New apartment complex construction underway in Forest Grove
Construction is underway on a new apartment complex on the 1900 block of Poplar Street near the corner of Pacific Avenue and Highway 47.
The Reserve at Fernhill Apartments will consist of 196 apartments — 96 one-bedroom units, 82 two-bedroom, 18 three-bedroom — in eight separate three-story buildings, with amenities such as a clubhouse featuring a workout room, common area and leasing office; pool and spa; children's play structure and swing set; dog park; and sport court.
There are plans for 300 on-site parking spaces at an average of 1.53 spaces per unit, located throughout the interior of the complex with an additional lot adjacent to the south property line.
The apartments will sit on 6.58 acres and abut 19th Avenue, Oak Street, Poplar Street and Highway 47. It is presently comprised of 18 parcels, which have been consolidated into three parcels, one of which will be set aside for future commercial development.
The vacant lot to the north of the property, on the east side of Poplar and to the west of Wauna Credit Union on Pacific Avenue, is held in reserve for commercial use, but at present, there are no concrete plans for the space.
"There are ongoing conversations regarding that property next to Wauna, so there is interest in doing something there," Forest Grove senior planner James Reitz said, "But it's too soon to talk about that."
J.T. Smith Companies is building the complex, and senior development planner Jesse Nemic said construction is ongoing and the first of the eight buildings is expected to be completed by May 2022, with the last being finished by August 2022.
Nemic added that while rental prices have yet to be determined, it is the developer's hope to limit costs so as to provide the lowest price possible.
"Since opening is a year and a half away, I can't say for certain what the rent rates will be," he said. "But we are trying and will continue to be diligent in keeping rising costs down throughout the life of the project to provide a competitive value for a comfortable home."
Traffic concerns are always at the forefront when it comes to new construction, especially in adding 196 new dwellings to an area. But Reitz expressed no concerns regarding traffic as a result of the new complex.
"There's going to be great access out to the arterial," he said. "Poplar is going to be completely reconstructed with full-width street parking on both sides, so it's not going to be a narrow country lane anymore. Plus, there'll be a straight shot over to Maple Street on a completed 19th Avenue if people want to head south to Highway 47."
Having said that, the potential for increased traffic to the intersection of Maple Street and Highway 47 will likely amplify an already high-risk area, which has among the highest crash rates of any intersection monitored by the Oregon Department of Transportation, historical data shows. In recent years, state, county and city officials have discussed plans to redesign the intersection, although it is unclear when that work would be completed.
The space north of the complex, west of Poplar Street on Pacific Avenue, is zoned commercial, and construction is currently underway on a retail center that will include a MOD Pizza and Starbucks.
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