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|Articles - December 2011|
|Tuesday, November 15, 2011|
By Peter Beland
Despite a housing market that is still depressed, one housing development in Bend — one of the hardest-hit cities in the housing-led recession — seems to be bouncing back. As of October, 21% (about 59) of all 2011 single-family new home construction permits in the city were issued for Northwest Crossing, according to city data, the most for any single development for single-family homes.
The 486-acre mixed-use development currently has around 600 housing units built, roughly half its capacity. It has seen continuous growth in the past three years, according to the company.
Between 2000 and 2010, Deschutes County had among the highest population growth rates in the country at 36.7%. But it also saw a 78.6% increase in vacant homes in that same time period. During the recession, home values were cut in half and unemployment was well over 16%. “I haven’t seen a subdivision application in years,” says Bend senior planner Heidi Kennedy.
The 10-year-old Northwest Crossing bucks that downward trend with its appeal to high-end consumers and an emphasis on sustainable, urban living. The median home price at Northwest Crossing is $372,000 versus Bend’s Q3 2009 median home price of $212,000.
With more than a mile and a half of tree-lined trails that interconnect with businesses located on the first floors of sustainably built homes, to light industrial parks next to greenways, the development has attracted consumers from across the country looking for a place in which to live, work and play. Northwest Crossing general manager David Ford said he and his colleagues spent years consulting with mixed-use designers such as Portland-based Walker Macy before settling on the final layout for the community.
A decade ago, Bend did not even have a zoning code for what property developer West Bend Property Co. had in mind: high-density and mixed-use. “It has a diversity of design you don’t see in other subdivisions,” says Kennedy.
A small fraction of Northwest Crossing is low-income housing. To date, the development includes Discovery Park Lodge senior affordable housing project as well as three low-income housing units, with another on the way.
Bend’s beauty attracted many homeowners in the past and still does in the case of Northwest Crossing, even as the region continues to struggle. “I think we’ll continue to see people working on remodels and additions,” says Kennedy. “But it’s spread out and not as frenzied. That’ll be our future for a while.”
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Our 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE | OB BLOGGER
An economic study of emergency room utilization in Oregon set off a thundering media stampede earlier this month. I was struck by the cut-and-paste sameness of much of the reporting and how awfully little it had to say about the untreated wound that is causing all the pain: the hole in our healthcare system where a robust primary care infrastructure should be.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
As construction resumes on the Park Avenue West Tower, a friendship between a Portland architect and a lawyer comes full circle.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
BY ERIC FRUITS | OB BLOGGER
Oregon’s minimum wage workers rang in the New Year with a raise. At $9.10 an hour, the state now has the second highest minimum wage in the country.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
I’m thrilled that Portland’s restaurants are thriving. But who are these people who can afford to dine out several nights a week? They can’t all work for Adidas, Intel, or Nike—or some new tech start-up or innovation consultancy firm.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY | OB BLOGGER
As retailers consolidate and newspapers fold, the business of modeling shifts to ad agencies, apparel companies and new media.
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