LORA board approves North Anchor sale
City Councilors acting as the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency board approved a preliminary design contract Tuesday for a new City Hall and approved a sale-and-development agreement for the North Anchor project.
The City Hall contract was awarded to the Howard S. Wright firm using the construction manager/general contractor method, which brings the construction contractor on board early in the project's development in order to give them more input in the design process and settle on a guaranteed maximum price for the project before work begins.
Design work for the building up to this point has been performed by the Portland architecture firm Mackenzie. City staff will now work with both companies to develop a more detailed cost estimate for the project.
Deputy City Manager Jordan Wheeler told the council that the City received three bids for the project, and that Howard S. Wright was selected as the bid that best fit the City's criteria. The final cost estimate is expected to be presented to the LORA board for approval in February, he said.
The North Anchor portion of the meeting was a public hearing, during which City Manager Scott Lazenby presented the proposed agreement with Sturgeon Development Partners (SDP).
"This is a major step in this process," Lazenby said. "The North Anchor project has been envisioned as part of the East End Redevelopment District for many years."
The City has spent several years acquiring multiple property parcels on the northwest corner of B Avenue and State Street that extend west for a block and a half. The parcels are being sold as a single unit for $2.86 million to SDP, which will then develop the project. LORA will also pay $1.43 million of the project's development fees.
"In return," Lazenby said, "we get 50 spaces of public parking and elements of the project (that the City sought): a sky bridge over First Street and the hotels and plaza that are the whole intent of urban renewal."
The City will also collect more than $1 million in property taxes from the redeveloped property, Lazenby added, although he noted that the revenue would go to the redevelopment district during the initial years.
The council unanimously voted to approve the agreement, although Councilor Joe Buck said he regretted that the City had not added affordable housing to its list of requested features when it was originally soliciting bids for the project.
"I think the one public benefit we're missing is the opportunity to provide affordable housing on the site," he said, "but I think we have a good project otherwise."
The project will still need to successfully pass through Lake Oswego's design review process before construction can begin.
Also at Tuesday's meeting:
-- The council tentatively approved a city code amendment to create a new set of rules governing the development of so-called "flag lots" — properties located directly behind other properties along a roadway, with an access lane along the side of the front property to connect the rear property to the road.
The current rules allow for the construction of up to eight flag lots branching off of a single access road, which had led to complaints about traffic congestion and a lack of available parking. The proposed new rules would limit the number of lots on a single access lane to two, in addition to the main lot on the road. Several city residents testified in support of the new rules.
-- The council approved several appointments to various boards and commissions. Sharon Lumbantobing and Larry Snyder were reappointed to three-year terms on the Historic Resources Advisory Board, and Bernard DeFrancesco was appointed as HRAB's first alternate for 2018. Brian Gullen, who was appointed in mid-2017 as the first alternate for the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Advisory Board, was appointed to serve out the remainder of former member Mark Hoyt's term. Hoyt resigned in November; his term ends in April 2019. Paden Prichard, Jeff Shearer and Kirk Smith were each reappointed to three-year terms on the Development Review Commission, and David Officer and Jason Frankel were appointed as the DRC first and second alternates for 2018.
-- Buck was chosen as the council president for 2018. The president presides over council meetings in the event that the mayor is absent, and the position rotates between councilors each year.