Lake Oswego moves forward with North Anchor project

The Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency authorizes memorandum of understanding with developer

The long-awaited North Anchor project hit another major milestone June 18 after the City Council — which met as the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency — authorized a memorandum of understanding with the Portland real estate developer Urban Development + Partners.

The MOU will allow UDP to continue its due diligence on the project, which is expected to bring a mixed-use complex to the property on the stretch of B Avenue between State Street and the alley between 1st and 2nd Streets. It also sets the stage for issues and other items that will be discussed as part of the Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) with the developer for the 1.07 acre site.

The city’s efforts to develop the property date all the way back to 2004, when the North Anchor block was listed as the centerpiece of the City’s East End Redevelopment Plan. The City began acquiring parcels at the site in 2010, and the first request for proposals (RFP) went out in 2015.

Originally, the developers called for a part hotel, part age-restricted apartment building with underground parking. The project then turned into four floors of a high-end hotel with a restaurant and meeting rooms on the main level, including an above ground parking structure wrapped with retail on the far west end across First Street adjacent to the main building. However, the developer of that plan — Vanessa Sturgeon of Sturgeon Development Partners — pulled out in 2019, prompting the City to start fresh with another RFP.

During the June 18 LORA meeting, Sarah Zahn, director of development for UDP, gave the City Council an update on the project.

UDP’s mixed-use proposal for the North Anchor site back in March included a 51-room boutique hotel with outdoor dining space, a lounge area and rooftop access, 45 multi-family residential apartment units, 30,000 square feet of office space and almost 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Zahn said UDP decided to eliminate the small office component and to shift focus to residential space.

“The smaller parcel — looking at that as an office parcel it really didn’t lend itself to a great (space) for office use,” said Zahn, adding that with the COVID-19 pandemic, leaning into office space presented more of a challenge.

Zahn said the residential opportunity at the North Anchor site was “more appropriate.”

The proposed project now includes 80 residential units, 60 hotel rooms and 9,000 square feet of ground floor retail and restaurant space.

Zahn said the firm is evaluating parking requirements and options, and is working with staff on next steps.

The various uses for the site — hotel, residential and retail — all have different parking requirements. Based on the proposal, 130 to 140 parking stalls are required. The current design proposes 70 onsite stalls, with an option for 40 below-grade parking stalls, according to Zahn’s presentation.

Though she mentioned there is nearby public parking and the potential to enter into an agreement with nearby property owners for off-site hotel valet parking.

The contractor selection process is underway and the site survey and geotechnical exploration work was completed in May. Zahn said they are working toward completing some additional environmental testing as well as preparing for a parking and traffic analysis.

“I know the hotel is something of extreme interest in the city,” Zahn said.

Due to the health crisis, Zahn said EDP is monitoring the hospitality market and is continuing discussions around a partnership with Atticus Hotel.

“We feel good about them as an operator going forward,” Zahn added.

The project’s hotel opening date is in late 2022 or early 2023 and Zahn said it should be good timing to open a hotel.

Lake Oswego Redevelopment Manager Sidaro Sin said the goal is to have a signed DDA by September. Next steps would then include design development, a pre-application conference, a required neighborhood meeting and a land-use submission by late fall of this year.

Councilor John Wendland asked about the variety of residential units.

Zahn said they will unpack that more as the work unfolds but they are predominantly looking at a mix of one- and two- bedroom units. Zahn mentioned a one-plus unit is an option, which consists of a one-bedroom unit with office space.

City moves forward on pool

Also during the June 18 City Council meeting, the council approved a Memorandum of Understanding that puts into effect the Intergovernmental Agreement between the city and the Lake Oswego School District. The MOU is a confirmation of the location of the future aquatic and recreation center — which will be at the Lake Oswego Municipal Golf Course — and a commitment for funding the project by both entities.

The LOSD approved the MOU June 8.

After $7 million was allocated to the restoration or rebuilding of the district pool by voters with the 2017 approval of a $187 million capital investment bond, and the city passed a parks and recreation bond in 2019, the district and the city reached a partnership to build the pool on city property at the Lake Oswego Municipal Golf Course. The cost would be split between the two entities, totaling around $30 million.

After the MOU is signed, both parties have 180 days to work toward an IGA that will outline a number of items within that facility.

“The basics of it are a competitive swimming pool — 25-yard stretch pool — a warm water recreation pool, dry activity and exercise rooms, classrooms for the Parks and Recreation Department, offices for the Parks and Recreation team members, cardio weight room and gymnasium,” said Parks and Recreation Director Ivan Anderholm.

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