A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Housing development appears stuck in limbo

Written March 30th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

On March 14, I stopped at this corner to see if there was any sign of construction activity. There wasn’t.

What happened to the plan to build 44 apartments and 11 single-family houses at the corner of Airport Road and Franklin Avenue, a plan approved by the Albany Planning Commission in August 2020?

Hard to say, except that it hasn’t happened so far.

City permits list a phone number for the applicants on this the project. When I called the number on Thursday, I reached HBH Consulting Engineers in Newberg, where I was told the project had been “sold” and the firm was no longer involved. Sold to whom? They didn’t know.

Linn County property records say the property, a parcel of nearly 6.5 acres, is still owned by Victor M. Shults and Susan Y. Willis, whose address is a post office box in St. Paul. They bought the property in 2015 and obtained a zone change in 2019 to allow the development.

The last city permit approved for the property was in August 2021, for construction of streets and water and sewer lines. There’s no indication that the work took place.

In November 2020, the city approved a plan to cut down trees on the parcel. As reported here at the time, the plan said there were 329 trees bigger than 25 inches in circumference, including 309 Oregon white oaks. Two hundred fifty-one of the oaks were to be felled, and 58 were to be preserved.

At least some of the trees seem to have been taken out. Whether housing will grow in their place, or when, that I don’t know. (hh)

Looking at the interior of the site along Franklin Avenue.



10 responses to “Housing development appears stuck in limbo”

  1. Jon says:

    Things that made sense when interest rates were low, have poor return on investment now that interest rates are high.

  2. Cap B. says:

    So the 251 Oak trees that were to be felled get a reprieve at least. Let’s hope it is a permanent reprieve from the ax of some greedy developer.

  3. hj.anony1 says:

    “At least some of the trees seem to have been taken out.”

    Woah. I guess that’s why I keep reading.

    • Cap B. says:

      Hasso said 251 trees were to be taken out and 58 were to be preserved….that is, of the trees that are 25 inches or more in diameter. He said some trees appear to have already been taken out, but didn’t state a number. Pardon me, but I don’t understand your comment. Is it that there is not a specific number on the trees that have already been cut?

  4. MarK says:

    “Limbo” is a GOOD place for this expansion boom.

  5. Jacque says:

    We are so disgusted with this, as our back yard backs up to this property. I am so disappointed that the Albany Planning Committee let this happen….the beautiful oak tree grove was butchered….and now nothing has become of the property. It is an ugly eyesore, and the grove of oak trees are gone forever.

  6. Constant Observer says:

    One might suspect that the property was bought for the express purpose of harvesting those white oaks for the lumber (in an easy access urban setting) without any intention of “creating housing.”

    • anon says:

      For anything other than firewood those trees were worthless as a commodity. Too knotty and not nearly straight enough. Their highest and best value was as shade in the summertime.

      The real question in all of this is, how long is an approval good for with no action on the approval?

  7. Hartman says:

    Do people still consider Limbo a thing?


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