Brooks Resources Pioneers Bend Central District Vision

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(Rendering | Courtesy of Brooks Resources)

New BCD Project in Design Phase Set to Provide More Residential Options

Long-term private real estate development company Brooks Resources is helping lead the way in new housing options for Bend’s growing community with plans in the works for a new 139-unit, five-story, vertical mixed-use building to be called 181 Franklin.

The concept, now in the design phase, for a location in the Bend Central District (BCD) currently occupied by Blue Dog RV on Franklin Avenue is pioneering the vision of the city’s new zoning for the area, including providing for more residential uses.

The BCD spans around 206 acres in total and is in the heart of Bend between downtown and Pilot Butte in Midtown and surrounding areas west to the Parkway and east including the Fourth Street area. City leaders says the creation of the zone is intended “to implement the goals and objectives for the creative redevelopment of the central Third Street Corridor.”

Primary aims include to:

  • Provide for a wide range of residential, commercial and office uses throughout the BCD that result in a walkable, vibrant, diverse mixed-use district, with an emphasis on commercial uses at street level on designated main streets.
  • Provide a variety of residential development types and greater density of development, with a transition area adjacent to the existing residential neighborhood east of Fourth Street.
  • Provide for development that is supportive of transit by encouraging a pedestrian-friendly environment.
  • Provide development and design standards that support the goals of the BCD.

Brooks Resources Director of Planning Dale Van Valkenburg outlined some of the potential opportunities and challenges as Bend’s population continues to swell and the BCD effort strives to stimulate redevelopment of the designated area into a more urban space, with denser, taller buildings that include retail and residential uses.

He said, “Plans for 181 Franklin include a number of key amenities, including a variety of unit types from small studios up to two-bedroom units, a dog park, brewery, outdoor gathering space, retail and more at the ground level.

“In addition, our concept includes secure on-site parking for each unit as well as an existing Cascades East Transit (CET) stop adjacent to the building entrance that will be enhanced through the project. Public improvements will include on-street parking, widened sidewalks and the addition of street trees along both Franklin Avenue and Second Street frontages of the site.

“There have been some challenges leading up to this point. It has been a bit of a ‘chicken and egg’ scenario, as the city needs to increase property tax revenue from development in the area in order to make progress on the necessary infrastructure to support residential uses.

“Downtown is a good example of a successful urban renewal district, as several years ago it was a bit depressed and needed revitalization to draw people to the area. The renewal was successful and generated enough money to upgrade amenities such as streetscape enhancements and to construct the parking garage.

“Now, the timing is right to move ahead, and we’re all very excited to be pioneers with a tangible project that truly illustrates the city’s vision for the BCD and can start the ball rolling on revitalizing the area.

“Currently, we are in the pre-application and negotiation stage with the City of Bend and the Bend Urban Renewal Agency, respectively.

“There are a number of critical steps we need to accomplish before the public will see construction activity on the property itself, including a neighborhood public meeting, a site plan application and review, site improvement plans and a building permit. If all goes according to schedule, we hope to have construction underway by this time next year.”

About Brooks Resources
Brooks Resources Corporation is one of the region’s oldest and most respected real estate developers. Over its more than 50-year history, Brooks Resources has created some of Central Oregon’s most recognizable master planned real estate communities, including Bend’s NorthWest Crossing (a joint venture with Tennant Developments), North Rim, Awbrey Butte, Awbrey Glen and Mount Bachelor Village Resort. Most recently focusing on traditional neighborhood design, vertical development and transect models, Brooks Resources is a leader in public-private collaboration resulting in healthy and highly-desirable communities and buildings.

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Simon Mather — CBN Feature Writer

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