Tribal Government & News

Grand Ronde Tribe begins next round of demolition at tumwata village

06.13.2024 Danielle Harrison Tumwata Village
Debris is picked up to be moved to a dumpster during demolition of the former Blue Heron Paper Mill’s administration building in Oregon City on Wednesday, June 5. It is the fourth phase of demolition at the Tribe’s 23-acre tumwata village property. (Photo by Michelle Alaimo)


OREGON CITY – The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde began its fourth and most visible phase of demolition at its 23-acre tumwata village property near Willamette Falls in Oregon City.

The latest round of demolition began the first week of June and includes removing the old administration building. Once completed, the Tribe hopes to begin the first phase of infrastructure work on the site. 

“We could not be more grateful or excited to see our continued progress at Willamette Falls,” Tribal Council Chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy said. “We’ve already come so far and removing the administration building will bring us even closer to our vision. This important step gives us healing and hope for the future of our ancestral lands.”

The property will include a mix of open space, retail, shopping, residential, office, restaurants, and a hotel and event space. It will include access to the river’s edge, views of the restored native basalt riverbank and space for public and Tribal gatherings.  

The Tribe is working to minimize any disruption to residents during the five to six weeks of demolition, according to a press release.

“The Tribe recognizes the former administration building is a highly visible part of Oregon City history and some residents may feel a connection to it,” the release stated. “The Tribe is looking forward to welcoming the public to the new village and restored falls.”

The property – part of Grand Ronde’s ancestral homelands – was purchased by the Tribe in 2019 for $15.25 million. Since then, it has made steady progress on its redevelopment by unveiling its new name of tumwata village, and demolishing approximately 40% of the site during three different phases.

Phase one of demolition took place in 2021, with a second round following in 2022 and a third in 2023. This phase of demolition will not be the last, as the Tribe anticipates additional demolition will be necessary to achieve Grand Ronde’s vision for the site, which includes environmental and cultural restoration, new development, renewed economic opportunities and the Tribe continuing its role as stewards of the falls.

For more information on the project, visit