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Community center bids are coming, plaza takes shape

Construction of a 12,000-square-foot plaza in Old Town is expected to be completed by the end of November with plans to have this year's holiday tree-lighting celebration on the bricks.

'The plaza's been under construction since June,' said Jeff Sackett, a principal with Capstone Partners LLC, developers of the Cannery Square project. '(It) will be done by Nov. 23.'

Already installed and visible at the plaza adjacent to Sherwood City Hall are two large vaults that are part of an interactive water fountain feature that Sackett guarantees will be 'a kid magnet.'

The plaza itself will be comprised mainly of standard-sized bricks with a reddish-hue.

Also, the red and black pavers prevalent in most of Old Town have been replaced with colored concrete as part of the new project, said Sackett.

'I think it works better,' he said.

Tom Nelson, the city's economic development director, said the city is excited about work on the new plaza.

Already completed is the renovation and extension of Columbia Street, east and west of Pine Street; the reconstruction of Pine Street and the creation of a new street, Highland Drive, which lines up with the existing Highland Drive; and half-street improvements at Willamette and Washington streets.

Meanwhile, work on the Sherwood Community Center in Old Town is moving forward as well.

A request for proposal to hire a general contractor has been submitted with plans to interview finalists during the first part of October with a selection planned soon afterward, said Sackett. Architects for the project, which would be located inside a refurbished machine shop, are Ankrom Moisan.

Nelson said the city has received 15 applications for a general contractor/construction manager with plans to interview four to six of those applicants. At the same time, Nelson said interest is building among retailers hoping to locate within the community center.

While he declined to list specific retailers, he said there's been such a large interest that Capstone is looking at the possibility that some of those interested businesses could spill out into the developers' other nearby retail ventures.

Plans are to completely gut the machine shop including digging out the concrete floor, which is structurally unsound and impregnated with grease. The machine shop business, Product Manufacturing, will be out of the structure by the end of November with demolition slated for the first part of December.

The community center will include a theater with a stage and telescopic (retractable) seating for 400 people.

'We probably won't start construction until February or March,' Sackett said of the center. A vote by the Sherwood Urban Renewal Agency approved construction of the Sherwood Community Center with a price tag that cannot exceed $2.5 million.

Nelson said he expects the community center to be up and running by this time next year.

Capstone also is working on plans for construction of three commercial buildings and two separate apartment complexes consisting of a total of 101 units. The commercial buildings will be substantially pre-leased or pre-sold before construction begins, said Sackett, who added that there is a strong interest in the new buildings by those in the market. The three commercial units could be a mix of retail, office or medical space.

'On the apartments, we're working on financing them now,' said Sackett. 'We hope to start on those next summer.'

The structures will be a mix of studios, lofts, and one- and two-story units.

Meanwhile, Businesses of Old Town Sherwood and Capstone are working on a branding program for Old Town and Cannery Square.