NorthWest Crossing Neighborhood Inviting

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The developers of NorthWest Crossing, West Bend Property Company, have created an award-winning, diverse, residential, mixed-use community on the westside of Bend. West Bend Property Company is a joint venture between Brooks Resources and Tennant Developments who collaborated to develop the varied neighborhood that includes two public schools, charming shops, tempting cafés surrounded by attractive parks and numerous trails.

Set amidst Central Oregon’s celebrated lava outcroppings, pine trees and rolling landscapes, the developers want NorthWest Crossing to become a destination not only for residents of the immediate area, but for visitors and tourists alike.  With the completion of each new building in what is referred to as the neighborhood center West Bend Property’s vision is becoming a reality.

The most recent additions to the hub of NorthWest Crossing are two one-story mid-sized buildings that sit next to each other and were built simultaneously by HSW Builders.  Completed this summer, the buildings are geared toward retail, dining and office spaces.  As with every building in NorthWest Crossing, these buildings are unique and welcoming.  Designed by Todd Turner of BBT Architects, the robust buildings blend well with the other buildings on NorthWest Crossing Drive.

Glenn Miller, senior project manager with HSW Builders notes, “if you look at the elevation of these buildings, their scale is in line with the two story buildings (on the next block).”

The buildings themselves, designated D and E, have elements of modernism with touches of Central Oregon traditionalism.  Miller explains, “they’re not super big buildings, but they’re intricate and the exteriors were meant to be that way.”

Utilizing wood, metal, brick and glass, the buildings exteriors are both aesthetically pleasing and functional.  Turner explains his favorite part of the project was, “creating an architectural statement in more of a contemporary mode, juxtaposing but complimenting other buildings in NorthWest Crossing, and adding a different architectural fabric to the town center.”

Building E was immediately filled with tenants: CC Evans Salon, Elemental Eye Care and Look Salon.  A unique approach has made the buildings very marketable for owner West Bend Property Company. They were actually built as shells, with the tenants able to customize their
new spaces.

By all accounts, the three tenants of Building E are very pleased with their new homes.  After interior designs are approved by West Bend Property Company, HSW Builders works closely with the tenant to make sure their needs and objectives are accommodated.  In the case of Elemental Eye Care’s interior, Paul Marshall acted as the primary architect and maintained close communications with HSW.  In the end, they all had ideal spaces.

Currently Building D has one tenant, Weld Studio Design with four other spaces available for lease.  With so many businesses interested in the available spaces, West Bend Property and leasing company Compass Commercial have the opportunity to continue their vision of an active business district. 
Davis Smith of Compass explains what they’re looking for. “Ideally another food service, maybe with a full bar, but a place for the whole family.  We’ve been approached by people wanting to open a gallery, an ice cream shop, a hot dog shop, a children’s boutique and a doctor’s office.”

With each new business, the community center of NorthWest Crossing becomes more viable and vibrant. When a business approaches them about moving in, David Ford, general manager for West Bend Property Company explains, “we want to make sure that it’s the type of business that fits in and has synergy and compatibility with other existing tenants.”

A primary component of the project for Buildings D and E as well as the area at large is to keep it as pedestrian friendly as possible.  According to Ford, “rather than have parking in front, we created more pedestrian space, and have the main parking in back creating a wide sidewalk and  promenade so residents and patrons help create a sense of activity to the neighborhood center.  It’s working, you come here in the evening in particular and you’ll find it a hub
of activity.

“We wanted to develop a community where people could come and have close access to the businesses.”

Now that this phase of the NorthWest Crossing development has been completed and final space leases right around the corner, West Bend Property Company, HSW Builders and BBT Architects can look towards the future and reflect on the past.

For Turner: “the biggest challenge was maximizing the lease area while balancing out the parking on the site, and working around the large existing ponderosa tree at the south side of
the project.”

For Miller, who said the challenges were met head on:  “we started right before winter last year, as so many projects do and if you remember, last year was a harsh winter, but we were able to finish on schedule and get the new tenants in on time.”

Ford reflects: “we hired HSW because we knew they could handle the challenge.”   As far as the future goes for NorthWest Crossing, Ford explains, “The next two buildings, H & I, will be similar to these buildings, but they’ll be designed by a different architect.”

A unique aspect of the NorthWest Crossing development is the fact that so many different architectural firms have been utilized to build the commercial buildings: Steele Associates, Stevens Architect, Neal Huston, DKA and BBT to name a few.  By spreading the wealth around, West Bend Property Company has ensured a diverse and distinctive architectural environment.  Ford explains, “It boils down to who has the wherewithal, experience and capacity.”

Another inimitable aspect of this particular project was agreed upon by all parties.  From the architect, to owner and builder, and all the subs, there was a camaraderie not typically associated with challenging, time constrained projects.

“Glenn and I have been in this business a long time doing commercial buildings, and rarely do you have a project that runs so smoothly with all the players saying it was a positive experience,” says Ford.  “It was a good team and we had a fun time, I can’t even think of anything that can be construed as contentious.”

If having fun while working hard equates to success, NorthWest Crossing has just hit another one out of the park.

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