Bend Southern Crossing Development Surge


((L) Conceptual site plan of new 297-unit multifamily apartment complex called Modera Century West proposed at the Century Drive/Reed Market Road/Mount Bachelor Drive roundabout in Bend | Rendering courtesy of BLRB Architects. (R) Rendering of the proposed Bri at Old Mill, which includes four stories of active adult apartments, totaling 168 units, over covered parking below | Rendering courtesy of Curtis Miner Architecture)

Proposals Could Add Over 1100 New Units & 45,000 Sq. Ft. of Commercial Space

Residents of Bend’s Southern Crossing neighborhood recently heard of the extent of new developments in various planning stages in their surrounding area that could translate into over 1,100 new residential units together with hotels and some 45,000 square feet of commercial space.

Outgoing Land Use chair for the Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association (SCNA) Deby DeWeese said the density of proposed development was spurred in part by code changes driven by Oregon House Bill 2001 and the follow-up Senate Bill 458.

Those pieces of legislation bill pushed the creation of “middle housing,” perceived to be missing in many cities throughout the state, and required updates to local laws that had previously limited the types of housing people could build. The bills seek to help stimulate an increase in supply, particularly in terms of more affordable housing options.

SCNA General Meeting attendees hear that the City of Bend accepted these Bills and even took them further — despite the State of Oregon allowing changes or reductions to impacts. Other cities in the state such as Eugene fought back and held multiple public meetings, but Bend held a solitary forum on the subject, only after pressure from local NA’s.

“The biggest concern typically is traffic. Just these 11 projects that are proposed in our area equate to a nearly 70 percent increase in housing units in the SCNA district and could effectively double traffic in our area,” DeWeese said. “Similar growth is happening all over Bend, but tenants and homeowners will also visit the Old Mill and Box Factory — adding to traffic in the Southern Crossing portion and City Code often doesn’t address the ‘cocktail effect’ in traffic planning.

“But what I would say is ‘code is king’ and I encourage people to get involved earlier in planning code development to get ahead of this curve and have input. For instance, they can ask to be put on the City’s email list for code changes or join the new SCNA Transportation Committee.”

As part of an effort to incentivize more living options, in 2016 Bend re-zoned what it called the Core Area for more urban development, meaning buildings could be taller and could house both commercial and wider residential uses. In the wake of that move, larger projects put forward for consideration include a multi-story, 315-unit residential and retail development proposed next to the Box Factory in Bend by owner/developers Killian Pacific.

The project off Industrial Way is set to be a mixed-use urban development of approximately 48,000 square feet in a structure stepping up to six stories including 12,000 square feet of retail and approximately 450 parking stalls.

A central feature of the project will be a new “Woonerf” (the Dutch term for “street living” indicating a common space created to be shared by pedestrians, bicyclists and low-speed motor vehicles) between the existing Box Factory and the new development. The project would include a mix of townhomes and apartments, as well as grass courtyards and a major change to NW Lava Road to prioritize the safety of bicyclists and pedestrians, according to documents submitted to the city of Bend by the developer.

Following public meetings, SCNA representatives hailed the proposal for not being just the “same old, same old.” The environmentally focused complex would include in-home daycare, pet facilities (including a washing station), rooftop terraces, tiered elevations to avoid a visual “wall” effect, retail businesses on the ground floor, and the outdoor pedestrian mall that will allow bicyclists to continue to ride through the Box Factory. In addition, Killian is committed to working with the City to make some of the rentals affordable.

The development focuses on strong environmental building practices as well as an emphasis on walking and biking due to the location, with Killian Pacific also committed to helping with a mobility hub for alternative transportation as part of “raising the bar” on development.

Other concepts contemplated for the area include Mill Creek Residential’s plans to develop a new 297-unit multifamily apartment complex called Modera Century West at the Century Drive/Reed Market Road/Mount Bachelor Drive roundabout on Bend’s Westside. The proposed apartments will be in two buildings, each at five stories over ground-level parking. BLRB Architects recently hosted a virtual meeting to answer questions on the project from the public.

Bri at Old Mill, designed by Utah-based Curtis Miner Architecture includes four stories of active adult apartments, totaling 168 units, over covered parking below. Community amenities will include a fitness center, cafeteria, theater room, golf simulator, clubroom, outdoor pool and spa, business center and office support.

An application for 954 SW Emkay in Shevlin Corporate Park is for new construction of a multi-story, multi-family mixed-use building utilizing podium construction. The 202 total residential units include five walk-up townhome units, with retail spaces planned at the ground level.

A roughly 250,000-square-foot development is being planned along the bluff above the Deschutes River and Bill Healy Bridge in southwest Bend. “Bend Village” will include condos, retail, restaurants and hotel lodging, according to planning documents filed with the city of Bend. The project proposes seven buildings on approximately seven acres of land. The complex also runs along Mount Bachelor Drive, with some frontage along Reed Market Road near the bridge.

Other developments in the pipeline include two-story lofts on NW Arizona, a 21-lot small unit development subdivision proposal for 61429 Blakely Road, 29 upscale townhomes behind SELCO on Scalehouse Loop in the Old Mill District, and 31,000 square feet of retail and nine residential units in the Old Mill District at the intersection of SW Mill A Drive and SW Powerhouse Drive.

Further on the horizon, Beverly Hills-based developer Kennedy-Wilson has plans for the 21-acre former Kor-Pine mill site owned by Bend-based construction material company Hooker Creek through a joint venture. The property is located just south of downtown Bend and adjacent to the Old Mill District east of the Deschutes. Kennedy-Wilson said the development will align with the goals set in the Core Area Plan adopted in 2020. Plans are still being developed, but the developer said they are aiming for a vibrant, connected and walkable community. The concept is further out as any development would require significant investment in infrastructure and detailed traffic and transportation network planning.

Further east, the Stephens Road Tract offers 261 acres where the City hopes it can build housing to address the rising cost of living, with developing infrastructure also key to its creation. SCNA has been involved in discussions regarding protecting view easements and trails on Central Oregon Irrigation District (COID) land, as well as traffic plans for Southern Crossing.

Save Bend Green Space ( is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit whose present mission is to save property in the Deschutes South Canyon in Bend as an open space natural park and recreation area. The organization aims to improve and promote natural open spaces throughout the city, advance good environmental stewardship of lands and water, support smart growth policies for communities in Central Oregon and promote tree preservation to enhance carbon sequestration and reduce Bend’s heat island effect. “If neighbors are concerned about development, they can join their relevant neighborhood association as a conduit to the City and to the developers involved,” new SCNA Board Chair Roberta Silverman commented. “You can also attend the public meetings that are required before an application is filed, where you can communicate with the developer ahead of time.

“Development is very much ruled by code and it is good to understand codes and see what is allowable,” Silverman continued. “Development needs to be thoughtfully planned to mitigate impacts, particularly in terms of traffic, and I would encourage interested parties to get involved in the conversation early on, so they can have a say in how our city grows.”


About Author

Leave A Reply