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Old Posted Jan 6, 2010, 3:08 PM
pdxtraveler pdxtraveler is offline
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Oregon City/Gladstone construction?

I know I may have just overlooked this, but, does anyone know what the large scale construction project is right off I-205 just before the 99-E exit at Oregon City? It is right about where the Clackamas and the Willamette meet.
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 1:34 AM
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I asked that question literally months ago & got no response.
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 2:00 AM
bvpcvm bvpcvm is offline
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seems like i read somewhere (this is very vague) that there was going to be some sort of retirement community/shopping center, which then got scaled back to just residential. does that sound right?
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Old Posted Jan 7, 2010, 5:00 PM
CouvScott CouvScott is offline
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I asked someone who lives down in this area, and they said it was a waste treatment plant, but it really doesn't make sense to me to build this with a 100' tower crane. If you zoom in on this area from Googleearth, you do see an existing water treatment plant (if I'm looking at the correct spot).
A mind that is expanded by a new idea can never return to it's original dimensions.
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2010, 5:06 PM
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Post Wilsonville | Fred Meyer Mixed Use | 4 floors


Their is a pretty cool video in the link as well. Pretty exciting project for Wilsonville.

$60M project breaks ground in Wilsonville

Posted on July 28, 2010 at 7:06 AM

WILSONVILLE, Ore. – Fred Meyer broke ground Tuesday on a new store that’s part of a mixed-use $60 million project in Wilsonville.

The project has been in the works for 20 years and will include a mix of retail, residential and office space when it officially opens next year.

It will also create hundreds of new jobs.

One of the future tenants is McMenamin’s, which will open up a new restaurant nest to a restored church.
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Old Posted Jul 29, 2010, 8:54 PM
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Shilo Rune 96 Shilo Rune 96 is offline
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Frey Meyer is bomb nowadays!
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Old Posted Mar 12, 2011, 2:46 AM
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Closure of Blue Heron site opens up 5 blocks for redevelopment @W.Falls in O.C.

Developers circle Blue Heron site

Premium content from Portland Business Journal - by Wendy Culverwell
Date: Friday, March 11, 2011, 3:00am PST

The shutdown of Oregon City’s 103-year-old Blue Heron paper mill puts 60 acres of property on the Willamette River in contention for redevelopment.

The mill, which closed last month, occupies 24 acres adjacent Willamette River Falls at the edge of downtown Oregon City. Blue Heron also owns a 36-acre “lagoon” property two miles upriver and an office and parking lot complex.

It will be years before Blue Heron’s two properties, including the mill and the lagoon site, are cleaned up and ready for redevelopment. The mill is contaminated by lead and asbestos.

Real estate brokers are undaunted.

“It takes very little imagination to think that couldn’t be a killer site for something better,” said Paul Breuer, a broker specializing in industrial reuse in the Portland office of Colliers International, a commercial real estate firm.

Breuer is one of many watching the company’s bankruptcy unfold with an eye toward future redevelopment.

Breuer declined to reveal his ideas for the plant, saying he didn’t want to tip off competitors. He expects there will be plenty.

“I can’t imagine with an asset of that magnitude that every brokerage house in town isn’t looking at it,” he said.

At full production, the Oregon City mill complex, at 419 Main St., produced up to 210,000 tons of newsprint and other recycled paper per year. Its customers included large and small newspapers on the West Coast.

In Oregon City, businesses see an opportunity to reclaim Willamette Falls, said Lloyd Purdy, executive director of Non-Profit Main Street Oregon City, a downtown business association. The mill occupies five full city blocks between First and Fifth streets.

“Everyone is anxious to see that develop,” he said.

The Oregon City mill property is zoned for general industrial use but in theory could be rezoned. Whatever happens with the property, the city wants it reserved for public access to the falls and river.

Dan Drentlaw, Oregon City’s director of community development, said the city is awaiting the outcome of the bankruptcy process. At a minimum, he said the site needs an environmental assessment to determine what if anything can safely operate in the future.
bankruptcy filed in 2009

The employee-owned company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2009. The mill’s leading creditor, Wells Fargo Bank N.A., petitioned U.S. Bankruptcy Court last month to liquidate the firm. Blue Heron shut down a few days later. About 175 workers lost their jobs.

