Building a Better Bend

Population forecasts project that Bend will hit 115,000 persons by 2028.  This will require more than 10,000 new dwelling units, millions of square feet in new buildings to provide employment opportunities and amenities, and hundreds of acres of new parks, schools, and other public facilities. While a proposed 2,380-acre expansion of the urban growth boundary (UGB) will add to the supply of buildable land, the new acreage alone cannot meet this demand. The obvious conclusion is that Bend must grow up.

In areas such as the Old Mill, the 3rd Street corridor, and the peripheries of downtown, 4 and 5 story buildings will become the norm.  This will be a difficult transition for a community assimilated to detached housing and single story commercial centers.  However, a variety of innovative techniques and practices have been successfully implemented to mitigate growing pains.  Re-designed streetscapes, architectural features, and multi-function amenities are among some of the tools employed to blend taller buildings into an existing community, preserve the function of adjacent areas, meet the demands of discerning tenants, and provide the developer with a sufficient rate of return.

To bring this knowledge and experience to Bend, Building a Better Bend developed a lecture series on vertical development entitled Bend Grows UP.  The next lecture is scheduled for tonight (October 20, 2016), at 6:30 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church (469 NW Wall Street) where Derick O’Neil, Director of Planning & Development for the City of Boise will share experiences from Boise, which made a very dynamic shift towards vertical development to accommodate a rapidly growing population.

Derick will be followed by a panel featuring Alex Joyce of Fregonese Associates and Tom Cody of Project^ on November 1, 2016 at 7pm, also at Trinity Episcopal Church.  Both Alex and Tom specialize in mixed use and in-fill development projects throughout Oregon as a land use planner and developer respectively.  This panel will provide valuable insights into the economics and logistics of vertical development.

BLJ land use attorneys Sharon Smith and Garrett Chrostek are members of the Building a Better Bend Board of Directors and BLJ has sponsored Building a Better Bend events and lectures.  Sharon and Garrett have worked on a variety of master planned communities, mixed-use developments, and in-fill projects throughout Central Oregon. If you have questions about development or other real estate and land use issues, Sharon or Garrett can provide you with further information and legal advice.

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