A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Now you can see the footprint of this project

Written September 11th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

Forms have been built for the foundations of two buildings at Calapooia Street and Fourth Avenue. This view is west along Fourth toward houses on Calapooia on Monday afternoon.

In case you were wondering about the long-planned development at Fourth and Calapooia in Albany, another step is now being taken. The foundations for two apartment houses at the corner are being built.

The property owners are Albany homebuilders  Mark and Tina Siegner. In July, Mark told me he hoped to get the foundations done this year while the weather is good. Looks like that is working out.

Building permits had been pending since they were filed last year. This August the city building division approved a permit for the first of the two structures, at 331 Calapooia St.

On the permit, the three-story building is said to have nearly 8,000 square feet and is valued at $1.6 million. Together with systems development charges, fees the city charged for the permit totaled $67,522.

Plans for this corner property call for two three-story buildings with commercial space on the ground floor and a total of eight apartments on floors  2 and 3.

In the making since 2018 and located in the Monteith Historic District, the project generated opposition among advocates of historic preservation because it replaces three historic but severely dilapidated houses. Before they were eventually demolished, the city had condemned the houses as dangerous and uninhabitable.

The Siegners bought the property, realized that rehabilitation of the houses was not feasible and came up with the current project. It was once called Calapooia Court, and now it’s called Calapooia Commons.

If the developers have a target date in mind for when both buildings will be finished, they haven’t told me what it is. ((hh)

Architect Bill Ryals issued this rendering of the project a few years ago.

12 responses to “Now you can see the footprint of this project”

  1. Anony Mouse (they-them) says:

    More expensive, profit making apartments in the gentrified downtown area?

    Given this property was condemned by the city, why didn’t the city exercise its power of eminent domain and seize the property by force?

    That way private, profit seeking ownership could have been transferred to the Linn-Benton Housing Authority. And their mission is to provide affordable housing.

    Affordable housing is a public good and a human right. Shouldn’t the strong arm of city government be exercised here?

    • Al NYMAN says:

      There is no such thing as affordable housing! The only way low income people are going to be housed is with government help, and, unfortunately the government, both local, state, and federal have better uses for the money than low income housing.

      • Cap B. says:

        Yes, the government has “other” uses for their tax-payer-generated money, but whether they are better uses than affordable housing is up for debate. Affordable housing and global warming are issues that the world needs to deal with.

    • Cap B. says:

      Hear, Hear!! Mr. or Ms. Mouse! You are right!

    • Jimmy says:

      Oh please let’s drive up-and-down second third fourth fifth and sixth Southeast.
      You know from King Cone to Parr Lumber.
      And tell me how much gentrified Albany has become.
      That Is if you have any teeth left
      From the Bone-jarring potholes..
      Good grief.

    • chris j says:

      The strong arm of the law only applies to people who do not have the resources to fight back. No one takes from the people who can fight back when it comes to taking a home. The houses were bought by people who had money. It would cost the city too much money and it would have proved illegal to take them by force. The best government solution would be to alleviate some of the homeless situation by helping homeowners keep their homes rather than waiting until they can be condemned or sold due to financial necessity. Homelessness is a sign of a failing system for the general public. Power is only positive when it is used for the good of everyone, not used only for the good of the few who really do not need it. Taking from the helpless is truly the easiest route to get what people with power want but it will never solve any of the problems we face as a community. Even if it is a nonprofit, money is always exchanged and misused. It is cheaper and easier to pay a dentist to clean your teeth rather than paying him to pull all of them out later.

  2. Julie says:

    I’m very interested in renting one of these apartments! I’ve always wanted to live near downtown!!!

  3. RICH KELLUM says:

    Good on the Siegners, this is proof positive that intelligent thought is winning out over the self appointed socialists who think that everyone else must comply to the group think.
    A number of Siegners protagonists are in fact people who had their hand stuck out to be helped with Government funds.

    The Siegners saw 3 dilapidated houses, purchased them, and came to the conclusion that they could not be affordably repaired, came up with a plan and their own money to replace them with something that could be done with the property that complied with the rules. Only to be nit picked by the old guard of socialists wanting their agenda. After years and I am sure many thousands of dollars it is finally happening, Good on Mark and Tina,

    • Albany YIMBY says:

      I don’t know why do you blame “socialists” when NIMBYism is a transversal phenomenon, and affects right-wing and left-wing folks.

      I am as leftist as one can be, and I think what they did here is wonderful. Housing of any type being built, luxury or not, results in more units, and therefore lowers the pressure on the housing market for everyone. It’s basic supply and demand in a capitalist society.

      What is really disappointing is that in the “country of freedom” a couple of developers need to stick for more than 5 years to get their project done after multiple reviews and lawsuits by NIMBYs and BANANAs (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything). These people really thrive on stalling progress for years.

  4. Bessie Johnson says:

    I am so glad the Siegners are finally getting to move on with the construction. I have been for this since I was on the Council. They have always done good work and what they said they would do. The designer’s rendering is beautiful. It will fit in with the historical district. I just hope that those objecting to this (and delaying the project for so many years) will see how wrong they were.

    • Albany YIMBY says:

      For sure.

      Multi-family housing is the future to create walkable and affordable cities in America.

      When you visit Heidelberg in Germany or Aix-on-Provence in France you don’t think “it’s so sad they live so crowded”.


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