A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Six apartments planned on East First

Written May 30th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

This grassy area on the south side of E. First Avenue may see a big change in use soon.

A three-story building holding six apartments is in store for a vacant property on East First Avenue in Albany if the owner carries through with plans submitted to the city planning division.

The site consists of two tax lots on the south side of the 600 block of East First, just west of Thurston Street. It has no assigned addresses, which is strange since at least one of the lots had a building that showed on a 1964 aerial photo.

Sly Toran of Gervais is the owner. He bought the property for $350,000 in April 2022, according to Linn County’s online tax records. Elsewhere in Albany, Toran is completing construction of a duplex in the 1000 block of Southeast Seventh Avenue.

A site plan for the vacant lots on First Avenue shows a three-story building with six apartments, two on each floor. Each of the units will have 963 square feet of interior space, with two bedrooms and two baths each.

The plan shows a parking lot with 15 stalls, plus a rack with space for six bicycles.

The planning division posted a public notice of the site plan application on May 12 and notified neighbors within 300 feet. As of today (May 30) no decision on the site plan had been posted.

This section of First Avenue has a mix of commercial, industrial and residential uses. The Helping Hands thrift shop is across the street of the building site. Katon Precision Machining is across Thurston to the east. Other businesses and houses are nearby. The zoning is “mixed use residential.”

The building being proposed presumably counts as “middle housing,” which city and state planning policies are trying to promote. (hh)

According to the plans submitted, this side of the building would front First Avenue.


7 responses to “Six apartments planned on East First”

  1. Lexis says:

    Hi Hasso,

    Do you know why the new apartments on Waverly and Grand Prairie, next to thr Mormon church, have no residents? They have bren completed for quite a while. Curiosity only. Thank you.

  2. Randall Harris says:

    Yes it did have an address. In about 1969 I lived in a large victorian style house on that lot just beyond where your bike is parked. The wife and I had just gotten married out of high school and lived there about a year. (Thought we were getting ripped off for $70 per month) Then we moved to California and started our own large family. Unfortunately I don’t recall the address. If it comes to me, I’ll post it.

  3. hj.anony1 says:

    InFILL at its best. Go! Go!

  4. Gordon Steffensmeier says:

    The old Sanborn maps list the address as 640 East First Street (Avenue).

  5. sonamata says:

    Does the City Council have any intention or plans to increase homeownership or non-rental housing stock? Is public data available on investor-owned vs homeowner-occupied housing in Albany and Linn County?

  6. Richard Vannice says:

    Is there a reason for the front of the building not facing 1st Ave.? It seems odd that the lot would have a 1st Ave. address and not face that street. If it faces east, which it seems to do from the drawing it should have a Thurston St. address.


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