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MailTribune.com
  • Deal on 'Sky Park' elevated building heads to urban renewal agency again

  • An on-again, off-again proposal to erect an elevated residential complex above a parking lot in downtown Medford appears ready for takeoff.
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  • An on-again, off-again proposal to erect an elevated residential complex above a parking lot in downtown Medford appears ready for takeoff.
    The Medford Urban Renewal Agency board will make a decision at 6 p.m. Thursday on an agreement that would allow developers to build a complex known as Sky Park at 206 S. Central Ave.
    The development would retain much of the existing parking lot by construction a residential complex building 12 feet above the ground.
    "It's an interesting concept," said Nicole May, a 25-year-old Medford graduate of Rogue Community College. "I personally wouldn't buy a condo over a parking lot."
    She said she would support the project as long as the developers can show they'd make money off it and as long as parking remains available to college students.
    "This is one of the main parking lots for RCC," she said.
    A sticking point in the yearlong negotiations over the project has been that the MURA board wanted to retain ownership of the land, a stipulation that is now part of the current agreement.
    However, under the latest agreement, the developer would buy the "air" rights for $1. This means the developer will own everything 12 feet above the parking lot.
    In addition, the developer will have a 50-year lease for the ground rights to provide footings and entrances for the building on the ground floor. The lease could be extended for another 50 years or the developer could purchase the property at an agreed-upon price.
    If approved, construction could begin in the summer of 2015.
    — Damian Mann
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