By Tyler Leeds

The Bulletin

The Bend City Council will consider the properties during its regular meeting, beginning at 7 p.m. today at City Hall, 710 NW Wall St.

At its meeting tonight, the Bend City Council will weigh turning over three vacant properties it owns to developers of rent-controlled affordable housing.

Before the properties can leave the city’s possession, they must be declared surplus, something the council can initiate tonight. After that, the city plans to post a formal requests for proposals to developers. Any submissions would be reviewed by the city’s citizen Affordable Housing Committee before being sent to the City Council for approval. Jim Long, the city’s affordable housing manager, said the developers would only be charged a small amount to cover legal fees associated with transferring ownership of the property and not for the value of the property.

“What we want to see is who can come up with the best project for building affordable housing,” Long said.

The largest of the properties, just a shade larger than 1 acre, is directly south of Pilot Butte, between the Bend Police Department’s headquarters and the bowling alley Lava Lanes. Long estimated 30 to 40 apartments could be built on the parcel, though it depends on a number of factors, including whether retail is built on the ground floor, how many stories the building is and whether the developer wants to pay to move a power line, which could open more space for building.

Long noted a section of the property adjacent to U.S. Highway 20 “is basically useless,” because it slopes sharply down from west to east.

“If a developer got creative, they could try to figure out how to put some parking on that part, but it’s a pretty steep chunk,” Long said.

Another of the three properties is close by, just north of Pilot Butte Cemetery. Long guesses one house could be built on the lot, noting it’s near a series of homes built by Habitat for Humanity in the ’90s.

The final property, which is broken into two 0.13-acre parcels, is near Bend High School and could fit two fourplexes, Long said.

City Councilor Victor Chudowsky said he likes the idea of giving the properties to affordable housing developers, adding, “We don’t have any other plans for these properties, so making them available for affordable housing is certainly a good use.”

He said he’s happy the city won’t be building or managing the units itself, and that it will be able to evaluate which proposal to go with.

Long said the requests for proposals should be sent out in about a month and the city will give developers about 60 days to respond.

He also said the city is looking at designating additional properties it has no use for as surplus, but that those locations haven’t been finalized yet.

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, tleeds@bendbulletin.com

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