(Photo | courtesy of Duke Warner Realty)
Real Estate Brokers Reflect on Market Dynamics for Fast-Growing Community
The latest phase of a multi-faceted 42,000-square-foot project with a design nod to Redmond’s historical agricultural roots and targeting a broad range of tenants is coming on stream to help meet strong demand for quality flex space.
The successes of Bend’s commercial real estate market over the last decade are well documented but latterly available land has been in short supply, and barriers to entry for developers looking to add needed inventory have become prohibitively costly.
As a result, developers and businesses have increasingly looked north to Redmond, where land has been in greater supply, and the cost of housing is generally more affordable than in Bend.
The Red Barn Industrial Center project off NE Jackpine Avenue and 11th, is one such example, with the finishing touches being put to building #3, offering over 13,000 sq. ft. of new construction industrial flex space, zoned M2/Heavy Industrial.
The property consisting of a trio of matching buildings on 3.26 acres has been developed by Lawnae Hunter, owner/broker of Central Oregon-based PLUS Property Management, who has a wealth of experience including projects spanning office, custom home, and land development over the course of her more than 40 years in the real estate industry.
She acquired the property in the pre-Great Recession days and weathered the ensuing economic fluctuations waiting for the market to be ready for such a project, with much thought being put in to offering many features that industrial tenants would like to see.
The aim was to create something of a “recession-proof” concept that would be an asset to the community and be in demand no matter what the state of the economy, and that has proven to be the case for the initial stages of the campus.
The latest phase includes one of a pair of 13,000-square-foot buildings flanking a slightly larger central building at 16,000 sq ft with drive-through capability and overhead doors on either side of suites.
As much flexibility as possible has been incorporated into the project, with energy efficiency optimized to deliver cost savings to tenants and a design, by Redmond-based Tekneek Architecture, that aims to echo the area’s lumber and agricultural background while embodying a contemporary feel.
The towers containing mechanical components are evocative of grain silos, and the architectural style is somewhat consistent with that of the nearby fairgrounds Expo Center.
Features include the ability for circulation of large trucks, including 53-foot trailers, able to turn around on site, as well as grade levels loading docks for shipping and receiving.
The buildings are constructed of prefabricated steel featuring generous ceiling heights and roll-up doors, with the potential to demise #3 into three suites, and there is up to 9,000 SF of yard space east of the building.
The location also enjoys easy access to Highways 97 and 126, the primary north-south and east-west transport routes in Central Oregon and lies in the Redmond Enterprise Zone — offering potential tax benefits.
In regards to market dynamics, Bruce Barrett, a Commercial Broker at the Windermere Commercial — Redmond office, paid tribute to the work of the Redmond Development Inc. (REDI) office of Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO), supported by the city, in attracting traded sector businesses to the area and praised community leaders for a business-friendly approach to go along with great fundamentals.
The city has also helmed the Desert Rise industrial park project which offers tax incentives for relocating companies and larger “shovel-ready” lots.
Barrett said the market had slowed somewhat recently in the face of increased interest rates, which affected the feasibility of projects, but banks still had a strong interest in owner-user opportunities for viable businesses, and there were helpful incentives including the ability of Business Oregon to potentially buy down rates.
On the residential front, colleague Kris Rees of the Windemere Redmond office said homebuyers were encouraged by a more attractive, vibrant downtown, urban renewal, and economic development opportunities in the community. “I moved to Redmond 23 years ago to work as one of developers of the 80-acre Canyon Rim Village project on land acquired by Mike Tennant, to help create an old-fashioned Craftsman-style neighborhood, like West Bend Village,” she said. “We are just finishing the last phase of development. There are 267 custom-built out lots. I built the first house in the first phase, and it has been fun to see the project through all the way from start to finish, which will end with a small mixed-use commercial spot featuring a tap room and food carts adjacent to the residential.
“Canyon Rim Village was a new type of development at the time, with tree-lined streets and alley access and it took people a while to grasp the concept,” she continued. “I had been in Bend since 1972 as a single mom with two kids and chose to move to Redmond to work on that project.
“Thankfully there has been a more gradual appreciation in Redmond than Bend and the city has been really good at long-term planning, including getting ahead of the growth curve with things like the NW and SW Area Plans, involving the community in the conversation.
“They have been effective at setting these parameters before people came and helping people understand bigger picture concepts like the live/work philosophy.
“Hopefully young people have a product they can grow with – after all, they are the future and Redmond has worked hard to make growth occur more slowly and put things in place to stay under control.
“I say to younger people do whatever you can to get on the ladder of home ownership and enter the market as first timers and don’t sell for, say, five to seven years. It may not be the forever home, but it gets you in the right direction.
“Redmond planned carefully for more growth, including acquiring additional commercial land. With more land, it can expand more than Bend, which has some geographic limitations like BLM boundaries.
“It really is the hub at the center of Central Oregon. I am proud to be part of its continuing evolution and thankfully the city has had great developers along the way.
“We don’t necessarily want to develop like other areas — outlying communities need to have their own identities rather than mimic something else. There is a different attitude here and a livable community is a priority.
“Also, it is important to save what we can from a historical perspective if we can, and efforts like the reinvention of the old Evergreen School for the new City Hall speaks volumes about Redmond. Once historic features are gone, they are gone forever.”
For more information on Red Barn lndustrial Park leasing opportunities, contact Christin J Hunter, principal broker with Duke Warner Realty.