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The Mercy Housing Northwest is starting work on 100-unit affordable housing complex at former school campus in Lake Oswego

COURTESY PHOTO: CARLETON HART ARCHITECTURE - The Marylhurst Commons project will provide 100 units for people making less than 60% of the area medium income.

Construction for Mercy Housing Northwest's affordable housing project at the former Marylhurst University campus in Lake Oswego will have minimal impacts to locals, including those at the nearby Mary's Woods senior living facility, according to project developer Chris Bendix.

The project will add 100 one-to-three-bedroom rental apartments for households earning less than 60% of the area's median income, and construction is slated to begin in mid-September.

Bendix said that construction to replace former dorm buildings with the housing complex is occurring on the eastern portion of the campus and won't be visible to most people nearby. Truck access will funnel through Furman Drive and work will take place from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It also will not lead to the closure of any other facilities within the campus area, according to Bendix.

During a recent informational meeting, Bendix said many Mary's Woods residents who live near the proposed development inquired about impacts to traffic and parking.

"The concerns we heard were related to (construction) vehicle traffic moving through the Mary's Woods campus through the streets there. That's the thing we're focusing on with regard to Mary's Woods. We're going to make every effort to make sure no vehicle traffic goes through that side of the campus," Bendix said, adding that they will use signage to ensure traffic flows away from the senior living facility.

He said noise from construction will be minimal, though there may be some during the demolition phase in late September.

Further, Bendix said that despite some impacts prevalent throughout the industry such as inflation and supply chain challenges, construction is on schedule for completion in April 2024 and residents will start moving in at that time. He added that residents who qualify will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. This is Mercy Housing Northwest's first project in Oregon, but Bendix said they have experience working with Portland-based contractor Walsh Construction Company.

"I think this development is filling a void in the housing market in Lake Oswego," he said. "There's not a lot of housing that is affordable for working families, especially for people who need two- or three-bedroom homes. We're looking forward to being able to provide some much-needed affordable homes to households who really stand to benefit from living in such a high-opportunity neighborhood."

Bendix also mentioned that the project is certified through Phius for its environmental sustainability and t it will use 44% less energy than a traditional code-compliant design.

For more information on the project, vist

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