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Beaverton City Council moves on First and Angel project

Rembold Properties to start work on residential-retail complex in 2015


by: SUBMITTED ART - Here is an artist rendering of what the development will look like.Property the city of Beaverton owns at Southwest First Street and Angel Avenue has been little more than a vacant expanse of dirt, grass and a cluster of trees for some time now, but City Council’s green light to develop the property will soon transform the half block into a mixture of housing units and ground-floor retail space.

The council at its Tuesday night meeting approved a plan to move forward with Rembold Properties’ proposal to develop the .9-acre property into a 3.5-story single building of up to 80,000 square feet. The city has negotiated a selling price of $780,000 for the land, the property’s appraised value determined by Integra Realty Resources.

Portland-based Rembold’s plans call for approximately 85 housing units with about 2,400 square feet of ground-floor commercial space. Covered parking will be located on the ground floor, and amenities will include a fitness facility, event room and a rooftop deck.

If all goes as planned, construction on the estimated $21.4 million project is likely to start by spring 2015 and conclude by June 2017, according to city planning officials.

Wayne Rembold, president of Rembold Properties for 30 years, told the council he looks forward to moving the long-discussed project into the realm of reality.

“We’re here because we think this can be a lively residential, mixed-use community,” he said. “We’re looking forward to it and hope we can get more (city) blocks done.”

Rembold emphasized the project as playing a catalytic role in revitalizing a sleepy section of the central city.

“It’s an area that needs kickstarting,” he said, noting the first (collaborative) project is always hard to get off the ground. “I’m confident we have the right mix, with a plan and pricing that the community will embrace.”

After receiving four developer proposals in early 2013, city officials chose to focus on Rembold Properties’ proposal. Mayor Denny Doyle signed a memorandum of understanding with the developer earlier this year for a project concept for the city-owned site. The memorandum allowed Rembold and the city to investigate the possibility of developing the current property into a mixed-use project with market-rate housing, commercial space and parking.

Rembold’s proposal fits with the city’s Civic Plan and Visioning concepts, which embrace establishing central city housing and redevelopment, removing development barriers and providing redevelopment incentives, noted Cheryl Twete, the city’s new economic development director.

“Twenty-five years ago, the city began to acquire this property,” she said. “It’s taken some time. The project is completely consistent with the city’s vision. We view it as a total home run for our downtown plan.”

Kali Bader, vice president of Rembold Properties and project manager for the First and Angel project, said the building will begin to address the city’s need for new and additional housing options.

“It’s meeting a demand that’s somewhat unmet,” she said after the council meeting. “There is a lot of older-stock housing in the market, but not a lot of new housing being produced.”

Two comparable projects are taking shape nearby at the corner of First Street and Lombard Avenue, with Community Partners for Affordable Housing planning a four-story, 47,950-square-foot complex with 47 affordable-housing units geared toward incomes at or below 60 percent of the area’s median. On the same chunk of property, Roy Kim Development plans to construct “Lombard Plaza,” a five-story, 40,350-square-foot building with 44 workforce housing units priced at market-rate value, along with ground-floor retail space.

The two structures will share a pedestrian plaza and adjacent transit stop.

Councilor Betty Bode praised the Rembold team for working out a sensible parking arrangement for the First and Angel site.

“By making a realistic number of units, it takes pressure off the parking so we don’t have to have this conversation that ‘If I go down there, I can’t park my car anyplace,’” she said. “I appreciate that sensitivity in development.”

Doyle also praised Rembold and offered assistance in working with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to acquire grant funding.

“This piece of ground has haunted me for many years,” he said. “We’ve looked at what you’ve done for the region, and it’s fantastic. I can’t wait for the groundbreaking, and we’ll do our darndest to help you develop your other blocks.”



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