In court documents, Wells Fargo says Blue Heron lost an additional $5 million after filing for bankruptcy while racking up approximately $7.8 million in court costs. Blue Heron missed a Feb. 15, 2011 deadline to pay its $107,049.08 property tax bill.

Wells Fargo’s liquidation request is on hold pending a March 22 hearing in Portland.

In the interim, Judge Randall Dunn ordered Blue Heron and Wells Fargo to negotiate over disposition of the assets. Those talks are ongoing, said Robert Vanden Bos, special counsel to Blue Heron on the case.

Wells Fargo declined to specify if it expects to take possession of the real estate that secures much of its $14.6 million debt, or if it would see it sold through the bankruptcy process.

“It’s too early to tell how the courts will settle this case. But we expect and hope to recoup 100 percent of our loan prior to any liquidation of the real estate,” said bank spokesman Tom Unger.

If the case proceeds into liquidation, Blue Heron’s assets, including its real estate, will be turned over to a federal receiver and sold.

A liquidation analysis valued Blue Heron assets at $26.3 million, with about $7 million associated with its mill property, office, parking lot and the upriver lagoon site, where it treats wastewater.

The analysis identified $20.5 million in secured debt. It did not identify assets that could be used to satisfy the unsecured creditors. The plan anticipates that John Davidson, a corporate turnaround expert and managing partner of the Inverness Group LLC, would oversee the liquidation. He declined to comment Wednesday.

Mark Childs, an industrial broker with Capacity Commercial Group, said rising energy costs, the difficulty of accessing the site and the residential development on neighboring hillsides make it a tough sell to manufacturers or paper makers.

In one promising sign, Blue Heron successfully shut down and sold another mill at the dawn of the current economic malaise. It closed its newsprint mill in Pomona, Calif., in October 2006 after a price war ravaged its earnings.

It sold the property in November 2007 to a development firm for $18.95 million. Seventh Street Development LLC said it would construct a 408,000-square-foot industrial complex at the site. The deal closed after Blue Heron abated environmental issues.

Fast facts

Oregon City has almost 32,000 residents. It is about 14 miles southeast of downtown Portland.

wculverwell@bizjournals.com | 503-219-3415

make paradise, tear up a parking lot
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Old Posted Mar 28, 2011, 4:26 PM
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Blue Heron mill out, development moves in
POSTED: Friday, March 25, 2011 at 03:13 PM PT
BY: Nick Bjork
Daily Journal of Commerce

When officials at the Blue Heron mill announced late last month that it would cease operating immediately, Oregon City lost a tax-generating business and 175 employees lost family-wage jobs.

But when one door closes, another can open.

Local developer Fred Bruning knew Blue Heron Paper Co. had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and that the mill’s future was uncertain. He has since offered $20 million for two parcels - a total of 63 acres - owned by the company. Bruning’s development plan would be to transform the swath of land along the Willamette River into the area’s next big destination, with retail, office and urban living spaces.

“I had an idea of what was going to happen so I approached management at the mill recently and gave them an initial offer. I wanted them to know I was interested,” said Bruning, whose development company, CenterCal Properties, has been responsible for such metro-area projects as Bridgeport Village in Tigard, Cascade Station in East Portland and Gresham Station.

Each of the Blue Heron parcels is in a different city: a 23-acre site sits next to Willamette Falls in Oregon City, and a 40-acre site is on the west side of the Willamette River in West Linn. Both sites were used for paper production for more than 100 years, so environmental issues could arise.

Last week, in the initial bankruptcy hearing, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Randall L. Dunn noted that $20 million would cover the $14 million that Blue Heron owes its creditors - and then some. Wells Fargo is the company’s largest creditor.

But Bruning acknowledged that there are many issues that could change the price and the timing of the purchase. One is the possible existence of pollutants requiring environmental cleanup, which often multiplies the cost of development. The mill itself has lead and asbestos, but a formal site assessment hasn’t been conducted. The Environmental Protection Agency already ruled out the possibility of the property becoming a federal superfund site.

Bruning said that if the company and creditors were willing to sign some sort of a letter of intent to purchase, he would be willing to conduct the phase two environmental assessment. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality will conduct its own analysis of the site in the coming months.

“We don’t really know what’s there, but we also know that this is a unique opportunity,” Bruning said. “We want to sit down with the bank and the company … and work out a fair process to move forward.”

