Once again last week, the bike took me on the trail between the Willamette River and The Banks, the 120-unit apartment complex under construction near Bowman Park in Albany. Then, over the weekend, I noticed that the Salem-based developers have opened a website that shows the floor plans of different units and what they will cost.
According to the site, TheBanksAlbany.com, the apartments will become available starting this summer.
Monthly rental prices will start at $1,375 for a studio apartment of 551 square feet.
A one-bedroom unit with 800 square feet will cost “from $1,600.” For two bedrooms and 988 square feet, renters will pay $1,830. For bigger units with two bathrooms the price goes up — from $2,100 a month for two or three bedrooms.
The prices are subject to change, and the dimensions given are approximate, the website says.
Some apartments will become available in late July, acording to the site. For others, prospective tenants are to be notified when the units are ready.
The website invites applications from renters and lists a long series of amenities. These include the “idylic setting between Bowman and Eads Parks, featuring almost 400 feet of direct Willamette River frontage.” Also, there are to be “community-share bicycles, a waterfront pickleball court,” and more.
The space between the apartments and the riverside trail (the one the bike is on in the photo above), will be taken up by a parking lot. The whole complex will be fenced, according to the website.
The plans approved by the city planning commission in February 2021 show the trail being widened to 10 feet. So whatever else happens, riverside travel on foot or two wheels between Bowman and Simpson parks will be preserved. (hh)
I hope they are ready for the flooding.
Those buildings are on higher ground and out of the floodways. You can access flood maps on the city website.
A nice step up on the housing ladder for some. This may bring some vacancies to the more affordable units off Queen, or 34th. We need all types of housing to meet the shortage we face. Glad we are getting some choices in Albany.
I hope the City required the developer to provide landscaping to obscure their massive parking lot and help shade the trail.
I’m not commenting on the rent because people on the FB post voiced my opinion on that. I just shake my head because so many people will keep voting for the same City Councilors who keep approving every developer’s scheme that crosses their desk — in the name of “Albany needs affordable housing,” of course.
High rental prices communicate that the supply is scarce relative to the demand.
The message is that too few rentable units have been built in Albany over a long period of time.
What should local government do?
The worst thing would be to add a local layer to Oregon’s oppressive rent control law. That would only worsen the affordability problem.
The best thing would be to make Albany more development friendly.
In other words, get out of the damn way (ex: flexible lot sizes, reduced parking requirements, allow more mixed-use, eliminate bureaucracy).
“High rental prices communicate that the supply is scarce relative to the demand,” is one possibility. Another possibility is that high rental prices communicate a stranglehold by large real estate and property development lobbies on local governments. (Albany’s City Council could hardly be more development friendly!). I think the scandal of rampant unaffordable housing is very complex; if simply building more units were the answer, we’d be well on the way to solving the problem by now.
Whew! I was worried they would be expensive…
Rent Poor! Whew!
$1,375 for a studio apartment? If you follow the 30% rule, to afford rent, you should make $4,583 per month, $55,000 per year, which is $26.44/hr. If rent makes up 40% of your gross income, you’d have to make $3,437.5 per month, $41,250 per year, which is $19.83/hr.
Just curious if there are any records of the water ever getting that high?
There are records that show the water getting that high.
People who think “the city” picks and chooses the kind of development they like are woefully misinformed.
Every lot in the city is contained in the 10 year Comprehensive Plan. Each lot is zoned for a particular level of development. When a developer wants to build they have to show that they conform to the zoning.
If they don’t conform to the zoning, they have to apply for a zone change, which can become a multi-year process that happens in public with all citizens welcome to put in their opinion.
It’s an open, public process. It’s not the whim of counselors.
Yes, residents who live near the property in question are allowed to participate in rezoning processes. However, City Councilors are the ones who vote on rezoning applications, and the Albany City Council has a record of siding with developers and large property owners over residents. So although the process is “open and public”, residents have little likelihood of prevailing over developers.
It has to go through the fun process of the Planning Commission first — which can then be appealed to the City Council. Council’s decision can then be appealed to LUBA which can force it back to the City and/or can be appealed to court. There’s ample opportunity for the public to weigh in and agree/disagree with the final outcomes. None of it happens overnight.
