Tualatin rental-housing boom will make room for nearly 1,000 residents

TUALATIN — Brace yourself, city slickers — a southwest suburb may be the next big thing in the Portland area’s rental housing market.
Tualatin is in talks for three major developments, city officials say. Two are expected to start building as soon as this summer. The housing ranges from luxury to senior and assisted living and will give the city of 26,000 room for nearly 1,000 more residents once completed.
The largest project is Bridgeport Apartments, with two four-story buildings offering 367 apartments and townhouses.
In addition to parking garages and other amenities, the project will include 23,000 square feet of retail space. Within walking distance of Bridgeport Village and bordering the REI store, the project is on an 8.96-acre lot — half of it within Durham city limits — across Lower Boones Ferry Road from Providence Bridgeport Health Center.
The $60 million project initially was drawn up by Trammell Crow Residential. The developer jumped through all the city hoops and won land use approval in 2008 but didn’t begin construction because of financing constraints, according to Sam Rodriguez.
Rodriguez previously worked for Trammell Crow and is now a managing director with Mill Creek Residential Trust, which is purchasing the project from Trammell Crow.
Construction is expected to begin in June and last two years. The apartments and townhouses will lease from $800 to $1,800 a month, Rodriguez said.
If that sounds pricey for the suburbs, Rodriguez says it’s because there’s nothing else like it. The complex offers an urban-like location, prime highway access and “resort-type” amenities, he said.
The six-minute walk to Bridgeport Village offers access to movies, a grocery store, restaurants and shopping, Rodriguez said. Right off Interstate 5, within minutes of Oregon 217 and Interstate 205, the location is close enough to both Portland and Salem for families who commute in both directions. Resort-like amenities include dog-wash stations, a bike repair room, and lounges inspired by Timberline Lodge.
Meanwhile, two other developments focusing on senior living are also moving forward.
The Marquis Tualatin — Assisted Living and Post Acute Rehab facility is set to begin construction this summer and is expected to be unveiled next summer. It will offer 134 beds at 19945 S.W. Boones Ferry Road. The project’s first phase will include two buildings on four acres.
The developer owns about two-thirds of the 12-acre site, which formerly was home to the old Tualatin Elementary School. Tigard-Tualatin School District largely vacated the site in 2004, but an unsuccessful effort to save the 73-year-old school building slowed the project. Financing was not a factor, the company said.
“The location itself sits strategically for us, in relation to our other locations and the fact that it’s really close to Meridian Park Hospital,” said Scott Miller, director of property development for Milwaukie-based developer Marquis Companies.
The company runs 26 other facilities across five states. The Tualatin project was estimated in 2010 to cost $18 million.
Poised to compete with the Marquis is the River House development.
The previous owners of the three-acre property sitting along the Tualatin River received land use approval in 2004 for a multi-unit housing project for seniors. It was re-imagined as an “urban but suburban” condo project in 2006. Lack of financing eventually halted the project, and the original city approvals have since expired.
Issaquah, Wash.-based developer Regency South Inc. is returning the project to the original senior-housing concept, although much is still in the planning phase. Developer David Stroud said he’ll go back to the city for land-use approvals again this year and hopes to start building by next summer.
The property is bordered by the Tualatin River on the north, Southeast Boones Ferry Road to the south and bisected by Hedges Creek. It’s adjacent to the Juanita Pohl Center, formerly known as the Tualatin-Durham Senior Center.
The 212 units could include assisted, retirement, low-income and luxury homes. Stroud does not yet have an estimate on what the project will cost.
“We stepped back from the project to recharacterize it, to take a look at the entire project,” he said. “Essentially, from a sticks-and-bricks standpoint, the general layout will be the same.”
Sally Ho
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