An affordable housing project is moving along in Beaverton's South Cooper Mountain area.
BRIDGE Housing Corp. is requesting a design review approval from the city's planning commission to construct a new four-story multifamily development consisting of 75 affordable apartment units at Southwest 172nd Avenue and Goldcrest Lane.
The approval would allow the company to get its initial land use approval to then acquire construction and building permits to break ground.
Ben Sturtz, a project manager with BRIDGE, says he feels optimistic the commission will sign off on the plans.
"Given how the neighborhood meeting went, we feel pretty confident," Sturtz said. "We're still working through maybe some other colors or materials, so we may actually amend. It may be something we're working with the city and the neighbors to know the articulation is a little different. We have some corners that go out a little bit and can be rounded off."
Earlier this year, the Beaverton City Council approved a $400,000 cashflow-dependent loan for the apartment project. BRIDGE will only be required to pay back that loan if the rent it collects is sufficient to pay all operating expenses, including management fees and debt service on other loans, according to the city.
In exchange, the city requires an affordability agreement, or restrictions, for up to 55 years. That would limit the rents and/or cap the allowable income of tenants — the intent being to preserve the apartments as affordable housing for people with limited income — for however long those restrictions are in place.
Money from Washington County's share of the Metro affordable housing bond measure that voters approved in 2018 is also going toward the Goldcrest Lane project. According to a city report, the bond covers $8.7 million in costs.
Cheryl Twete, Beaverton's community development director, says it's important for the city to invest in affordable housing in this part of town.
"We are building a brand-new community in South Cooper Mountain, and city policy is to ensure that the housing that is constructed provides an opportunity for people at all income levels to be able to live in that new neighborhood," Twete said.
She added that the units would provide a variety of housing in a high-opportunity area near Mountainside High School.
Sturtz says he's excited for BRIDGE to be a part of the growing area.
"Not just in downtown Beaverton, but throughout the whole city, affordable housing — there's a huge need for it," he said. "This is an area that has great parks and schools that gives all people at all levels access to quality affordable housing. We're excited because we know that we do a great job of building and managing it and being a long-term neighbor."
City officials say BRIDGE has a 35-year track record of building high quality affordable and mixed-income housing. It is the largest nonprofit developer on the West Coast.
As for the next step, Beaverton's planning commission will hold a public hearing on May 26 to review the developer's design approval request.
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