A year from now, there will be 48 new apartments in Sweet Home, and developer Eric Lund is confident they'll fill up fast.
"I think there's a high demand for rentals in Sweet Home," he said.
Lund broke ground on property between Mountain View and Long Street just behind the 7/11 location for his new project: four buildings with 12 units each.
It marks the first new large scale housing project in terms of apartments in the city for decades.
"We've had a couple of apartments that are small scale like over a store and some small developments of six units," said Sweet Home Economic Development Manager Blair Larsen. "But this is the first full scale complex that's been built in at least 50 years, we're thinking."
Lund said he's done his due diligence for over a year on the area and is confident he'll find renters, though he notes he can't discuss price ranges yet.
"I check daily on what's available to rent and even in Lebanon and Sweet Home there's nothing," he said. "Something will be on the market and it's gone within a week. There's no where to rent in this area."
The apartments won't be expecting tenants until September 2021 but when they do, Lund said units will include a washer, dryer, AC, stainless steel appliances, deck or balcony space and quartz countertops.
Larsen said the city was not yet aware of the price point — a detail the development does not yet have to disclose — but noted he didn't believe it would be accepting Section 8 vouchers.
"To my knowledge, I haven't heard anything along those lines," he said. "But hearing about the quality of amenities, that doesn't sound low income to me. Any new development will improve quality of housing in the community."
Larsen said the new apartments may spark other landlords and home owners into sprucing up their own buildings.
"It might incentivize owners of properties of lesser quality to upgrade and improve," Blair said, noting the housing shortage in the city. "It is very difficult to find a rental in Sweet Home and if you look at the cost of housing, even if you're buying, you're still paying a lot considering what you're getting. It's getting more expensive, significantly, which tells you there's a supply problem."
Blair also noted that feedback from the community on the project has been mostly positive, but he's opening to hearing everyone out.
"If you think there's an issue with zoning compliance or have a concern, my phone line and door are open," he said.
This will be the second project in Sweet Home for Lund, who also completed Lake Point Estates. Baldwin General Contracting and Diversify Property Management out of Albany are also working on the project.