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Coker Butte Business Park proposed

A new commercial development is in the works on the east side of the intersection of Crater Lake Highway and Coker Butte Road.

Coker Butte Properties LLC, led by Stephen Gambee, president and CEO of Rogue Waste Systems, is seeking approval of Coker Butte Business Park, a 14.5-acre planned unit development.

The proposed office park will include light industrial and commercial components across the Crater Lake Highway from Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge of Medford. The 15-building development would straddle Coker Butte Road between Crater Lake Highway and Crater Lake Avenue. Three of the proposed structures would be south of Coker Butte Road and 12 to the north. By code, no more than 20 percent of the 93,400 square feet of proposed leasable space can be commercial.

Ground work for the development began more than a decade ago, said Mike Montero, spokesman for the Coker Butte Business Park project. Recession delayed the project, which also awaits the completion of Oregon Department of Transportation's Highway 62 bypass. Montero said no tenants have been lined up.

Tenants generally wait until projects gain approval before committing, he said.

"They don't have to wait until conditions are sorted out," Montero said. "They can have confidence, based on what has been approved."

Construction would begin in 2019 or 2020.

ODOT spokesman Gary Leaming said the expressway is due for completion in late 2018. At that point, the state will turn over jurisdiction of the paralleling portion of Crater Lake Highway to Medford and Jackson County.

Once jurisdiction is changed — most likely in early 2019 — office park developers can ask for direct access off of Crater Lake Highway, something not presently available.

Rogue Disposal, which currently parks trucks and storage containers on the property, contributed $1 million worth of right-of-way land when Coker Butte Road improvements were done a decade ago. Lithia Motors contributed $300,000 for the traffic signal at the intersection, Leaming said.

Medford Assistant Planning Director Kelly Akin said the proposal on light industrial zoned land hasn't yet been slotted on the Planning Commission calendar for a public hearing.

— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.

Coker Butte Business Park by Mail Tribune on Scribd