Allie Colosky
The Bulletin

The city of Redmond is in the process of making good on its nickname of “The Hub” as the annexation of land for industrial use could make it the center of Oregon’s industrial market.

The process is only in the preliminary stages, Planning Manager Deborah McMahon said, but city officials began the annexation in response to the state’s analysis of the need for larger plots of land for industrial purposes.

“Some years ago, the state and region looked at how to develop large lots in Central Oregon, and it was established that Redmond was where it was most likely to occur,” she said. “I think the real play is on the word ‘hub’ because it is centrally located and we have real access to transportation.”

The 2012 Regional Economic Opportunity Analysis served as the basis for the Large Lot Annexation project that city staff hope to show the Redmond City Council soon.

The land in question is the nearly 1,000 acres owned by the Department of State Lands directly south of the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, which would make it a good location as far as transportation needs, McMahon said.

“The land abuts the airport and the highway, and it makes Redmond an ideal spot,” she said. “It is in a great position, and it really is in the center of Oregon.”

Initially, plots of land would be parceled off starting at 200 acres or larger and eventually could go down to 50 acres.

These kinds of parcels would be for manufacturing or tech production industries.

Employees for these industries could be anywhere from two employees per acre or 10, but city staff won’t know how many jobs this could create until further down the road, McMahon said.

“We just don’t know yet until those applications come in, but we don’t have a lot of these (kinds of lands zoned only for industrial use), so it will be one of the few areas that has these resources,” McMahon said.

Other cities in Central Oregon like Sisters and Prineville have some land that is zoned for industrial use only and Bend tends to be more restrictive, so Redmond’s ability to secure resources in the area is another advantage, said Brian Fratzke, founder and principal broker of Fratzke Commercial Real Estate Advisors.

“In general, in Central Oregon, there is a lack of available shovel-ready industrial land that can be developed,” Fratzke said.

“Kudos to Redmond. It’s pretty smart for them to start thinking about annexing this land and recognizing this opportunity to build on. Whatever they decided in 2012, the demand is probably greater now just based on growth.”

With only 200-acre plots, supplying water, sewage and gas, among other resources, is more expensive, but 1,000-acre parcels of land are more cost effective.

“The reality is you’ll learn industrial users need more power than a residential neighborhood,” he added.

“The position that Redmond is in is less intrusive, and the ability to put sewer, water, gas etc. is easier because it is relatively close to current infrastructure.”

Fratzke also said that generally it takes about 18 months to get from the permitting phase of a new building to receiving a certificate of occupancy, so the results of this annexation will be seen long-term.

Other components of the plan include a current traffic study that will be presented to the city engineer and other city staff.

The study is being conducted by Kittelson & Associates Inc. and will focus on the current system and the capacity of all transportation opportunities between U.S. Highway 97 and local Redmond roads.

The desire to buffer the area and keep a uniform approach in design is another factor to be addressed, McMahon said.

“Our primary goal is get jobs and develop for large lot purposes,” she said, “but if you’re familiar with how Redmond and Bend look, blending into an existing city will be an important component.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7829, acolosky@bendbulletin.com

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