Developer renames future 360-unit housing project '45 Central'

Encouraging news about the economy this summer is about as common as ice cream in the desert, but the signs of life at the vacant northeast corner of Murray Boulevard and Jenkins Road are no mirage.

Site preparations are now under way for a mixed-use housing and commercial development at the onetime mobile home park across from the Nike World Headquarters.

Construction on five model homes and a clubhouse - the project's first phase - could start as early as September, said Don Mazziotti, the city of Beaverton's community development director.

Formerly known as Murray Village, the 26-acre development, newly renamed 45 Central, will contain about 360 multi- and single-family housing units. Plans also call for a community center, about 40,000 square feet of retail space and 80,000 square feet of hotel and/or office space.

Mazziotti said representatives with Beaverton-based Metropolitan Land Group, the project's developer, have recently expressed enthusiasm about the site's prospects.

'They're well under way. They want to start the first five model homes and the clubhouse within the next 30 days,' he said. 'Depending on the market, which they believe is strong, they would start the remaining homes in the next six months, for the remaining 320 units.'

John O'Neil, vice president of Metropolitan Land Group, confirmed initial construction is expected to start in the 'next 30 to 60 days,' but said he wasn't ready to announce all the project's details.

'Everything is moving forward as planned,' he said. 'This fall, people will see vertical construction.'

When the project was announced late last year, O'Neil described Murray Village as a model of modern mixed-use development possibilities.

'Murray Village will incorporate the best retail and housing design elements in a pedestrian-friendly setting,' he said last December. 'This project will have a positive impact for nearby communities and create new housing opportunities close to jobs and major businesses.'

Based on the calls and emails Mazziotti has received in recent months from commercial developers, there is reason to be optimistic about the project's prospects.

'I've received multiple inquiries from hoteliers expressing interest in the site,' he said, 'and I've directed them to the broker there.'

Mazziotti praised the innovative, space-saving design of the single-family homes - and amenities including a clubhouse and central commons area - as being in line with the city's goals of sustainability and encouraging residents to live near where they work and shop.

'I expect it to be the model for the future,' Mazziotti said. 'It uses less material and produces the same number of spaces of a single-family home. It's close to shopping and is very walkable, which is what we believe people want.'

Despite a sluggish economic recovery and shaky housing market, Mazziotti said 45 Central's prime location and innovative plans ultimately bode well for its success.

'It really doesn't surprise me,' he said, referring to Metropolitan Land Group's ambitious plans. 'This development is located next to arguably one of the greatest neighbors in the region, that being the Nike campus and company.

'I would anticipate that many Nike families would be interested in this community that's being created.'

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