(Photo above: IronHorse Lodge | Rendering courtesy of BLRB Architects)
Bend-based developer of housing for low-income seniors, Pacific Crest Affordable Housing is poised to bring their next environmentally-conscious building to Prineville. The IronHorse Lodge will be completed in two phases and rest within Brooks Resources’ mixed-use planned community, IronHorse, in Crook County.
Much of Pacific Crest’s decision to build in Prineville centers around need and the soon-to-be-built St. Charles Medical Center’ expansion into Prineville. Prineville currently has a poverty rate, senior population, and a senior poverty rate higher than state averages. The IronHorse Lodge seeks to serve the increasing population of seniors paying too much for housing, living in substandard conditions or living without permanent housing. Additionally, Prineville only has one rent-restricted, 40-unit property, built almost twenty years ago.
Each built phase will be a 26-unit building. The buildings will be modeled after their award-winning Little Deschutes Lodge in La Pine.
Rob Roy and John Gilbert of Pacific Crest Affordable Housing are expecting to break ground in mid-June 2015. They are anticipating completion by mid-March 2016—with residents moving in immediately afterwards. The architect for the project is BLRB Architects with SunWest Builders selected as the general contractor.
“We are excited about what this means for seniors in Prineville and all of Crook County,” commented Gilbert. “IronHorse Lodge has a beautiful location. It’s within the IronHorse community, which overlooks downtown Prineville.”
City of Prineville Senior Planner Josh Smith commented that the project is low, affordable housing done well. He added that it will be on 4.5 acres, and the city is expecting the application for phase one anytime.
“We are expecting it relatively soon,” said Smith.
He added that as soon as the approval is done, construction will be able to begin immediately. The original IronHorse plan didn’t include the new housing, but Gilbert and Roy have gone through the modification plan with the IronHorse neighborhood once already, indicated Smith.
Gilbert stated that they chose Prineville because Crook County had not had any new affordable housing projects for 10 years, and the vacancy rate for affordable housing projects was only one percent.
“There is a strong need among low income seniors. When we applied for funding last year, Prineville’s 55 and older poverty rate was 15.5 percent – roughly one-and-a-half times the state average.”
In particular, Gilbert said the 55 to 64-year-old segment had a poverty rate of 22 percent, and the senior poverty rate is expected to increase by 10 percent over the next five years.
“So, in short, we saw a need for affordable senior housing that wasn’t being met,” indicated Gilbert.
The new housing project has views to appreciate in every direction. There is a supermarket and a full range of shops in Ochoco Plaza just below the IronHorse community, and the new St. Charles Prineville is located just a few blocks further. Gilbert stated that there will be 26, one and two bedroom apartments for rent.
“Our rents will be affordable to households earning between 30 percent and 50 percent of area
median Income,” Rob Roy added. “For example, if the building were occupied today, some of the
one-bedroom apartmentswould rent for only $304 per month – including utilities.”
Gilbert said that they have an innovative partnership with the Department of Human Services, which makes it possible to provide services to higher-need seniors in the building. Additionally, several regional and local healthcare providers have agreed to provide on-site health services to residents. Some of these services may include health education classes, mental health therapy, depression screenings, pharmacy consultations, tele/mobile health monitoring, and Oregon Health Plan benefit navigation.
Roy noted that in addition to providing services that increase quality of life, Pacific Crest will adhere to green building standards which not only allows them to keep overall costs down, but provides highly-efficient buildings–resulting in low utility costs.
Pacific Crest Affordable Housing has garnered much attention and solidified its standing amongst national low-income housing developers. Their resume includes La Pine’s Little Deschutes Lodge I & II, both 26 unit buildings. In Bend, their Laurel Park Lodge, on Century Drive, houses 54 units and their Discovery Lodge, in Brooks Resources’ NorthWest Crossing, has 53 units.
“We think these services will help our residents live independently longer, which is an important part of retaining one’s sense of dignity,” indicated Gilbert. “Lastly, our residents will be able to live in a quiet, well-built building that will be among the most environmentally-sustainable affordable housing projects in the nation.”
Pacific Crest Affordable Housing
Partners: John Gilbert and Rob Roy
5 NW Minnesota Ave., Bend, OR 97701