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Here's a list of reasons to oppose Wizer proposal

After attending the development review commission meetings concerning the Wizer block development, I learned that the new, five-story buildings proposed for the block by W&K Development will contain 90 percent “upscale” (from W&K’s description) rental apartments and 10 percent retail, less retail space than the current Wizer building now has. Construction will take about three years to complete.

Of the 228 apartments, 45 percent will be approximately 650 square feet with one bedroom, another 45 percent with two bedrooms and 10 percent with three bedrooms. I’ve heard that rent for the 650-square-feet one-bedroom apartments will be around $2,000 monthly, although I’m not certain. W&K Development has stated that the rents will be market rate. I assume this refers to rates for new, upscale apartments in the area.

W&K Development will own the apartments and Mr. Wizer will own the retail. W&K Development and those testifying at the DRC meeting in support of this Wizer block development plan suggest that there is a need for these 228 new apartments in Lake Oswego, for seniors looking to downsize, for young professionals and people who presently can’t afford to live in Lake Oswego. One man testified that he will be able to live in Lake Oswego once these apartments are built.

If the $2,000 monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the W&K development is accurate, then there are less expensive rental options in Lake Oswego. Several three-bedroom homes for rent in Lake Oswego are currently listed on Zillow for around $1,600 a month, as well as several two-bedroom homes, renting for less. Across State Street from the lake, upscale, 922-square-foot one-bedroom apartments at Oswego Pointe are available for $939 to $1,394 per month.

There are several other apartment complexes in Lake Oswego with apartments renting for less. And I don’t believe that seniors, who live on limited incomes, will want to rent apartments, because rents increase. Downsizing into smaller condominiums makes better financial sense for seniors.

Most importantly, W&K Development’s apartments should not be built next to Millennium Plaza Park. The 60-foot-tall, very dense buildings will cover the entire Wizer block. The buildings will stand flush against the sidewalks, including along Evergreen, where they will tower above Millennium Plaza Park, destroying the sense of open space in the park we now enjoy.

The W&K development will cause traffic and parking congestion, with 400 or more new residents, and insufficient parking (only 1.5 spaces per unit). The new apartment residents and their guests will seek neighborhood street parking. Traffic on A Avenue, already queued during peak hours, will become worse.

W&K Development is asking for $6 million of our city’s urban renewal funds, which divert revenues from the Wizer block, intended for public services such as education and fire protection, until the project is completed. Meanwhile, tax revenues from the W&K development won’t benefit the city of Lake Oswego until around 2030, because the revenues will be used to pay off the debt until then.

Those who do not want this 60-foot complex, comprised mainly of apartments (90 percent) owned by W&K Development, towering over Millennium Plaza Park, please write the Lake Oswego City Council and the planning department. DRC meetings can also be viewed on the city’s website.

Mary Ann Dougherty is a resident of Lake Oswego.

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