Historic cannery to become housing, gathering place for Salem community

Published: Apr. 21, 2023 at 9:46 PM PDT
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SALEM Ore. (KPTV) - Gaining 70,000 people over the last thirty years, Oregon’s capital has grown considerably.

The Truitt family owns a cannery that has been around for more than 100 years. The building sits on 13 acres, has seen more than 800 seasonal employees at times and has stood the test of time.

Jordan Truitt said he grew up in the building.

“I learned how to work in this building,” Truitt said. “My first job was at the age of 16 working on the green bean line. This building, this property, this industry, is woven into the fabric of Salem. Everybody that worked here was an extended part of our family.”

Although some things are still in use on the site, Truitt said it hasn’t canned a thing for the last three years.

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Truitt, who is also a real estate broker, said it’s time for a change.

“Re-develop it into something bigger, something better, something for families and this community.”

Trent Michels, principal of the development team, said the plan is to demolish the bulk of the property and repurpose historical buildings like the 1914 Building into a wine tasting room, food hall and brewpub.

That’s also the building Truitt said he would miss most.

Michels said their goal is to pay tribute to everything that has been here and the history.

“There’s a legacy here,” Truitt added. “Not just for my family but for the community.”

Michels said the biggest building on the site will be demolished, and from the dust, more than 370 multi-family homes will be built, “and then we are also exploring the concept with the United Soccer League to bring a stadium on site as well.”

If it comes to fruition, Michels said when the stadium isn’t being used by the professional men’s and women’s soccer teams it will host at least 150 community events a year.

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Truitt said over the years, the city has grown around the cannery, and it’s time for it to benefit the community directly.

“It’s located in the urban core,” Truitt said. “It’s right in the city’s center.”

“This is the perfect skeleton,” Michels added, “the perfect bones and the perfect community to deliver something like that.”

Michels said the housing could see its first families by 2026, but at this point, they’d just be hoping the soccer stadium comes to fruition and there’s no word yet on when that might be.

Naturally, Truitt said the facility to come will be named “The Cannery.”