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Bend Approves First Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption

BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors have approved the first property tax exemption for a multi-unit housing project, through a program created last year to incentivize high-density residential development in certain areas. Cate Schneider, with the City Manager's Office, told Councilors last week the Platform project will replace the now vacant Les Schwab Tires facility on Franklin Avenue, in Bend's Central District, "It is two new five-story multi-family buildings, with 199 residential units." 

Platform qualifies for the Multiple Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) and was not opposed by the taxing districts, including Bend Parks and Rec and Bend-La Pine Schools. In addition to that hurdle, the developer also had to show a community benefit and prove the project was not financially feasible without the tax break. "Just to give you a sense for what this 10-year exemption would mean for this project," said Schneider, "We estimate that it would be an approximately $4.4 million exemption over the 10-year term. The project will still pay property taxes on the land value. We estimate it will still pay $1.2 million in property taxes during that exemption."

Caroline Baggott, with the developer Project PDX, says it’ll also include a public plaza, "This is featuring native landscaping. There’s going to be benches and gathering spaces, a firepit, opportunities for pop-up events and performances. We have planned for power outlets incorporated into the space, and things like that. Again, providing connectivity to the planned Franklin Ave. upgrades. Open 24/7 to the public." She told Councilors, "The plan for our project is to demolish four of the existing warehouse buildings. The former Les Schwab tire shop will remain and be remade into a commercial use." Because that last building is not residential, it doesn’t qualify for the property tax exemption. 

 

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