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City, Bean Foundation decide on eastside developer


   If all went as expected at the Tuesday night meeting of the Madras City Council, the Madras Land Development Company was selected as the master developer for 820 acres on the east side of Madras.
   The MLDC was one of two developers that made presentations to representatives of the city of Madras and Bean Foundation last Friday.
   "In the long run, we felt that Madras Land Development represents the best opportunity for the community, the city, and the foundation," said George Neilson, who was on the selection committee for the Bean Foundation. "We believe this presents an opportunity to benefit all the citizens of the community."
   The city, which owns 620 acres, and the Bean Foundation, which owns 200 acres -- all to the south and east of Jefferson County Middle School -- entered into an agreement Oct. 26, 2004, to find a developer for a planned community on their combined acreage.
   Following a nationwide search for master planners, the city and Bean Foundation received qualification packets from six developers. From that set of six, the partners narrowed the search to MLDC and Costa Pacific Communities of Wilsonville.
   On Friday, the two developers each had two and a half hours to sell their plans and qualifications to teams from the city and the Bean Foundation.
   Representing the city were Mayor Rick Allen and councilors Marc Heckathorn and Royce Embanks; City Administrator Mike Morgan; and Community Development Department Director Carol Parker. Dave Leland of Leland Consulting Group of Portland served as consultant for the city.
   "There was a lot of competition," said Allen. "All of the groups were good."
   Nevertheless, the selection panel felt that the local group stood out. "What I liked about them was they have a track record of quality, good projects throughout Oregon and Washington. It's a great team they put together," said Allen.
   Bean Foundation board members on the team included Neilson, Carol Petersen, Diane Ramsey, and Phil Riley, with consultant Stephen Greer of Stephen Greer and Associates of Bend.
   After MLDC and Costa Pacific Communities presented their plans, Neilson said that the Bean Foundation board met to make its selection.
   "We had all our board members there, except Lou Bean," said Neilson. "It's fair to say that each member was impressed with the presentations of both groups."
   MLDC comprises three firms: Taylor Northwest of Madras, Brooks Resources Corp. of Bend, and Eagle Crest Inc. of Redmond. Todd Taylor, president of Hap Taylor and Sons, is manager of the consortium.
   Even before the selection process, Taylor was at work on a local presence. Last July, he purchased two lots at the new Jefferson Park Business Center, on Cherry Lane, to build four commercial rentals for Taylor Northwest.
   Planning for MLDC will be provided by Walker Macy of Portland, which is already involved in the Madras urban renewal process. Doug Macy, a partner in the firm, grew up in Madras, and still owns a home here.
   In Oregon, Walker Macy provided planning and design services for numerous communities, including Hillsboro's Orenco Station, Wilsonville's Villebois, Bend's NorthWest Crossing, and Tualatin Commons.
   Taylor also worked on the 225-home NorthWest Crossing community in Bend, a Brooks Resources project.
   Other Brooks Resources projects include Black Butte Ranch, Mt. Bachelor Village Resort, Awbrey Butte, Awbrey Glen, Awbrey Park, and Awbrey Village.
   In addition to Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond, Eagle Crest developed or is in the process of developing the Running Y Ranch and Harbor Isles, both in Klamath Falls, Brasada Ranch in Powell Butte, and Silver Mountain Community in Kellogg, Idaho.
   The master-planned community on Madras' east side is expected to have about 1,700 homes, ranging from multi-family, affordable units, to expensive, customized homes on one or more acres. A golf course, parks, trails, and a small commercial area will also be features of the community.
   The city originally purchased its property for $1.3 million in 2002, in order to have property for dispersal of the city's treated effluent. The money was part of a $2.7 million payment from the Oregon Department of Corrections, which was sharing in the cost of building the city's South Wastewater Treatment Facility. The plant, located on Grizzly Road, was built in preparation for the coming of a 2,104-bed minimum- and medium-security prison facility in Madras.
   The community is expected to unfold over the next 10 to 15 years, said Allen, so it was important to select a developer that will work well with the community.
   "These are long-term relationships," said Allen, noting that mayors and city officials will come and go while the eastside development is being built. "You need to make sure that you have a group that you feel good about."
   If the Madras City Council accepted the teams' recommendation of the MLDC on Tuesday night -- after The Pioneer's deadline -- the next step will be the negotiation of a memorandum of understanding among all parties.
   Development, purchase, and sale agreements will follow.
   "We hope to have houses and roads under construction about a year from now, and houses for sale 18 months to two years from now," said Allen.