Here are updates on stories we have been pursuing:
The story: Corvue Holdings, a privately held national real estate and development company that specializes in "purpose-built student housing," is planning to build the College Crest development in the Witham Oaks area of Corvallis. The 892-tenant complex will be built on 25 acres of land north of Harrison Boulevard and west of 36th Street. The project is on its third ownership group. The city began the process of reviewing the project in 2013, with neighbors taking their opposition to the state Land Use Board of Appeals before the proposal received final city OK to go forward in March 2016.
The latest: Crews have been working on the extension of Northwest Circle Boulevard to Harrison, and Kevin Russell of the city’s development services division said that some minor violations have occurred during the work, including putting tree fencing in the wrong location. Russell said that the contractor immediately corrected the issues and no fines or sanctions were imposed. Corvue hopes to have the project open by the fall of 2020.
The story: Developers have been planning to build a 10-unit apartment complex on 0.81 acres at the end of Northwest Mirador Place in Corvallis. The issue has been a contentious one in the neighborhood since 2013. Twice the project was rejected by both the Corvallis Planning Commission and the Corvallis City Council. Ultimately the city’s rejection of the project went to the Oregon Supreme Court, which in 2016 affirmed earlier decisions by the state Land Use Board of Appeals and state Court of Appeals to let the project go forward.
The latest: The site remains undeveloped, although developers told the Gazette-Times in February 2017 that they were in the permitting process and just waiting for drier weather to get rolling on the project. Dale Kern, a broker with Commercial Associates who is working with the owners, said Wedneday the group still is “exploring its options” and also has been talking with prospective buyers. The property is zoned for medium-density residential and developers would need to go through a public process to change the zoning if they wanted to move away from the planned apartments. Kern says the owners have no interest in going that route because of the cost.
Justice system assessment
The story: In January, the Benton County Board of Commissioners approved a $171,000 consulting contract to perform an in-depth needs analysis of the local criminal justice system, including whether to improve or replace the jail and courthouse. CGL, a national corrections planning and design firm, was hired to perform the assessment, while Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Inc. was retained to provide project management and public engagement services.
The latest: The consultants had been slated to present a set of draft solutions at a public meeting on Sept. 18, but the project steering committee needs more time to review the data that has been gathered. A new meeting date will be announced. Additional information on the project is available online at www.co.benton.or.us/criminaljustice.
B&R Auto Wrecking
The story: A fire on July 5, 2016, gutted the main building and damaged a second structure at B&R Auto Wrecking, 3065 SE Third St. in Corvallis. The salvage yard has continued to operate at that site, but it was forced to relocate some employees and had difficulty obtaining permits to rebuild. On March 19 of this year, the company entered into a memorandum of understanding with Corvallis that allows it to rebuild fire-damaged structures on the site while bringing others up to code.
The latest: Work has begun on a 3,000-square-foot steel structure to replace a vehicle-dismantling shop that was damaged in the fire. The owners hope to break ground in the next two months or so on a replacement for a 9,000-square-foot warehouse and office building.