A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

And now, a site plan at 4th and Calapooia

Written January 29th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

The corner of Fourth and Calapooia in May 2020. It looks about the same now, except that the orange netting has sagged.

The northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Calapooia Street in Albany has been in the news for years, but not lately. So how about an update?

As it happens, on Jan. 21 the city’s planning division issued a public notice that a request had been filed for site plan review and consolidation of two lots there. Owners within 300 feet were notified and have until Feb. 4 to send in comments. After that, the planning staff will act on the request.

As you may remember, the owners, Albany builders Mark and Tina Siegner, plan to construct two three-story buildings on the site, with commercial space on the ground floor and eight apartments above, four in each building.

Architect Bill Ryals designed the buildings. He used to call them Calapooia Court. The site plan now says Calapooia Commons.

The buildings are planned where three old and dilapidated houses were demolished in June 2019. The demolition had been denied by the city’s Landmarks Commission but was twice approved by the city council, the second time after an appeal to the state land use board.

More recently, the council approved the “historic review” of the proposed buildings, also following an appeal by opponents to the state.

The site plan includes one lot facing an alley north of Fourth. The alley would provide access to a trash enclosure and parking for four cars and, under cover, for six bicycles.

The plan shows the building at 525 Fourth S.W. would be built as Phase 1. The one at the corner would be Phase 2.

It was four years ago, in early 2018, that the Siegners bought the property, on the edge of the Monteith Historic District.

This was after the city had condemned the old houses there and declared them uninhabitable.  Getting the site plan approved now will mark progress in getting something built in their stead. (hh)

One of the elevations attached to the site-plan filing still shows the project’s old name.



7 responses to “And now, a site plan at 4th and Calapooia”

  1. MarK says:

    Eight apartments with parking for four vehicles. Heaven help any two income couples who each need vehicles. I guess the neighbors and the other four apartments will have to duke it out for parking. Sounds like REAL good planning (by those who don’t live in the area).

    • John Hartman says:

      With the Parking Crisis reaching a crisis point, it is well past time to consider 15-minute City Transit bus service for Albany. Imagine a convenient City Mass Transit system powering Albany into the future. Would you feel the need for a second car if you knew a City Transit bus, operated by a friendly City Bus Driver would be coming by your front door every 15-minutes? What a boon for Albany residents. A second alternative might go like this: In all new multi-purpose housing such as the one described in Hasso’s column, apartment dwellers are allowed – by statute – just one vehicle and parking for just one vehicle. I realize that two-vehicle “families” might sue the City for Vehicular Discrimination, but that’s the price the City must pay in order to keep Downtown clear and uncluttered. The City can no longer grant Preferred Status to 2-car families. They’ve had their day in the sun. Now it is time for some sanity.

      • Al Nyman says:

        I think you live in dreamland. Mass transit is a liberal dream that in reality is a total failure. The last time I looked at light rail in Portland is when they had their 75,000,000 passenger and at that point they had spent over 6 billion on just the infrastructure without counting operating costs since inception. I think working online is going to alleviate the use of cars for commuting as Portland traffic is reduced to very limited congestion at this point except for certain unexplained times. I know the companies my 2 sons work at are going to continue working from home.
        Also, how much do you use the bus?

        • GregB says:

          Comment on working from home curing the parking issue: Not everyone can work from home. Some can, but most can not. And, when the cyber attacks get worse, lord help us all. It is not just the people that work from home that depend on the internet, WE all do, as I type this 1400 miles away from my Albany home and send via the internet. Sorry Hasso, I am off subject.

      • MarK says:

        The only way I’d travel with some of the type of people of people on city buses is with a concealed carry permit

  2. Bill Higby says:

    Mark and Tina are excellent builders. they have worked with the planning department on all of thier projects. This particular project on 4th and Calapooia is a tremendous boost to the neighborhood. By the way MarkK, have you taken a look at the other permitted developments in Albany where there is virtually no off street parking and extremely limited onsite parking? Drive by River’s Edge. You cannot blame a builder for following the development code.

    • MarK says:

      So we just allow a bad thing to continue? That sounds like our current government’s point of view.

      p.s. I have nothing against the builders. It’s the city government’s lack of thought that’s to blame.


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