As expected, the Albany Community Development Department has approved an increase in the number of proposed apartments at “The Banks,” a planned housing complex on the Willamette River across Geary Street from Bowman Park.
The city issued its decision on July 17, approving the modification of a site plan previously approved in 2019. The new plan calls for 120 “market-rate” apartments in eight three-story buildings, plus a one-story clubhouse. The previous plan was for 105 apartments.
The 6-acre property, owned by Willamette River View Holdings II of Salem, covers a former industrial site of bare land but also includes heavily wooded lots that face Linn Avenue and short sections of Chicago and Alco streets.
According to their plan, the developers intend to cut down 80 of the 96 trees on the site and preserve the other 16. Among those scheduled to come down are five Oregon white oaks.
The revised plan eliminates an access point on Alco Street, a driveway that according to the original concept was to remain gated and used for emergencies only. Now it’s gone completely. The only way in and out of the complex is a driveway on Geary Street.
Among the conditions required by the city is that the developers set aside a 16-foot-wide easement for a path along the river. The city is requiring a 10-foot-wide path there, to replace the informal trail that now connects Bowman and Simpson parks.
The developers have a choice of putting in a path covered with bark or building one of concrete. A concrete path would generate a credit toward the project’s systems development charges for streets and parks.
I contacted one of the principals in the company. But there’s no word yet whether they intend to start site preparation right away or wait. (hh)