Pahlisch Homes offers to purchase and develop the large tract of land off North Springbrook Road

A decade after laying out its plan to develop 450 acres off of Springbrook Road, the Austin family has found a buyer to develop the largest portion of the property into residential homes.

Bend-based Pahlisch Homes has agreed to purchase 261 acres and submitted amendments to the Springbrook Development Agreement to the Newberg Planning Commission, but news of the sale did not become public until the city posted the proposed amendments on its website June 7.

The planning commission then adopted a resolution recommending approval of the amendments at a hearing June 14. The Newberg City Council will hear the proposal July 16.

"We went through a detailed process to find the right buyer," said Austin Industries President and Austin family spokesman Brett Baker. "We are really comfortable with the developer and are confident that these are the best people for this project."

Austin family-owned company Springbrook Properties designed the development plan for the 450 acres of land, also known as the Springbrook Master Plan, in 2008, but it laid dormant, mainly because of the recession, until the recent amendments were proposed.

The sale applies to 261 acres on the west side of the Springbrook property that is roughly bordered by East Mountainview Drive on the south side and North Aspen Way to the east.

Under the plan most of the property will feature primarily low-density homes for small, medium and large single families, with pockets of high density and commercial spaces. Hess Creek runs through the middle of the property and the plan calls for surrounding that area with a park and custom lots. Another park is nestled among small and medium single-family homes near Henry Road east of Mountain View.

In addition, two 11-acre parcels are slated as mid-rise residences and 11 acres are designiated commercial. The Springbrook Master Plan shows these parcels as being south of Mountainview Drive between North College Street and Joan Austin Elementary School.

The sale does not include the property immediately surrounding the Allison and A-dec Inc., which the family plans to keep.

There is a barn and a few houses at the north and south end of the purchased property that will need to be removed. A canyon that contains Springbrook Creek runs through the northwest portion near Benjamin and Springbrook roads, and will be preserved as a park. The objective is to line the homes, parks, streets and commercial building with trees and landscape to beautify the development and keep it green.

Joan Austin's vision was to develop the property as a special place "within the community where people could live, work and play," according to the master plan. She wanted a vibrant focal point where people could gather, shop, dine, attend a concert or stroll through a farmer's market.

"Proceeds from the sale will go back into local communities through the Austin Family Foundation," Baker said. "The offer was not the highest offer because it was important to find the right developer for the property."

Pahlisch Homes started in 1983 and is one of the largest home builders in the Northwest. Dennis Pahlisch started in the Willamette Valley, but moved operations to central Oregon in 2003.

"Building a great community is as much about partnership alignment as it is about land development," Palisch said. "The heritage of the Austin family resembles the mission and values that we hold close and to be selected to develop their property into a wonderful community is an honor for us. The Springbrook property is a beautiful location and the thoughtful development planning that has already been established by the Austin family really sets the stage for something special. We look forward to working with the community as this process moves forward."

Contract Publishing

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