REDMOND, OR -- The city of Redmond supports renewed efforts to revamp the rundown Village Squire Motel. "We’re talking right at Highway 97, Fifth Street, the entrance to downtown and 126, and you really want to make a good first impression," says Chuck Arnold, the city's Urban Renewal Program Manager. "It was obviously a great place for a hotel for many, many years. But over the years, it really got to a place where it deteriorated."
Developers bought the motel a year ago, with plans to convert it into apartments. But the project fell through and the property went back on the market. Arnold says Hayden Homes is now in the process of buying it, "Now, we’re moving forward with a new partner to develop it into workforce housing. These will be small, micro-efficiency apartments for downtown workers, all the way up to two bedrooms. The idea is that someone would be able to live and work downtown."
Arnold tells KBND News, "Some of these will be ‘market rate’ and the owner of the property will have the opportunity to charge whatever the market will bear. And some of them will be restricted to the deed, saying that they have to keep it at this income level for a certain number of years."
While it’s still very early in development, he expects the city will be asked to pitch in financial help. There is a vested interest in improving the property, "The city doesn’t own this asset; we never did own this asset. But the city - representing the community - we all own downtown. So, we have to put up resources and make proactive steps to really build the downtown that we want. This is a great opportunity to reposition this property and create a new story for it." City Council will discuss the project later next month.
Village Squire could offer 20 to 25 apartments. Arnold says a different downtown project will soon bring another nine units online, "We are pretty optimistic and upbeat that we are creating places for people to live and work in the community that are affordable and within the reach of someone making the area median income."