Buildings were torn down and excavation has begun at site near intersection with Springbrook Road

A new state of the art industrial warehouse and manufacturing facility is coming to the property on Wilsonville Road that was formerly home to Cecil Brown's Automotive Repair Shop.

The property is nestled among residential homes and bordered by Highway 219 and a PGE transmission station. SUSAN BRANNON - Excavation work has begun on a light industrial site on Wilsonville Road that formerly held an auto repair shop and a home. Freeman Manufacturing, a Newberg company, is expected to take up a portion of the building.

Stelor Properties purchased the land and is proposing to build the facility to house Freeman Manufacturing, a metal fabricator, as one of the tenants.

Grading work on the site started after the demolition of the automotive shop and an old home that was on the property. General contractor Benting Construction is awaiting city permits for the building, but according to Freeman representative Katy Hodges, the manufacturing company is looking to complete the project and move in by June or July. In the meantime, they have permission to do the grading on the site, according to John Bailey at Benting.

"Some new jobs may be added … due to possible expansion of existing businesses or the addition of new ones," Hodges said.

Freeman is "looking at serious growth for jobs and the community," Hodges said, but she couldn't yet disclose potential tenants. "We intend to occupy approximately one-third of the building and it is not yet clear who will occupy the other two-thirds of the (building)."

"Things are moving forward," Hodges added. "We wouldn't have purchased this if we did not have good prospects."

The plan is designed with perimeter landscaped areas to enhance the appearance of the building. Landscaping strips will be installed along the eastern property line, along Wilsonville Road and the western property line along Highway 219. The residential area on the north side of the property will have landscaping and an evergreen hedge to separate the residential areas from the industrial ones.

The previously existing house on the property was constructed in 1928 and has been unoccupied for years.

In an assessment completed by the Newberg Historic Preservation Commission during the planning review, the dwelling was found not to represent a historic landmark.

The automotive shop was constructed in 1988 and has been used as a business ever since.

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