Lots of Housing Units Approved | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Lots of Housing Units Approved

City Council approves a massive walkable, mixed-use community master plan near the Box Factory

Soon, thousands more people may be living within walking distance of the Old Mill and downtown Bend.

The Bend City Council approved a 1,600-unit housing and commercial development on 32 acres of land that was formerly a particle board plant. The master plan also includes a 180-room hotel, office space and retail along "linear meandering paths" that will fulfill City code requiring 10% of developments be open public spaces.

click to enlarge Lots of Housing Units Approved
Kennedy Wilson
Conceptual images imagine a tall and walkable community on the site of the former KorPine particle board plant.

The development is between Highway 97 and the Box Factory, which sits along Arizona Avenue. The City identified it as an "opportunity area," which are locations that are suited for infill development, in its 2016 comprehensive plan. The applicant, a California-based real estate investment company called Kennedy Wilson, asked to amend the Bend Development Code so it can build 10 feet taller than the current maximum of 65 feet. City Councilor Mike Riley said the move toward taller buildings is going to be an adjustment for the community but he's supportive of the project.

"I think it's what the community needs, for a whole bunch of different reasons, many of which we've heard tonight. It's also about density and having a really thriving community and getting the most out of the land so that we're not sprawling and that we're keeping down our greenhouse gas emissions," Riley said.

click to enlarge Lots of Housing Units Approved
Courtesy the City of Bend
The master plan includes housing units, a hotel and commercial space between the Box Factory and Highway 97.

City Councilor Ariel Mendez said that the project aspires to provide some affordable homes but doesn't guarantee it. There are 250 homes that may be affordable senior housing, but that could change as the property gets developed over the next 10 years. The master plan exceeds the city's targets for housing units for the core area, and nearly doubles the targets set for the Kor Pine area. The number of housing units could change during development; the master plan creates a roadmap for development, but site plans will have to be reviewed and approved moving forward.

"We're approving this plan, but individual site plans will come in, individual developments will come in, and there's nothing requiring them even to do exactly what they've showed us on any level here, as far as how tall the buildings are and all that," said Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler at the City Council meeting. "We're setting the stage here for this area."

About The Author

Jack Harvel

Jack is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and has been making his way west since graduating from the University of Missouri, working a year and a half in Northeast Colorado before moving to Bend in the Spring of 2021. When not reporting he’s either playing folk songs (poorly) or grand strategy video games,...
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