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The 270-unit, three story complex will be the largest apartment complex in Prineville's history

Prineville is poised to gain the largest apartment complex in the city's history.

Creations NW LLC has applied to develop 11 three-story apartment buildings that will house 270 units and a 58-unit cottage development consisting of single and duplex-style homes.

The development, once completed, would provide about 188,600 square feet of total living space. In addition, the applicant plans to provide 443 parking spaces for the development, including 12 ADA spaces, as well as 32 garage units.

The proposed development site is on Madras Highway in northwest Prineville in an agricultural field across the road from the intersection of Northwest McDougal Court.

During a public hearing convened by the City of Prineville Planning Commission on April 19, the primary concern raised about the proposed development was its impact to traffic on the highway. The commission explained that because the road is a state highway, Oregon Department of Transportation, not the city, would determine what the developer must do to account for anticipated traffic changes.

"They are going to make the decision on what type of improvements need to be made to the frontage," Smith said, "and they will look for mitigating factors all the way up to and including the west Y and O'Neil Junction."

Until the applicant completes that permit process, they will not be able to break ground on the development. Consequently, Smith couldn't say for sure when construction would begin, although believes it could start as soon as this summer.

Once work begins on the development, it will be built in three phases, based on market conditions.

"It is all based on leasing," said City Planning Director Josh Smith. "If they build a building and it fills up, they will build the next building."

Once the entire 328-unit development is completed, it will be the largest multi-family development ever built in Prineville — and by a fairly wide margin. The next largest is a 135-unit apartment complex built a few years ago north of Peters Road. Smith points out that Creations NW is building in multiple communities including Redmond, Bend and Madras as well as other Oregon and Washington communities.

"The are not small-time players," he said. "They do really high-end stuff. This is not low income, this is a market-rate, high-amenity complex."

The project comes at a time when housing supply is well short of demand, which is driving up local rent prices. Smith said the problem has persisted for the past six years.

"We have been trying to play catch up since," he said, later adding that until supply outpaces demand, rent prices will not drop. "We haven't reached that (point) yet and it doesn't look like we are going to even with this project."

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