Home building ramps up in Bend

Proposed and approved plans could add 400 new homes

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin / @josefditzler

Plans filed in Bend for subdivisions in the past year include:

Aspen Reserve

• 65 single-family homes and 81 multi-family units on 20 acres

• Bounded by Alstrup and Brosterhous roads and the Central Oregon Irrigation District canal

• Seeking city approval of changes to the 2007 master plan

• Developer: Hoviss Development Group LLC, Vancouver, Washington

Glen Eagle

• 40 single-family homes on 7 acres

• Bounded by Keyte, Eagle and Daniel roads

• Seeking tentative subdivision plan approval

• Developer: C4 Inc., Lynnwood, Washington

Rock Ridge Park

• 34 single-family homes on 8.27 acres

• Bounded by Rorick & Stonewood drives and Bobwhite Court

• Seeking preliminary plan approval

• Developer: Pacwest II LLC, Bend

Stonegate, phase three

• 50 single-family homes on about 7 acres

• Northeast corner of China Hat and Parrell roads

• Approved in 2013 for building

• Developer: Stonegate Development LLC, Tualatin

Sundance Meadows

• 43 homes on 9.3 acres

• 27th St. and Bear Creek Road

• Under construction

• Developer: MonteVista Homes, Clackamas

Vail Meadows

• 31 single-family homes on 3.61 acres

• Bounded by Vail Lane, Sixth & Eighth streets, and an unnamed lane south of Vail

• Seeking approval to turn 31 lots into 48 lots

• Developer: Palmer Orchard LLC, Beaverton

The city of Bend so far this year has reviewed developers’ plans for at least a half-dozen subdivisions that would add more than 400 new homes in the city.

Overall, the number of planning applications of all kinds, from individual lot-line changes to multi-unit housing projects, reached 677 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, said Colin Stephens, Bend city planning manager.

Those numbers signal a climb back to levels not seen since fiscal year 2007-08, when the Community Development Department received 603 total applications.

“That tells me the economy has rebounded significantly from where it was when we were doing 180, 190 applications,” he said. “The (department) work volume has really increased across the board. But there’s a significant increase in the creation of new lots to put new homes on.”

In 2006-07, the height of the building boom, the department received 830 applications. The current crop of subdivision applications is in various stages of bureaucratic review, from pre-application meetings to final checklists. The city must rule on subdivision applications, called Type II applications, within 120 days, Stephens said. From first applications to breaking ground typically takes from 18 months to two years.

Recent applications include the 40-lot Glen Eagle subdivision on the northeast side of Bend; Aspen Reserve, a 65-lot development on 20 acres at Brosterhous and Alstrup roads; and phase three of Stonegate, which would add another 50 lots to a planned 187-unit development on China Hat Road.

“We will begin pulling permits later this summer for phase three home building,” wrote Dan Pahlisch, vice president for new business development at Pahlisch Homes, the builder at Stonegate.

Pahlisch Homes dusted off the Stonegate site plan in April 2013, and city planners ruled it valid. The Stonegate developer, Tualatin-based developer Stonegate Development LLC, cited the “recent economic downturn” for delaying plans to build out the subdivision.

The previous owner, Elk Horn Development LLC, foresaw completing the entire four-phase project in four years when it first submitted plans in 2004.

By 2008, however, many developers in Bend stymied by the housing market crash in 2007-08 stopped moving dirt and instead moved paperwork, filing requests to keep their plans current as they passed city deadlines to build.

“Probably from 2008 to 2012, we didn’t see any land-division applications,” Stephens said. “Developers kept getting extensions to keep their approvals alive through the recession.”

In southeast Bend, Aspen Reserve, formerly known as Sun Ranch, a project of Hoviss Development Group LLC, was also on pause. Hoviss, of Vancouver, Washington, in June asked the city to approve changes to the original plan, which the city OK’d in 2007. Hoviss’ tentative site plan, filed July 3, outlines 65 lots for single-family homes and 81 units of multi-family housing on the former mobile home park, a total of 147 units. The original plan outlined 432 multi-family housing units.

Pete Mann, Hoviss’ director of construction and land development, said Hoviss retooled its plans to meet demand for single-family homes.

“It’s pretty self-evident right now that multifamily isn’t as popular as single-family in the Bend real estate market. A lot of market conditions are in play right now,” he said.

Also, he said, the reconfigured plan for Aspen Reserve generates less traffic than the original plan.

In northwest Bend, the West Bend Property Co., the developer behind NorthWest Crossing, in the past year recorded 113 lots in three phases of its subdivision project, said David Ford, company general manager. He said NorthWest Crossing, unlike many other developers, never stopped actively recording and selling lots during the recession. In 2013, sales picked up. Today Bend is a seller’s market, Ford said.

“Last year saw the biggest growth in lots and lot sales that we’ve seen in the last four years,” he said. “In fact, most of the homes in NorthWest Crossing in the last year have probably sold before the home is completed.”

In northeast Bend, Glen Eagle, first proposed in 2006, covers 7 acres near another, larger project, called Mirada, now under construction but first approved in 2008.

For a site near the Old Mill District, a firm from Portland Project, filed a preliminary plan to build 27 row houses on property bounded by Colorado and Arizona avenues, Wall Street and Industrial Way. THA Architecture filed the rough plan, called Mill Quarter, on July 10 along with a request to meet with city staff to discuss the project, the first step in the development process. Project managing partner Tom Cody said Friday the firm has not closed on the property and is exploring the feasibility of developing the site.

MonteVista Homes, of Clackamas, and Chet Antonsen of Pacwest II LLC, of Bend, in June started the approval process for 34 single-family homes on 8.3 acres in northeast Bend. The subdivision, called Rock Ridge Park, would lie between Rorick and Stonewood drives and Bobwhite Court. MonteVista bought the property from the developers of adjacent Quail Crossing and drew up its own development plans, said MonteVista marketing director Luke Pickerill.

“All of the developers have confidence in the market again,” Pickerill said. “We all ... think it’s going to be real good until the end of 2016.”

MonteVista Homes also developed Sundance Meadows, a 43-lot subdivision of single-family homes going up off 27th Street and Bear Creek Road. Pickerill said builders barely keep up with eager buyers.

“Demand over the last 16 months means it’s hard to build on spec,” he said. “As soon as you get the walls up, they’re selling.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com