Try to make a reservation at a restaurant in Bend and no doubt there’s going to be a wait. Drive across town, there’s no doubt going to be traffic and difficulty parking when you reach your destination.

The Grove developers in NorthWest Crossing want to eliminate those hassles with a new project that allows residents to live, work and play in the same city block. The Grove is being built by project^, a Portland-based real estate developer with more than 20 projects under its belt.

Between its location on NW Crossing Drive and NW Mt. Washington Drive, and its unique architecture, the Grove has the potential of becoming a gathering place in the community, said Jay Lyons, Compass Commercial partner.

“There are not many properties like the Grove with this level of visibility,” said Lyons. “Given its location and architectural style with the market hall, this is unique and new to the Bend marketplace.”

Two of the three buildings in the block-long development are completed, the Market Hall that has eight of the nine retail locations leased and the Assembly area that has 15 furnished executives suites available.

The developer has secured anchor restaurant, Rancher Butcher Chef, which is owned by the former Toro Bravo chef John Gorham, his wife Renee Gorham and Will von Schlegel.

The 32-unit condo is not yet built and will break ground this fall, but is still awaiting building permits, said Chris Jones, a partner at project^ .

This urban model for development is turning into a renaissance of the traditional suburb, said Walt Ramage, NAI Cascade Commercial Real estate broker. Roll out of bed, get ready for work, grab a cup of coffee, walk over to the co-working space, grab lunch and conversation with friends and neighbors and never have to get in a car.

“We conceptualized this project three years ago,” said Jones. “We wanted to create a centerpiece for the community. Then COVID hit and the restaurants shut down. We made modifications to the building because of the pandemic.”

Four new restaurants opened recently at the 14,000-square-foot mall area, joining others that have been open since May at the Grove. The new restaurants are Bend Breakfast Burrito, Left Coast Burger Company, ThAiPas and Greenleaf Juice and they are joining Waypoint, Thump Coffee, Elly’s Ice Cream and Sunny’s Carrello.

Packy Deenihan, owner of Bend Brewing Co. and Waypoint, said that business has been good since the bar opened in May. Deenihan said Waypoint only serves alcohol, but there are enough food vendors operating that there is synergy.

“All things considering, we are doing well up there,” Deenihan said. “When we saw the Grove under construction we were intrigued by the architecture and the space. When we investigated it further we thought that the idea of the bar inside the hall would be a great fit for us.

“There was a need for more food and drink options in the northwest side of Bend.”

Rancher Butcher Chef will feature pasture to table beef that comes from the Country Natural Beef Cooperative when it opens next year, said von Schlegel, who owns a cattle farm in Southern Oregon. The restaurant can accommodate 70 people inside and 30 outside, von Schlegel said.

“Our concept is to celebrate the culinary versatility of the whole animal,” von Schlegel said. “John (Gorham) will add his skill set to each cut. We love the Grove because of its communal aspect.

“It’s a new neighborhood and there’s starting to be a vibrancy in the area.”

While construction is going on, the restaurant will showcase its recipes in pop up sales in the Market Hall, said Renee Gorham. The next popup sales will be Oct. 17 and Nov. 6, she said.

“We relocated to Central Oregon last year for several reasons, mostly the lifestyle and amazing community here,” Renee Gorham said. “This will be our only restaurant, for now anyway.”

Because of the pandemic, the developers modified plans to incorporate more outdoor spaces to accommodate Bend’s hearty residents, said Jones. There are now movable walls, curtain walls and walk up windows incorporated into the design, Jones said.

This is project%5E’s third development in Bend, Jones said. The first two are housing projects called the Range and Basecamp. The development company is looking into building workforce housing near St. Charles Bend and in southwest Bend.

“There’s room for more growth,” Jones said. “As the pandemic rolls along, it’s created a major shift in the way people work especially in the information sector. We see a lot of in-migration. There’s no workforce housing in Bend right now. We have met a lot of people who are moving to other places like Redmond and La Pine.”

Jones said his firm is applying its experience in other larger cities to its projects in Bend.

Traffic has been a hot button topic in Bend for a while, said Ramage. Developments like the Grove make sense because they keep the cars in the garage and promote community, Ramage said.

Before the stay-at-home order was issued by Gov. Kate Brown in March 2020, places like the Colorado Avenue bridge would have a daily average, which was created over the course of a week, of about 15,500 cars on the road. A drive down Reed Market Road by 2040 is expected to take 15 minutes or longer during busy periods of the day, according to city of Bend predictions in 2019.

“These become amenities for that neighborhood and will benefit the city,” Ramage said. “It will cut down on traffic because you have services right there and you don’t have to go to downtown.”

Developments like the Grove will become more popular in pocket neighborhoods in Bend, he said.

“Let’s stop making people have to drive across town to get to commercial spaces, make things closer,” Ramage said. “There will be more areas like this.”

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Reporter: 541-633-2117, sroig@bendbulletin.com

(2) comments

MntLAB

“Live, work, play” seems like a sly concept from developers who are bent on paving every square inch they can to turn a profit. Our family lives in the neighborhood and would have preferred the area without the grove. Sure was nice to see the trees and mountains before, now we have another paved plot of land filled with things we don’t want or need.

MF

Great addition to the neighborhood. And I know this is a silly comment but some of the outdoor chairs at the Grove are so low your chin is even with the table. And the skateboarding kids flying down the stairs, with their parents watching??

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