A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Homeless village drops bid for Hazelwood Park

Written September 21st, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Sunshine bursts through the foliage of Hazelwood Park on July 3. On Wednesday the council will consider selling the park.

The group planning to build a village of tiny houses for the homeless has withdrawn its offer to buy Albany’s Hazelwood Park for its project even though the offer is still listed on the city council’s agenda for Wednesday night.

Carol Davies, vice president of Creating Housing Coalition, told me about the change in a comment on this story, which was posted this afternoon and originally reported that the coalition had offered to buy the park for $350,000.

Stacey Bartholomew, president of the coalition, confirmed that the offer had been withdrawn. This was done last week, she told me on the phone just now. The question is why the council agenda, which came out Friday, didn’t reflect the change. Nor was the change mentioned in a supplemental agenda that came out later.

According to Bartholomew, the group realized the cost of developing Hazelwood Park for a village of up to 25 tiny houses and related facilities would have been too great. Building on another site will leave more money for other aspects of the development.

Also, she said, bowing out will give neighbors trying to buy the park a better chance.

Creating Housing Coalition has made an offer for another piece of property in Albany, but she wasn’t at liberty to identify it.

With the coalition out of the picture for Hazelwood Park, that leaves one other offer, presuming it’s still on the table, listed on the council agenda. Three households behind the park on 17th Avenue have gone together and offered $120,000 for the property. They don’t want to lose what has been an extension of their yards.

The city council declared the 2.58-acre parcel surplus after the parks department said it doesn’t want it. The park, at 1999 Queen Ave. S.W., is sandwiched by two electric substations and backs up to houses that front on 17th.

Proceeds of the sale will go to the parks department. (hh)

A rendering of Hub City Village from the group’s brochure, now no longer applicable because it’s based on the Hazelwood Park property.

12 responses to “Homeless village drops bid for Hazelwood Park”

  1. Carol Davies says:

    Creating Housing Coalition have withdrawn our bid for Hazelwood Park. We wish the neighbors the best in their endeavor.

    • Beyte says:

      Glad you did the right thing. Good luck in your endeavors. I’m sure you will find a more suitable site. It looks like a beautiful plan.

  2. HowlingCicada says:

    “Tough choice. Except that the Hub City group can find other sites.” And probably face similar kinds of unjustified opposition anywhere else. Or face totally different kinds of difficulties. And eventually give up.

    • HowlingCicada says:

      Obviously, when I wrote this, I didn’t know about the withdrawal; a very different article appeared above.

      Hasso, do you think for the sake of maintaining a better history of this story, that your original article should be preserved here? If it’s lost, I can submit it as a comment or email it to you if you want.

  3. Sue says:

    Everyone here in Albany complain about the homeless, it is a great idea to help them NOT be homeless, in a place they can afford, but if the rent will be $1500 for a tiny home, might as well forget it‍♀️

    • HowlingCicada says:

      Who is to pay $1500 (presumably per month) to whom? Unless you have a valid source or clarification, that’s BS!

    • Carol Davies says:

      Sue, rents in our village will average between $250 and $350 a month and will be no more than 30% of a resident’s income. This will be truly affordable housing!

      • Steven Reynolds says:

        Just curious Carol, almost every water bill in the city is around $110 now (and will be going up after the first of the year) for every unit available and almost every tenant is paying close to $200 to $250 toward property taxes for city services. Will resident’s pay their own water bills, are you going to have a separate meter for each unit? How do you envision a $250 to $350 rent in your business plan? How are you budgeting for repairs and maintenance? What about management expenses? SDC fees on this are going to be quite substantial to pay for the infrastructure involved, how are you going to amortize those costs?

        Not trying to throw water on your project, just trying to figure out how you get to those numbers.

  4. Mary says:

    I think we need a “GOLDEN CORRAL”

  5. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    To someone living on the streets or in a cardboard box or a tent, Hub City may look like the promised land.

    But a quick fix like a tiny house village is an illusion. It doesn’t really “fix” anything.

    It just pisses off the neighbors.

    I don’t know what a permanent housing solution looks like for homeless people.

    But life experience teaches that a temporary solution rarely, if ever, leads to permanent change.

  6. Hasso Hering says:

    Carol Davies of the Housing Coalition added this further explanation:

    “There were a number of reasons why we chose to withdraw our offer. First of all, we would have needed to get a zoning change and we weren’t able to make the purchase contingent on getting the change. Moreover, the cost for infrastructure improvements was prohibitive, and it isn’t on a bus route and is a considerable distance from stores and services.

    “When we found out that a group of neighbors got together to make an offer so they could keep it undeveloped, we decided to withdraw our offer. We feel that it really is best-suited for that purpose. We appreciate the neighbors’ willingness to hear us out when we reached out to them and we took their concerns into consideration when we made our decision.”

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