Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Fri, August 16 2013 at 5:46 PM, Updated: Fri, August 16 2013 at 6:39 PM
It's a go. A place to call home for people struggling to get by got a green light on Friday.
The complex will be right in the heart of downtown Medford.
Jackson County Housing Authority officials said Friday's hurdle was the largest one in the project...and they passed it.
The piece of property in downtown Medford on the corner of 6th and Grape streets could soon be home to a four-story building with 50 new affordable rental units.
"Putting housing downtown really is a huge piece of the downtown revitalization a lot of people have talked about for a long time," said Andrea Miranda, Project Developer for the Jackson County Housing Authority.
"It's really going to do a lot to enliven downtown," said ORW architect David Wilkerson as he helped present plans to the Medford Site Plan and Architectural Commission panel.
In the end, the Jackson County Housing Authority got the green light to start the project.
"This is a housing project the Authority has been looking forward to doing for a very long time," said Miranda.
It all began with the hotly contested Cherry Creek Apartments in East Medford which started out as a 100-unit complex. After much debate and outcry from residents, the number of units was reduced to 50.
"In exchange we acquired, we will acquire, land downtown from the Medford Urban Renewal Agency," said Jason Elzy, Director of Development for the Jackson County Housing Authority.
The land, smack dab in the middle of downtown.
Unlike its sister development, the Cherry Creek complex, the new downtown plan didn't get a whole lot of pushback.
"Thank you for making this much easier than the previous one," laughed those on the Medford Site Plan and Architectural Commission.
Now developers will look into cost estimates. They plan on officially acquiring the land sometime in December, and will start to build within two years. Officials said they plan to wrap it up within five years.
Anyone who is interested in living in the downtown affordable housing, should call the Jackson County Housing Authority at (541) 779-5785.
Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.
Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.