As debate continues to rage on future large-scale development in the rural Stafford area, one facility isn't waiting for the dust to settle.
Fieldhouse Athletics LLC is set to construct a new 95,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility on about seven acres at 19995 S.W. Stafford Road, on a property that sits adjacent to the Wankers Country Store at the intersection of Stafford and Borland Roads. The project, estimated at between $12 and $15 million, was conditionally approved by Clackamas County in June 2016 and Fieldhouse Athletics is now in the process of obtaining final building permits from the county.
"The project is definitely a go — it's looking really good," said Fieldhouse Athletics Director of Marketing Kyle Chrisman.
The facility will have two floors and is intended to provide a full range of services for families throughout the community.
"Imagine a full-size soccer field full of amenities with a mezzanine, a bar area, a restaurant — really a one-stop shop for the whole family," Chrisman said. "It will (focus on) soccer, lacrosse, some fitness training and 'Little Kickers,' which is a youth soccer program. … Soccer and lacrosse are the two big things."
While the facility will be available for rental, such occasions will likely be rare according to Chrisman. Instead, Fieldhouse Athletics hopes to attract people with its own programming — which will include soccer and lacrosse leagues as well as training classes.
"We've got some support from the Portland Timbers," Chrisman said. "They're not backers, by any means, but they are involved with the project. We are working with them."
While the centerpiece of the facility will be a full-size field with seating around it, there will also be a play area with a climbing apparatus for kids who aren't on the field. The upstairs will be a bar and restaurant with a viewing area and other food vendors.
"We're looking at creating something very unique, where families can come even with only one child on the field," Chrisman said. "It's not like a drop-and-run type of thing."
According to Chrisman, Fieldhouse Athletics CEO Marty Limbird has long envisioned such a development in the Portland area and found the property owner to be amenable when he inquired about the land.
"They thought it would be a good development for the community — something like this versus a WalMart or something," Chrisman said.
The project saw some pushback during the conditional use permit application process at the county, as opponents — including the City of Tualatin — argued that the facility might cause traffic problems and adversely affect the surrounding residential area. Yet Clackamas County Hearings Officer Fred Wilson was unconvinced.
"I do not see that the increased traffic would so alter the character of the surrounding area that residential uses would be substantially limited, impaired or precluded," Wilson wrote. "The surrounding area already has relatively high levels of consistent traffic, so the proposed facility would not substantially alter the characteristics of traffic in the area — it would only go from busy to slightly more busy."
Chrisman, for his part, added that rumors about the facility affecting the Wanker's Saloon are false.
"The bar is staying," he said. "No one is getting booted off the property."
Construction is expected to take about a year-and-a-half and Chrisman said the hope is for the facility to open in the fall of 2018. The goal is to begin construction in June or July of this year.
By Patrick Malee
Assistant Editor, West Linn Tidings
Pamplin Media Group
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