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City Council advances North Anchor proposal

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Sturgeon Development Partners provided the city with conceptual renderings of its proposed plan for North Anchor.There’s a plan in the works for the city’s North Anchor property.

The Lake Oswego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to negotiate a development agreement with Sturgeon Development Partners, who responded to the city’s request for proposals last summer with a development concept that would include a mixed-use, 60-unit residential building across the street from a four-story boutique hotel.

Redevelopment Director Brant Williams admitted the city had only received one proposal, but he said the city “felt very positive” about SDP’s ideas.

Williams reminded the council that the RFP called for concepts, rather than finalized plans, and that the city would continue working with SDP and the community to refine the design. The development is estimated to cost $31.2 million, not including the land acquisition from the city. The group’s proposal references a commitment to the communities it operates in.

“As the scale of a project increases, so does the need to develop relationships with neighborhood stakeholders and the various governmental agencies responsible for administering public policy,” SDP’s North Anchor proposal says.

Previous projects for this

group include Fox Tower and

Park Avenue West in downtown Portland. SDP is a partnership of real estate professionals Vanessa Sturgeon, Nick Fritel, and Robert Pile. The group also is partnering with Bob Thompson of TVA Architects and Bart Ricketts of Lease Crutcher Lewis Construction.

Sturgeon and Ricketts are Lake Oswego residents, “which will provide unparalleled motivation to help create something everyone involved can be proud of,” the proposal says.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - The North Anchor development will be between State and Second streets on B Avenue.In January, the city held a community forum to get direction on best uses for the North Anchor property. From that, the city concluded that there was significant community interest in including housing, public meeting spaces, small-scale retail and hotel uses in the for the First Street/North Anchor Project.

“We took a very hard look at the community feedback that was put together in the RFP,” said Sturgeon, majority owner of SPD. “It gave us a lot of direction and a freedom to be creative. We think we struck a good balance.”

She described the hotel as “smallish,” with 90 rooms.

“That’s about as low as most hoteliers will go,” she said.

Councilor Jackie Manz asked if the apartments might instead be developed as condominiums. Sturgeon said the idea would be “on the table” if development moved forward, but she detailed the difficulties in building residential units to condominium standards.

“The issue with condos in this area is that water intrusion is almost a guarantee, so insurance is so grossly expensive for condo development that it makes it very hard to do on a smaller scale like this,” she said. “We expect insurance to be astronomical.”

Sturgeon said that the design for the project includes underground parking, which comes at extra cost but which is more feasible due to the site’s grade. Asked if this would include public parking, she said the idea was “definitely not off the table.”

“You have to have public parking to support retail, which is why we’ve made the investment to put it underground,” she said.

The proposed parking ratio is 1.5 spaces per residential unit.

For more information about the proposal, and to view

project renderings, visit bit.ly/1GweYRu.