Tokola Properties Announces New Public/Private Partnership in Independence, Oregon

Tokola Properties is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Public/Private partnership with the City of Independence, Oregon to develop Independence Landing, a high quality mixed use development featuring a 75-room boutique Hotel and 134 market rate apartments with private clubhouse along the banks of the Willamette River in Historic Downtown Independence.

Situated adjacent to Riverview Park and Amphitheater and just one block off of Main Street, Independence Landing will offer residents and guests alike unparalleled access to shopping, dining, entertainment and river front recreational activities.

Development Background

Over the last 15 years, Downtown Independence, Oregon, has experienced a revitalization – spurred on by a series of adopted plans; municipal investments in a new streetscape for Main Street, a premiere City park and amphitheater (Riverview Park), and a new Civic Center; and private investments in Downtown buildings and businesses. Downtown is also home to a 30-block Historic District that appears on the National Register of Historic Places.

Adjacent to Downtown – between Main Street and the Willamette River – is the Valley Concrete site, an 18-acre, industrially-zoned property that was home to a ready-mix concrete operation. The City’s 1996 Downtown Development Plan and 2009 Vision 2020 Plan identified this site as a key redevelopment opportunity and proposed concepts for housing and mixed-use development that would bolster Independence’s restored Downtown. When Oldcastle Materials, the site’s owner, expressed an interest in relocating Valley Concrete’s ready-mix concrete operation and putting the property for sale, the City secured a State Transportation and Growth Management (TGM) Quick Response grant to further develop concepts for the site’s future.

The goal of the concept plan was to determine how the site could be redeveloped to maximize the benefit to the surrounding downtown commercial area. Its recommendations included a mix of higher-density housing (apartments, condos, townhomes) as well as some commercial uses, but the key recommendation was to develop a hotel on the property. A hotel would create significant additional benefit for the downtown by drawing visitors to the area and would also be an opportunity to better connect the community with the region’s booming wine industry.

At the beginning of 2015, the City purchased the property and began working to bring the concept plan to fruition. In Summer/Fall 2016, the City took the last steps toward making the site – now renamed Independence Landing – development ready. A new Downtown Riverfront Zone was created which allows the mix of residential and commercial uses envisioned for the site, and the property was rezoned to this new designation. The property was also subdivided into eight parcels, a process that also established a right-of-way for a public street to serve the parcels. In October 2016, the City Council awarded a bid to GT Contracting to build the road, water and sewer that will serve the site. Work is currently underway on this public infrastructure with a projected finish in fall 2017.

In order to identify a developer who would bring the mix of uses the City sought to the Independence Landing site, the City released a Request For Qualifications development solicitation in August 2015.The City received three responses to the solicitation. In December 2015, the City selected Tokola Properties as the preferred developer and entered into an exclusive negotiating agreement. On November 8, 2016, the City Council authorized the City Manager to enter into a Disposition and Development Agreement with Tokola properties to develop lots 1 – 4 with uses to include a high quality 75 room boutique hotel, 110 high quality, market rate apartments and 14 townhomes.

Phase I – Independence Landing Hotel

The upscale and boutique Independence Landing Hotel will serve the surrounding Willamette Valley Wine Country, Western Oregon University, and growing local businesses with 75 riverfront and river view hotel rooms and suites. The four-story hotel will feature a relaxing lobby with an attractively appointed breakfast area that converts to a wine tasting reception area in the evenings; a full bar serving small plates directly overlooking the river with an integrated outdoor patio; a custom, outdoor jacuzzi; fitness center; and priority access to the Independence Civic Event & Conference Center, conveniently adjacent to Independence Landing; with guest arrival via an inviting porte-cochere and vestibule. To serve the many bicycle enthusiasts that visit the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, the hotel will feature a heated bike repair & wash station and secured bike storage. Each guestroom will feature upscale furnishings and amenities to match the clientele.

Construction of Independence Landing Hotel is scheduled to commence Fall 2017 with completion in Summer 2018.

Phase II & III – Independence Landing Apartments

Phase II & III of the development will make up Independence Landing Apartments consisting of 134 market rate apartments and a private riverfront clubhouse. Phase I will include 60 apartments in two buildings, 14 townhomes and the clubhouse facility. Phase II will include an additional 50 apartment units in a single building.

Independence Landing Apartments will offer a diverse combination of floorplans including studio, one bedroom- one bath, two bedroom-one bath, two bedroom-two bath and three bedroom-two bath apartment homes ranging in size from approximately 547 to 1,262 square feet. Fourteen of the units will be 2 story townhouse style apartment homes with attached garages fronting Osprey Lane. The balance of units will be apartment flats situated in one of three, three-story/elevator serviced buildings fronting the Willamette River and river front park. Each apartment building will feature separate building lobbies with controlled building access and high speed elevator service to each of three floors of living units.

Common area amenities at Independence Landing will include the riverfront clubhouse with leasing center, entertainment area, theater, fitness center, swimming pool, jacuzzi and outdoor kitchen. A pedestrian boardwalk will front the river side of the development connecting Residents and Guests with Riverview Park and Amphitheater to the north and the Civic and Event Center to the south. The boardwalk with its elevated view of river front park will offer interval seating and observation areas to further enhance connectivity of the development to the river and surrounding recreational amenities.

Construction of Independence Landing Apartments is scheduled to commence Spring 2019 with completion in Summer 2020.