A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

On Linn Avenue, apartment site cleared of trees

Written May 3rd, 2021 by Hasso Hering

This vacant house and its neighbor are being taken down along with the trees to make room for “The Banks.”

The 1900 block of Northeast Linn Avenue looked a lot less leafy this afternoon than it used to. As expected, logging had begun on the north side of the street to make room for “The Banks,” a 120-unit apartment complex on the Willamette river.

By mid-afternoon, tall Douglas firs close to the street had come down. A big old oak was still standing.

Elwood’s Tree Service of Salem was doing the work. The property is owned and the apartments are being developed by Salem-based Willamette River View Holdings.

When the city approved a site plan for the apartments, at 595 Geary St. N.E. across Geary from Bowman Park, it also approved the cutting of dozens of trees on the 6.2-acre property, much of it a former industrial site.

The Albany Planning Commission approved the expanded site plan on Feb. 1. The revised plan calls for 120 units, up from 105 previously approved.

The trees had to come down before construction can start.

According to the website of the city’s Building Division, permits for site preparation, demolition of two small houses on Linn, and the construction of nine buildings had not yet been issued on Monday night.

Residents of the old neighborhood south of the riverside site had opposed the project. But they could not stop it because the property had been rezoned for possible apartments in 2003 and the site plan met all the requirements of the city’s development code. (hh)

in July 2020, the block of Linn Avenue where apartments will be built looked like this.


This was what the street looked like today, after the logging had begun.

9 responses to “On Linn Avenue, apartment site cleared of trees”

  1. HowlingCicada says:

    “””The trees had to come down before construction can start.”””

    Why? Not just a rhetorical question.

    I live in one of many small apartment buildings built in the 1960’s, with additional buildings from the 80’s and 90’s, surrounded by oaks and douglas firs that have to be older — some much older. Some of the trees are in spots that could be judged inconvenient to the property managers.

    What has changed? Is the whole business world now so thoroughly systematized that every slight obstacle has to be plowed down and replanted in perfect order?

    To be clear, I’m not opposed to apartments in that area, though I live too far away to have “standing” (Corvallis). I can think of ways that would have made them tolerable to most of their neighbors, but that would have required even further outside-the-box thinking than just leaving a few trees standing.

    • Jacob Johannsen says:

      “We have to destroy it in order to save it.”

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      Looking at the photos provided, and considering the damage during the recent ice-storm, I’ll guess developers will error on the side of caution for potential liability with older trees that might cause trouble…

      • HowlingCicada says:

        Yeah, you’re probably right, especially with Douglas firs. By the way, the ice storm just missed Corvallis (at least the northwest end), but we had a bad wind event since then that caused serious damage in a few spots.

        • HowlingCicada says:

          Belated New Year’s resolution: Get off my butt and ride down to places like this before they start building and photographically document what’s there. Then I’ll have evidence, or lack thereof, of the plow-it-all-down mentality.

  2. Lynn M says:

    I used to live on that street back in the late 70s. It was such a nice little neighborhood. The house I lived in has long been gone – it was built around 1910 (it had old newspapers in the walls as insulation!).

  3. Bill Kapaun says:

    It looks like they have a small head start on the demolishing? It looks like a golden opportunity to extract some $ from an out of town “group” instead of the locals. Else the contractors would have to repair the damage before they can demolish to avoid any permit infractions.

  4. hj.anony1 says:

    Great Images H.H. Before and now. Amazing how close that “leafy” tree truck was to the front door in 2020. I assume the house is set to be razed too? Looks like a lot of leafy tree damage by current image. Yikes!

  5. DSimpson says:

    Probably just perspective, but the fir on the right in the before pic sure looks like it was growing right in the middle of the front porch. Would have been an interesting night when the recent ice storm hit.


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