Bruning’s plan calls for turning the West Linn parcel into a residential area surrounded by mixed-use commercial space. He is even more excited about his vision for the Oregon City site.

“I envision it looking something like the Old Mill District in Bend, except less of a focus of retail,” he said.

A hotel and entertainment complex would be surrounded by retail and office buildings. Bruning also expressed desire to create public access to the waterfall’s base, which has not existed for more than a century.

Another one of Bruning’s projects in Oregon City, a 650,000-square-foot mall called the Rivers being built on a former landfill site, drew heated public opposition because urban renewal money was used. However, this possible new project likely wouldn’t cause a similar stir because only a sliver of the property is included in the current URA boundaries, and including it in the URA project list would require a major amendment and trigger a city vote, said David Frasher, the city manager for Oregon City. That is unlikely, he added.

“I had an upbeat conversation with Fred (Bruning) about this the other day and we both had similar ideas about how to maximize the potential for this project,” Frasher said. “Considering a zoning change will be necessary, and a master plan will be required, the city will work closely with whoever the property owner is.”

Bruning added that he is planning to go forward with both projects and that he intends to engage the public early in the development process.

Frasher said that city officials support the plan, and hope it can help accomplish several city goals. He is hopeful for job creation as well as elimination of some of the pollutants in the air and the water.

“For over 100 years we’ve accepted certain levels of pollutants in exchange for the economic benefits of the mill,” he said. “We are going to be interested in seeing a reduction if this goes forward.”

make paradise, tear up a parking lot
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Old Posted Apr 19, 2011, 10:22 PM
davehogan davehogan is offline
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Anyone know if the planned development is just another bunch of tiny two floor houses like every other suburb seems to build, or would there be a chance of this being a bit more of a "real" downtown area? Anyone know what FAR/height limits Oregon City has for their downtown?
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Old Posted Mar 13, 2012, 3:44 PM
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Damascus voters make big decision in how to craft city’s comprehensive plan
POSTED: Monday, March 12, 2012 at 03:33 PM PT
Daily Journal of Commerce BY: Lee Fehrenbacher

City governance can be a thankless job – especially when land-use laws are involved.

“We’re not evil people like all the articles say,” said Diana Helm, president of Damascus City Council and owner of Terra Casa Home Decor on Oregon Route 212. “We’re just citizen volunteers. We’re giving our time to the city to try to put together a comprehensive plan to make the bulk of the people happy … and at this point it’s just impossible. It’s impossible. I’ve never in my life felt hopeless, and I feel hopeless about Damascus and where we’re headed.”

Damascus, incorporated as a city in 2006, is required by state law to adopt a comprehensive plan. But six years later, the city is still at square one, and Damascus voters rejected a proposed comprehensive plan its counselors adopted in November 2010, by a two-to-one margin.

On Tuesday, residents will vote on Measure 3-389, which would require any new city ordinance or plan adopted by the council to be accompanied by a financial impact report and be subject to a public vote before the council could submit it to Metro or the state.

Helm believes the measure – generally expected to pass – is vague to a fault and could clog the system with futile processes.

“I think (some people) think if they vote it down then we don’t have to have a comprehensive plan,” she said. “But that’s not true. We’re required by the state to have one, and if we don’t do it, then one very well could be put on us by the state and it might not be the one we’ve been working on.”

But Dan Phegley, chief petitioner for the measure and leader of a group called Ask Damascus, sees it differently. Phegley said he thinks the planning process has been exclusive and covert, giving rise to his battle cry, “They didn’t ask us in Damascus.”

“What we’re really up against is Metro and their forced land-use planning,” Phegley said. “Metro is a regional government that has been sending out disciples all over the world, but they’ve never gotten anyone to copy it and so they’re a big believer in spending money, and light rail is their religion.”

Some background

The city of Damascus recently conducted a phone survey to find out why people voted against the proposed comprehensive plan. Helm said the results weren’t too surprising.

Some people, she said, were concerned about conservation, and others worried about preservation of property rights. But many people just didn’t want growth.

“Most of the people moved here to get out of the city, to live in a rural community and not grow up,” Helm said. “Being in the urban growth boundary has been a big pill for people to swallow.”

That pill came in December 2002, when Metro expanded its UGB to include Damascus.

