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Large effort to construct housing and commercial space begins to take form on Highway 99W near medical center

PMG PHOTO: GARY ALLEN - Crews continue to clear a 32-acre parcel adjacent to Highway 99W in preparation for construction of a large housing and commercial complex.

A large swath of northeastern Newberg has been cleared in anticipation of construction of a project that has been a long time coming — Crestview Crossing.

Contractors began clearing the land adjacent to Highway 99W and across from Providence Drive in mid-April with the demolition of a house on the property, making way for the giant residential/commercial project that at its end will fill nearly 32 acres, house 295 families and boast several commercial businesses.

Final approval for the design and land-use provisions for the project came from the Newberg Planning Commission in March at the behest of the Lake Oswego developer on the project, JT Smith Companies. The list of other firms involved in the project is long, including D&T Excavation, engineering and land-use planning firm 3J Consulting, surveyor AKS, wetland biology consultant Schott & Associates, geotechnical engineering and hydrogeology consultant GeoEngineers and landscape architect Cardno.

GraMor Development, which initiated plans to develop the land more than a decade ago, is responsible for development of the commercial segment of the project. Specific plans for the commercial aspects of the development remain to be seen.

Infrastructure for Phase 1 of the project, which will include residential and commercial sites east of Crestview Drive, is expected to be completed in roughly 12 months, according to Jesse Nemec, senior development manager for JT Smith Companies. Construction of the homes and infrastructure for Phase 2 of the project "may depend on the sales velocity at that time," Nemec said. Construction of the multifamily apartments and the commercial/retail components are projected to begin in summer 2021.COURTESY RENDERING - Plans for Crestview Crossing include the construction of hundreds of single- and multifamily homes as well as a commercial space.

The path to this point in the project's history began in 2006 and originally was designed to house more commercial space anchored by a "big box" store and featuring the long-awaited continuation of Crestview Drive to Highway 99W.

The project came to a screeching halt when the recession hit the country, but was revived in 2014 when Gramor signed on and preliminary development work began. Progress, however, then slowed again, as issues arose concerning streams and wetlands on the property.

The wetlands issues have been resolved, Nemec said, adding that his company has agreed with Oregon DEQ and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) to provide stormwater quality treatment for adjacent upstream properties that currently have none.

"DEQ, (Division of State Lands) and ACOE all complete very onerous reviews to ensure environmental regulation compliance and, while we may not always agree on the interpretation of every point, we appreciate their diligence in the stewardship of the downstream waterbodies," he said.

Nemec added that the city of Newberg has conducted a thorough review of the plans from an engineering and public works perspective and "has provided valuable collaboration with the consultant team."

"It is a fairly large and complicated project, so naturally there have been a lot of hurdles," he added.

Punching through Crestview Drive to Highway 99W is not separate from construction of the first phase of the project, Nemec said, and the hope is to open it up to motorists in late spring or early summer 2021.

When queried, Nemec spoke to what he believes will make the project unique: "In additional to economical housing, Crestview Crossing will feature homes that overlook intermittent stream corridors and walking trails in open spaces adjacent to enhanced wetland buffers, which will encourage emotional wellness as well as physical wellness with the addition of fitness and calistentics stations."

He added that enhancements have been made to a steep slope between the development and nearby Spring Meadow Park to the west, which included removing and replacing a number of trees that had become diseased or potentially hazardous.

Ultimately, the developer is excited to get the project off the ground.

"The Crestview Crossing project has been one that JT Smith Companies has carefully thought out over the last decade," Nemec said. "Our team is excited to see it finally take shape on the property, and we continue to keep in the forefront of our minds that Crestview Crossing has been called 'The Gateway to Newberg' as it will be the first major development you will see when traveling from Sherwood into Newberg."

What will it look like?

Crestview Crossing will be a mixture of 18 single-family homes on large lots that abut an existing housing complex to the north. It will include approximately 230 cottage homes, 51 multifamily residences and the commercial development.

The process to get to this point in the project began years ago, but most recently required that the planned unit development be adopted by the city, at which point installation of water, wastewater, stormwater and transportation infrastructure could begin.

In addition to adding to the town's housing inventory, the possibility that Crestview Drive could finally be linked to Highway 99W is an important aspect of the project. For many years Crestview Drive has been designated by the city and Yamhill County as being a vital component in moving traffic off the highway and toward northern Newberg.

As it sits now, Crestview Drive has undergone some improvements to the span that dead-ends just south of its intersection with Birdhaven Loop adjacent to the proposed development area. The city reclassified the road as a major arterial in 2007 in an amendment to the Transportation System and Comprehensive plans and tied the Crestview Crossing development to the extension of the road down to Highway 99W.

The city has approved a design contract for improving a section of Crestview Drive from the county line to Springbrook Road in a partnership between Springbrook Properties and the city.

Although 3J Consulting officials said they recognize that while constructing affordable housing is not a requirement under a PUD or a conditional-use permit, it hopes to dedicate 5% of the single-family, detached homes with price reductions and deed restrictions designed to create perpetual affordability, the company said in its application.

The 12 single-family homes constructed as part of this program will initially be marketed at rates that make them eligible for families earning less than the median family income as described within the city's definition of affordable housing, which occurs when a family spends no more than 30% of its income on housing.

At closing, buyers must sign a covenant agreeing to limit the price of any future sale with an appreciation rate not to exceed either the area median family income rate or another acceptable index of income. The proposed affordable homes will require owner occupation and will be constructed at various locations throughout the development.

According to the resolution, 3J Consulting will complete the design of the project at a cost of $633,193. 3J Consulting was the only qualified proposal the city received. In the proposal, 3J Consulting estimated the project cost for design and construction to be $4 million. The consultant cost is 16% of the total project cost, which the city viewed as reasonable.

The system development charges "are to impose a portion of the cost of new public infrastructure upon those developments that create the need for, or increase the demands on, capital improvements."


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