Ray, this was appealed to the City Council and you should remember you approved it! The LUBA process is very expensive for any citizen or a neighborhood to appeal. All it does is remand it back to the same governing body that approved it! The reason the neighborhood appealed this development was they were adding more density than the original site plan. Plus there was access issues. They had several very legitimate concerns.
Yes, I did/do approve it. The appeal process was there to use…
Thank you Sharon
In the early 90s I rented a studio in Albany…$300. That included electric, water/sewer, basic cable, and garbage.
A decade earlier, mine was $165.00.
Definitely not affordable apartments. My goodness.
I agree with Derek on the math. A person making $15 hour as so many do, working full time makes 2400 / month before taxes. ($15 * 40 hourse /week * 4 weeks/month. = 2400). Take out 25% for social security, taxes, etc. leaves a take home of $1800 a month for everything else (food, rent, utilities, car payments, gas, clothes). So a studio or one bedroom is unfeasible.
Another data point. My 25 year old daughter (raised here in Albany, graduated from West) moved to New York City about 3 years ago. She is currently living with another West Albany graduate in NYC (which is pretty cool I think) and two other girls in a 4 bedroom in New York. Four bedrooms and two baths costs them $750 a month each! If the three bedroom is $2100/month, that means these are comparable in price to living in NYC!
But to be honest, this is not just an Albany issue. Housing is an issue throughout Oregon, Washington, and California.
Makes me wonder what my nice studio apartment at Fisherman’s Wharf in SF with secure covered parking costs now. I paid $500 per month in 1972. Moot. They are condominiums now.
$500 in 1972 is equal to about $3500 today, so I’d say you were paying about the same as they go for now.
This is affordable housing?
So much for affordable housing
Median household income in Albany per the US census is ~$62k, so these should be considered affordable I’d think.
That’s not taking into consideration people on SS/SSI/SSD, TANF… that get less than $11,000 -$25,000 a year.. Even people on housing can not get in there..
That does include people like that, Jim. That’s what the census includes.
However, not all housing should be affordable to all people. There should be, and are, levels of housing just like there are levels of income. The basic capitalistic system is designed with the idea that people will seek ways to better their income. The problem is when people at one level expect to have the same quality of life as people at a higher level of income. It does not work that way, nor should it.
Contrary to what most in the media seem to think, we are not all equal in the economic system in use in this country. That does not mean we should not have a basic level of income for a household to survive but it does mean that expectations need to be appropriate for a level of income.
When they say “affordable housing”…
Nobody said that about this project.It was planned as market-rate housing.
Inflated Market Value…manipulated inflationary tactics.
We can start by getting rid of the mandatory yearly minimum wage increases…the one that gets the government worker their 3% cost of living wage increases.
Society racing towards its own destruction.
ps: and I do recall the word “affordable housing” being tossed around. ;-)
You want affordable housing, clean up after yourselves when you move, quit voting in more taxes, quit making landlords pay to move lazy tenants that are collecting unemployment and do not pay the rent.
These are overpriced even in today’s market. For comparison from 2005 to 2010, I rented a brand new 641 sq. ft. studio apartment on the 12th floor with a balcony and view in Portland’s Pearl District for $1400 a month. That included a parking spot in the underground parking garage of the building and a concierge.
I’m not sure comparing current market prices to a over a decade ago is accurate. Kind of like apples and oranges. What does that studio in the Pearl rent for now in comparison?
You have a point. I suppose I was griping about their asking prices like most.
The last 10 years rental costs in Oregon have increased to truly unaffordable and unsustainable levels first in Portland and eventually throughout the state regardless of income demographics and local economies. Unstable environments open doors for exploitation. A Portland salary is more likely to sustain the inflation whereas an Albany/Mid-Valley is less likely. Even when considering that building costs and labor are far more expensive today than even two years ago and the local shortage of housing, Riverside’s asking prices are hundreds of dollars higher than market rate. In my opinion, this is an example of landlord/corporate price gouging.
Average cost for 1-bedroom 800 sq. ft. apartment April 2022: Albany = $1,273, Portland = $1,680, Corvallis = $1,556, Salem = $1,321
My former apartment in the Pearl rents for $2000 today.