HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Edgewater Village nearing the finish line

Written February 6th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

Edgewater Village townhouses with addresses on Front Avenue, left, and Water Avenue on the right.

The biggest residential development on Albany’s Willamette riverfront is rapidly nearing completion. I see the progress at Edgewater Village every time I ride past on the Dave Clark Path, which happens several times a week.

Painters have been working on two rows of completed townhouses between the Water Avenue railroad track and an extension of Front Avenue, while roofers and others finish the row of townhouses and detached homes overlooking the path and the riverbank.

As fast as they’ve been making headway, I’d bet the whole place will be finished and landscaped and ready for residents no later than spring.

I’ve been following this project for years. It was in June 2007 that CARA, the downtown urban renewal program, approved $2.4 million in financial aid toward what started out as plans for 146 dwelling units on the site of a long-closed former packing plant that burned in 2006.

The Great Recession and many other complications delayed action for a long time. The plans were revised several times and then reduced in scale until the city planning commission in 2013 approved a subdivision of 58 homes. Streets and utilities were built in 2014, and the first houses were started the year after that.

By now, 30 houses are complete, to be followed in short order by the 28 that remain. (If you have an interest in living there or want to contact the developers to learn more, their website has their contact information.)

Right in the middle of the roughly 6-acre site, there’s nearly one acre owned by the city, obtained from the BNSF Railroad as part of a franchise deal some years ago. Soon it won’t be needed as a construction yard, so maybe now would be the right time for the city council to consider what to do with that land. (hh)

Each of the townhouses has a neat little number sign.

 

This is the south row of townhouses, facing Water Avenue.



16 responses to “Edgewater Village nearing the finish line”

  1. Monica Weber says:

    I approve of this subdivision! It is well designed. The houses are cute. I love the ftont porches. Easy care yards. Geat access to downtown and the Dave Clark path and parks.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    What is this CARA of which you speak?

  3. R. Olson says:

    I have ridden through there also and it looks nice but I noticed one main concern for me. The south row of houses that border the tracks have no guest parking. Seems like the only parking available is street parking at the east end? That’s a long hike! Did I miss something?

  4. DaleS says:

    Must love trains!

  5. Ronald says:

    How often does the train run

    • Elwood Blues says:

      So often you won’t even notice.

    • Jennifer Stuart says:

      The one along Water Ave is 2 times nightly and very slow. Maybe 10:30 pm going west and 11:30 going East. I rarely even notice it from my house on Front Ave. We moved in the summer of 2016, and loved the location and the quality of the home so much that we purchased the home the next summer.

  6. Ray Kopczynski says:

    Kudos! Having the garages in an “alley” along with the porches in very good design and helps foster a classic neighborhood IMO.

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Does the impact of gentrification concern you?

      These homes cost $350,000-$500,000. When affluent people who move into a poorer neighborhood, which this is, surrounding housing prices will soar causing the poorer people to move out. They simply can’t afford the astronomical Albany property taxes.

      Where will these folks go? What will CARA do for them? Or, does CARA only think of wealthy developers from Lake Oswego?

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        There you go again…

        “Where will these folks go? What will CARA do for them? Or, does CARA only think of wealthy developers from Lake Oswego?”

        As you very well know, CARA has zero control over which developers wish to build in Albany. If any developer follows all existing rules, we have no methodology to redline them – nor should we!

        And considering what the property was before the 1st developer started (and what it is ending up to be), I have zero problems with your “gentrification” trolling. You would rather have it still be/stay as a fallow piece of dirt and rubble I suppose?

        • RICH KELLUM says:

          Ray,

          You know that CARA picked the Diamonds, so there is some control going on there…

          • Ray Kopczynski says:

            Actually, Council didn’t solicit the Diamonds. The prior developer (who wanted out) picked them. Council signed off on it…

  7. Robert Chandler says:

    The train runs very late at night. It never seems to have a set schedule. At each intersection the train will blow its horn so if you move here you will definitely know it’s coming. The train will run East down the tracks first. Then sometime later, an hour or better, he will return. You get used to it.

  8. Bob Gately says:

    I wish I had put in my 2 cents when the development was being planned, if it would have mattered. I don’t like how so many units have been squeezed in along the railroad tracks. With their front doors and tiny little porches facing the sidewalk/fence/tracks/road. I wish that their were a few less buildings and that they were arranged differently. Unfortunately, all of their front doors and porches face my property and fear having to listen to everyone’s loud music.

    I’m also concerned about the additional traffic in the neighborhood. It doesn’t seem like the best situation to have all of these people trying to get in and out through the tight intersection at Hill and Water. There’s the RR crossing, one ways on Hill, 1st & 2nd, and brewery parking congestion. To make matters worse, the 3 bedroom house on the corner of Water and Madison only has on street parking. There’s now 3 more vehicles plus visiting friends filling parking spaces. The property owner is planning on building a duplex on the same property. Will these residents also have to park on the street? Add to this, the cheese factory on 1st and Madison has large trucks that park in Madison or try to back up into their property. There’s also a truck driving school that runs their trucks through the neighborhood.

    Finally, I’m not sure if some of the new Edgewater units along the tracks are up to fire safety codes. The middle units do not have conventional back doors. They only have garage doors. So if there was a fire in the front, they would have to exit out the back and I don’t know if a garage door is as obvious or as easy to use as a conventional door.

    Anyway I’m sure the city will be real pleased to receive all these extra tax dollars, but it comes at the expense of livability.

    • Jennifer Stuart says:

      Bob, the three bedroom house on Water and Madison also has a 1 1/2 car garage. I doubt there will be much more music noise than already occurs at the Calapooia Brewing Company. We only hear it in the summer when there are events there in the outdoor space.

      • Bob Gately says:

        Thanks for the reply. There is no garage on the property at Water & Madison. Unless you are referring to the garage on the lot between the house and the brewery. Yes, I hope for reasonable and considerate neighbors.

        I looked inside the edgewater apartments today and they look nice. But I have to ask: where can the children play outside? Instead of building the 2nd or middle row of apartment buildings, they should have built a park-like play area and additional parking for guests.

 

 
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