We have chosen Laz Ayala of Ayala Properties and KDA Homes as our Featured Partner of the Month. His company is a Champion Level Founding Partner of Downtown Medford Association and his commitment to Downtown Medford over the years has been incredibly valued and admired. 

“I saw nothing but progress in the future of downtown,“ said Laz Ayala, shortly after he moved here in 1988. Laz is a naturalized US citizen who immigrated to Southern California from El Salvador as a teenager fleeing from the war of 1980s.  ILLEGAL, an award winning 2020 documentary, chronicles his journey to Southern Oregon;  https://www.illegaltheproject.org/.  Laz and his family settled in Southern California, but when he later became a parent, he decided that Southern Oregon would be a good place for him and his wife to raise their son. He moved his family here, got his real estate license, and began selling real estate for Century 21. 

In 1988, downtown was suffering from the mall coming into town. It was devastating for downtown retailers! Laz saw an opportunity for revival and investing in downtown – which he calls “the face of the Medford community.” 

His first big investment purchase in 2005 was the Acme Hardware Building at 1 West 6th  Street. He turned the upper floor into Acme Suites (furnished long and short-term residential units). The lower floors house a hair salon, a fitness center, and other businesses.

Other buildings Laz bought and remodeled are the Firehall Building (44 N Front), Palm Niedermeyer Building (132 West Main), and Consolidated Freight Building (727 N. Central).

His latest and most impactful investment in Downtown Medford is The Genesis, a 62-unit apartment building located on the corner of 8th and Holly Streets. The secured courtyard style apartments  will provide much needed housing in downtown Medford, with the first tenants moving  in this month. The Genesis  offers a mixture of studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartment homes, renting for $1150, $1350, and $1650, respectively, including fiber internet and a residential parking permit.

These modern and stylish flats offer a convenient and vibrant lifestyle in a secure, beautifully landscaped, and well-lit property that ensures safety and peace of mind. Choose from the convenience of ground level living or panoramic views from the two upper floors; and the location is hard to beat- close to restaurants, coffee shops, the RVTD bus station, RCC/SOU Higher Education Center, the library, city offices, Lithia Motors headquarters, MPD, and across the street from Alba Park. The Genesis is a multimodal transportation friendly community offering a shared electric vehicle charger,  bike parking, and high walkability rating to just about any place downtown.  

More people living downtown attract more positive use of public spaces and discourage the opposite. “The more feet we have on our streets, the better for downtown,” said Laz. 

The Genesis represents a cooperation between Laz and his business partner Dr. Patrick Denard, and the City of Medford and MURA, which contributed about $1.2 million in incentives. 

Because of his belief in and commitment to downtown, Laz has been involved in the various organizations preceding DMA. He served as president of the former Heart of Medford Association. He has been involved in DMA as a Founding Partner since its inception.

Laz sees  financial sustainability  as the biggest challenge facing DMA. “We can’t do it with dues (partnerships) alone. An EID will help. It can complement our other funding sources,” said Laz. (Laz played a significant role in getting people to contribute to the funding needed to hire CIVITAS to do our EID study.)

“Achieving a 501(c)(3) status will allow us to go after grants. The money is out there. With grants we can get some of our tax money back into our community. Hiring a grant writer would be a good idea,” said Laz. 

DMA thanks Laz for his commitment to Downtown Medford and for investing in our future!

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