The Gazette-Times recently reported (again) on the progress of the plan to develop student housing on Witham Hill. The article emphasizes the opinions of three people: Two of them (John Foster and Louise Marquering) vehemently oppose the plan presented to the Corvallis community by Mike Hartnett, the chief investment officer of the national development company (based in North Carolina) called Campus Crest.
Mr. Hartnett has a job to do: Go out there and find towns/cities where the company can make another bucket full of profits by building student housing; community sentiments be damned!
And he has settled on Corvallis as a likely site for the plans ... rapidly growing university, tight housing market, relatively cheap land available for development.
But my guess is that Mr. Hartnett has failed to do his homework in one critical area: The potential for fierce opposition from the Corvallis community. I can assure the Campus Crest management that, compared to the battle to be fought against Mr. Hartnett’s dream,the Occupy Wall Street efforts will seem very tame.
I think most Corvallis residents are waking up to the threat presented by the unfettered growth at our university, and most of us are prepared to pull out all the stops to defeat this totally inappropriate use of one of our area’s most important natural resources: Witham Oaks.
I firmly believe that this company can and should tuck tail and run from Corvallis.
Goodbye and good luck to Campus Crest!
Kirk Nevin, Corvallis