Oregon City has for decades only had one hotel, a Best Western on the Willamette River. Two more downtown hotels are planning to join the mix, just in time for the construction of a pedestrian walkway to Willamette Falls beginning in 2018.
Washington Street hotel
The proposed Abernethy Place Mixed-Use Development will include a 99-room, five-story hotel, at 1737 Washington St., close to the intersection of 17th Street and directly across from the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.
The site is owned by Historic Properties LLC, a development company run by Dan Fowler, a former Oregon City mayor. The developer of the Hampton Inn & Suites is planning its first phase on 2.1 acres of property with associated hotel parking lot, landscaping and sidewalk construction. A second phase of construction is planned on the 1.9-acre parcel to the north: 131 apartment units, 9,500 square feet of retail space and a 2,500-square-foot coffee shop.
The project proposal includes preservation and retention of the nationally designated historic landmark Hackett House, currently used for offices. During an April 24 public hearing, Oregon City's Historic Review Board approved a request to reduce the area of the Hackett House as an historic landmark to allow the proposed hotel development to occur without any additional HRB review after a Planning Commission meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, at City Hall, 625 Center St.
Main Street hotel
On Aug. 16, Oregon City commissioners unanimously agreed to give the city's Municipal Parking Lot land to the developer of a proposed hotel at 1220 Main St. The proposal consists of an 85-room boutique-style hotel with a 125-space multilevel parking structure.
In an effort to offset the cost of building the new public parking structure, Oregon City officials agreed to credit the appraised land value of $920,000 to the developer in exchange for building the parking structure valued at $2 million. The city is agreeing to pay the property owner a $1 annual lease for the next 99 years in exchange for using the parking stucture as a public parking lot with a payment kiosk collecting parking fees for the city.
A total of 90 parking spaces will be designated as public parking within the structure in order to preserve the current public parking capacity in downtown. City officials said that the hotel plans to use on-street parking to achieve the required parking availability for its 85 guests.
The city and developer will split the estimated $300,000 cost for rerouting the high voltage transmission wires. In a separate project estimated at $200,000, the developer will be responsible for undergrounding distribution wires in this area. The buyer and seller will each pay $13,800 to the real-estate broker that negotiated the property transfer. The parking structure will be behind the hotel, next to the railroad tracks, a location that is intended to cut down on noise to hotel occupants.
Oregon City Economic Development Manager Eric Underwood said that the city received an unsolicited offer to purchase the Municipal Parking Lot and was excited by the potential to revitalize this section of downtown that hasn't seen development for many years, while acting as a catalyst for future redevelopment and private investment.
City officials are looking forward to the hotel putting the property back on the tax rolls. The development is expected to create 50 full-time jobs, approximately $111,606 in annual transient-room tax revenues, and annual property tax revenues of approximately $160,000.
"It'll be a great addition to our community," said City Commissioner Renate Mengelberg. "All in all, it's a great opportunity for the city."
Vic Patel, the developer with Oak Grove-based VK Northwest, is the developer of this project. He is expected to apply for building permits and go through a Planning Commission review process next year.