Robin McArthur, Metro’s planning and development director, said that expansion was the result of an urban growth report that Metro conducts every five years to identify the need for housing and jobs on a 20-year horizon.

In 2000, the population in the seven-county statistical area was 1.9 million people with approximately 973,000 jobs, according to Metro’s 2009-2030 Urban Growth Report. Metro estimates there is a 90 percent chance that by 2030 the population will grow to between 2.9 million and 3.2 million people, with between 1.3 million and 1.7 million jobs.

McArthur said Metro chose Damascus for the UGB expansion because, at the time, the state’s primary focus was on preserving farmland and forestland. However, Damascus, she said, has a lot of “exception lands” – open land not primed for farming.

State laws have since changed to protect more exception lands through urban and rural reserves for the benefit of businesses like wineries, vineyards and nurseries – often the first to go in a UGB expansion, McArthur said.

“So we changed state law and … if the new urban and rural reserve work had been in place, we may or may not have brought in Damascus,” she said. “But that’s water under the bridge.”

The controversy continues

Meanwhile, Damascus is struggling to comply with state requirements; the city’s incorporation in 2006 was arguably the first attempt by citizens to control the process. But with that move came a controversial price tag for the cost to provide infrastructure for development – $3.5 billion. That estimate motivated Phegley.

“They later did a study on the sewer and water supply, and that was between $2 billion and $8 billion,” he said. “That’s a heck of a spread and when you’re talking about a town of 12,000 people. We’re talking $300,000 per household, well over.”

John Morgan, Damascus’ community development director – the man tasked with forging a path forward for the city’s comprehensive planning process – said that interpretation of the costs for infrastructure is, “frankly, ludicrous.”

Morgan said the original estimate for infrastructure – i.e., sewer treatment, water treatment, a major sewer trunk line and extensions to new development – was $3.5 billion spread out over 50 years. He said most of that money would come from system development charges placed on developers, with some community block grants and/or bond measures picking up a small remainder of the balance.

“So the thought that the $3.5 billion is going to be paid for by the existing residents of Damascus is just completely out of the ballpark from how this stuff works,” Morgan said.

Meanwhile, Peter Walker, a University of Oregon professor and the author of the book “Planning Paradise – Politics and Visioning of Land Use in Oregon,” said the story of Damascus is indicative of a greater problem stewing in Oregon.

“(Damascus is) a symptom of a bigger problem of the state land-use planning system, which is that in many ways it’s really sort of lost touch with ordinary people and local communities, and needs to take seriously the concerns of local people, and actively engage in a bilateral and substantive process of political negotiation with communities,” Walker said. “Rather than saying, ‘By the power of fiat, this community will now become part of the city.’ ”

Instead of asking Damascus residents if they wanted to be included in the UGB, Walker said Metro started the conversation by saying, “ ‘This is going to happen. Can we work with you to try and make it happen in a way that you can live with it?’ ”

Moving forward

The answer, at least so far, has been a resounding “no.” But Morgan said he has a plan.

“It makes more sense to me to create a plan that revolves around the core values (of Damascus) in how it’s written and formatted, rather than the statewide planning goals,” he said.

Morgan said the original plan, the one rejected last May, took the exact opposite approach. Rather than centering around the legacy the city hopes to establish for itself, Morgan said the city previously made the state’s 14 land-use goals the top priority.

McArthur said she understands that some people are dissatisfied with Metro’s decision to bring Damascus into the UGB. But she added that the process also involves an extensive period of research and public hearings.

“I think the idea behind the comprehensive plan is for the community to manifest its own destiny, and Damascus has that opportunity as well,” she said.

Morgan said decisions will be reviewed to assess whether they align with citizens’ hopes. And by traveling that path, he said, meeting the state’s requirements should be a breeze.

Phegley is skeptical. He believes a comprehensive plan is not representative of the will of the people and that Measure 3-389 will bring accountability to local government.

Morgan, hoping to get buy-in from the citizens, doesn’t think the measure will hinder the process one bit.

Whatever happens, the winds of change are coming.

“The community is going to urbanize,” Morgan said. “That is a fundamental fact of change that is real. There is an extreme transformation that is going to occur over the next 40 to 50 years, and since that change is going to happen, how do we make that acceptable and desirable for the vast majority of the citizens of Damascus?

