Business projects in city slowly making progress
A variety of business projects — from new construction to remodels — have been creating a buzz around Madras, but don't get too excited just yet. Timelines depend on whether or not developers can find contractors.
Announced last August, Love's Travel Stop will be built on about 12 acres on the south end of Madras, along U.S. Highway 97, across from the Oregon State Police office and Burger King.
Currently, the developer is working to subdivide two tax lots — one 5.96 acres and one 6.1 acres.
"That will ultimately be four parcels, plus a dedication for the Hall Road extension," said Morgan Greenwood, associate planner for the Madras Community Development Department. "Their building permits have all been approved."
The $11 million project will include an 8,390-square-foot retail convenience store on the north end of the building, and a 2,771-square-foot Arby's on the south end.
A little north and east of Love's, Dollar General, plans to build a 9,100-square-foot building on a 1.33-acre lot, subdivided from a 2.77-acre lot, owned by Parr Lumber Co.
The lot, situated on the east side of U.S. Highway 97, just north of Brush Lane and across the highway from Aaron's Sales and Lease, is zoned for corridor commercial development.
"Their building permits have been approved, so they can move forward," said Greenwood, noting that the availability of contractors continues to be challenging.
"The city and the Madras Redevelopment Commission are working to make sure they have everything they need," she said. "The MRC has awarded them $80,000 in grants for the infrastructure."
The city is excited for the project. "As a result of this development, the city gets to improve Brush Lane all the way down to Celilo," said Greenwood, pointing out that the developer will make the improvements, which include sidewalks on the north side of Brush Lane, and completion of the sidewalk extension between the intersection of Brush Lane and Highway 97 and the Parr Lumber property. "A whole lot of public infrastructure will be vastly improved and created."
Regarding talk about the Apple Peddler building in the Palisades Shopping Center, Greenwood said, "As long as it's a restaurant that goes in there, we won't even know about it, because it's not a change of use."
"The only time (the developer) would even come to us is if they were proposing to change the previous use, for example if they wanted to come in and use it for retail or office," she said.
A new storage facility, to replace the Juniper Mini Storage units that burned in 2015 and 2016, is expected to be constructed near Dollar General.
"We approved a storage facility to replace the ones that burned down on Brush Lane," said Greenwood, adding that the building permits have been approved for the Gunther brothers.
In the building that for many years housed the Stag Restaurant, on Fifth Street, Delita Cordes is working on a remodel for a new restaurant.
"Before construction was even able to begin, she had a lot of asbestos to abate," said Greenwood. "The MRC has provided Delita $145,464 in grants and loans."
"After the MRC has approved her funding and the city approves the permits, at that point, we wouldn't get involved again, unless it didn't happen," said Greenwood.
"For all these projects, the availability of contractors affects the timeliness of the project. For example, we have contractors from the Valley working on projects in their off hours," she said.
On the north end of town, Rich and Sandy Priday, who developed and own the Inn at Cross Keys Station, are working on plans for another hotel on property they own just north of the inn.
The My Place Hotel, a three-story 64-room hotel, would share Inn at Cross Keys' amenities, such as its swimming pool and continental breakfast area.
"We had a meeting with the Pridays last week," said Greenwood. "They are interested in potentially changing the development and we're working with them."
The MRC will be considering a $400,000 grant, disbursed over a five-year period, to assist a My Place Hotel with development costs of a north-south street, parallel to Highway 26.
Under the original plans, the street would connect the Inn at Cross Keys, My Place Hotel and future development with Northwest Lee Street. The developer would also be required to extend the sidewalk on the west side of Highway 26 to the northern end of the property.
"I expect they will be grading soon," said Greenwood, noting that she is in contact with the Pridays at least once a week. "Subdivision of the property won't hold up the project. They are going forward, but I'm not sure what the timeline is."
For those interested in more closely following the projects, she said, all the development projects are discussed at the MRC meetings, which are typically held at 5:30 p.m., the second Wednesday of the month. Agendas and packets are posted on the city of Madras' website at www.ci.madras.or.us.
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