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Wizer Block will generate one million job hours

Nearly one million job hours will be generated by the Wizer Block development now underway in downtown Lake Oswego, project officials said last week, and all of it is being funded by investments from workers’ own pension plans.

Workers, stakeholders, project leaders and elected officials gathered March 8 in Millennium Plaza Park for a status update on the 290,000-square-foot project, which will include 200 apartments and roughly 43,000 square feet of commercial space when it is completed in late 2017.

Construction is being financed by Multi-Employer Property Trust, whose institutional investors include 10 pension plans in the Northwest. MEPT requires that all contractors working on its properties be covered by collective bargaining agreements with trade unions.

Speakers at last week’s gathering included Bentall Kennedy CEO Amy Price and Vice President Robert Gronda, PHK Development President Patrick Kessi and state Rep. Ann Lininger. Also in attendance: County Commissioner Martha Schrader, Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker and City Councilors Skip O’Neill, Charles Collins and Jeff Gudman.

“I am so excited to be at this event,” Lininger said, “because there was a time when not everyone recognized how good this will be for the city. And what do we have today? A $100 million project with 100-percent union investment.”

Bentall Kennedy Vice President Kit Tangen told The Review that the conference was planned as a way for workers to get some face-to-face time with the investors and partners that made the project possible.

“We had a groundbreaking,” he said, “but this is more of a ceremony about the things that are occurring. The project is in motion.”

LO reservoir roof to be replaced in the fall

The Lake Oswego-Tigard Water Partnership plans to replace the roof of its Waluga Reservoir 1 (WR1) later this year after an inspection found defects in the roof and supporting columns.

The facility, which was built in the early 1980s, is one of two City reservoirs located on Carmen Drive near Kruse Way. Its counterpart, Waluga Reservoir 2 (WR2), was placed into service last year.

Once the new reservoir became operational, the City was able to drain WR1 and conduct a structural inspection. It revealed that the floor and walls of the reservoir are in “excellent” condition, but that the roof needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

Design and land use permitting already is underway. City officials expect to finish designing the new roof and hire a contractor by the end of the summer; construction will start in the fall and last about six months.

“Once the roof is replaced,” the Partnership says, “WR1 is expected to provide safe, reliable water storage for at least 50 years.”

— The Review