the property to revitalize the area. The development proposal eventually selected by city leaders added plans to recognize the history of the site, which was originally the site of a Coos Tribal village. The shoreline became the county's first European settlement and eventually Empire City, the first Coos County seat.

Much of the development will focus on that history. The land, owned by the tribes, is slated to include interpretative elements in addition to the cultural center, as well as dining, hotel space and retail.

One of the site's first projects was the installation of a seawall, which was completed last year before the city's Urban Renewal Agency signed the land over to the tribes.

Developers still need a few permits before beginning construction on the project, according to city planner Debbie Erler. There's a 15-day appeal window on the planning commission's decision to approve the plans.

Reporter Zack Demars can be reached at worldnews3@countrymedia.net.

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