“That’s a challenge, and it’s a big one.”

make paradise, tear up a parking lot
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Old Posted Mar 13, 2012, 7:20 PM
zilfondel zilfondel is offline
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Thats funny. Its not Metro that requires UGB plans, its the State. Big fail with these guys. It will be even more funny when 1000 Friends of Oregon sues their pants off.

Its kind of a strange area, however. My wife and I visited Happy Valley off Sunnyside this past weekend and it really reminds me of Seattle-area sprawl and how abruptly the urban area just kind of peters out into trees. A little bit like Tigard or Wilsonville, but with hills.

Damascus is even further out and arguably shouldn't have been brought into the UGB - it will be decades or longer before there is infrastructure money to improve it, and it is so far out in Clackamas County the big question is "why?"

The area should have been a rural preserve/green belt isntead (just look to the North on Google Maps).

Just sayin'
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Old Posted Mar 13, 2012, 8:01 PM
eric cantona eric cantona is offline
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Get off my lawn!
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Old Posted Mar 14, 2012, 10:01 PM
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The greenbelt preserve description sounds appealing. I imagine a large natural reserve with light park features (hiking trails, other areas for bicycling and swimming). A place for people to interact with nature, but without the hyper infrastructure of a city park (i.e., Forest Park). By Pacific Northwest standards, Seattle rules the sprawl universe. When driving to the Cascades, toward Snoqualmie Pass, it's always a trip to see 468th Avenue as the offspring of 1st Avenue. Because of all the hills, you can see the sprawl from the central city. And then there's exurban areas in Pierce County, like Bonney Lake, that seem to push up against Mt. Rainier National Park's borders. What a sad irony it is to be so disruptively close to nature.
mountains water ciTy water mountains

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Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 6:17 AM
RED_PDXer RED_PDXer is offline
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The state needs to just allow the City of Portland to annex the Damascus area. These crazies obviously can't self-govern. There have been so many pubic involvement meetings and opportunities to date that these accusations of exclusion are beyond ludicrous. I doubt the City of Portland would want this mess of a place, but at least something would get done. Who knows how many millions have been spent attempting to govern this place with no results.
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Old Posted Mar 16, 2012, 7:24 AM
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why burden portland with all those hillbillies? leave 'em to clackamas county!
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Old Posted Mar 20, 2012, 3:00 PM
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wow.. Nice to see any density getting packed into the suburbs.
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Old Posted Apr 28, 2012, 1:32 AM
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i hope they build buildings there that look good with the rest of the buildings

on the top of the hill they should build more buildings
around here

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Old Posted Jul 11, 2012, 7:09 PM
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some more stuff happening in oc

theres just one more piece of land they need to purchase

Metro bought another 29.6 acres of Canemah Bluff land and is close to linking two large parcels it owns south of Oregon City.

The agency paid $560,000 for the forest land along Oregon 99E. It is adjacent to a 160-acre parcel Metro bought last year.

Metro owns a 120 acres to the north. The two sites are separated by a 22 acres that is in private ownership. A Metro spokeswoman would not say whether the agency is now negotiating on the property.
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Old Posted Jul 21, 2012, 2:58 AM
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New home construction starts to revive in Oregon City

There are signs that new home construction is starting to revive in Oregon City.

John Jones Construction is planning a 30-lot subdivision on South Maplelane Road near its intersection with South Holly Lane. Homes would be built on 3,500-square-foot lots.

The 4.4-acre site is adjacent to the company's 81-lot Crabtree Terrace subdivision, which was completed in 2009.

The Oregon City Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the subdivision application on Monday at City Hall, 625 Center St. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.
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Old Posted Jul 21, 2012, 5:27 PM
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Rural conservatives and liberal urbanites can both agree that a smaller UGB is good for growth management for different and similar reasons... would anyone oppose this plan?

Damascus considers partial withdrawal from urban growth boundary
Published: Friday, July 13, 2012 By Emily Fuggetta, The Oregonian

DAMASCUS — Nearly a decade after Metro brought then-unincorporated Damascus into its urban growth boundary, residents may vote this December on whether they want all of the city to remain therein.

In light of new a recent Metro population forecast that predicts the city's 2035 population at about 30,000 — about 8,000 fewer than previously estimated — the Damascus City Council has begun to consider asking to remove a large eastern portion of the city from the boundary.

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