Two buildings planned to mix housing and retail

A newly approved tax exemption for affordable housing projects throughout the city of Beaverton will likely benefit a proposed project at Southwest First Street and Lombard Avenue while providing a potential catalyst for future projects.

The City Council unanimously approved the citywide tax exemption on Tuesday night, following up a 3-2 council decision in July that amended the exemption period to two years. Neighboring tax jurisdictions including Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and Washington County have supported the affordable housing exemption, while Portland Community College, Washington County, Metro regional government and the Beaverton School District are still considering the matter.

A state statute requires support from at least 51 percent of jurisdictions with taxing authority over a property to approve a tax exemption. Support from the jurisdictions was strong enough to assure city staff the exemption could be validated, according to city documents.

Developers interested in an exemption for affordable housing projects have until Sept. 1, 2015, to apply. Any applicant approved between now and the deadline will continue to receive the exemption.

Community Partners for Affordable Housing, one of two developers of adjacent projects at First and Lombard, plans to apply for the tax exemption this month for its project to build 48 affordable housing units in a four-story building.

Affordable housing is defined as accessible to those earning less than 60 percent of median income and costing less than 30 percent of residents’ household income.

Developer Roy Kim intends to build an adjacent six-story complex with 44 market-rate rental residential units along with retail and office space on the city-owned site bound by Southwest Lombard Avenue, First Street, Second Street and Chapman Avenue. The Neighborhood Health Center plans to consolidate two of its existing locations, including a clinic on Tualatin Valley Highway and administrative offices on Southwest 141st Avenue, into the new building’s second floor.

Construction on the development is expected to be complete by June 2016.

“This will improve the way people shop, live and work,” Kim told the council on July 16, when he provided an update on the project. “The project is a way to change the way people perceive having market-rate and affordable housing together. It will change the way investors view neighborhoods and investments in that area.”

Councilor Cate Arnold expressed her support for the project at Tuesday’s meeting.

“I’m all for this,” she said. “I was keeping my fingers crossed that this was going to happen.”

In other business, the Council:

  • Supported a property owner’s appeal to remove limitations on the number of vehicle trips to a drive-up bank window proposed for Waterhouse Commons at 16055 S.W. Regatta Lane. The city’s Planning Commission approved the window based on an existing condition that no more than 3,500 car trips can visit the property per day.
  • Approved hiring two new employees in the city building division to accommodate a recent uptick in building permit requests.
  • Hired Lease Crutcher Lewis as construction manager and general contractor in the project to relocate city government offices to the South Office Building at The Round at Beaverton Central.
  • Contract Publishing

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