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$70 million apartment complex planned in Medford

Courtesy photo Creations Northwest is currently completing a 156-unit apartment building in Madras that is similar in design to the one proposed in Medford.
Courtesy photo Creations Northwest is currently completing a 156-unit apartment building in Madras that is similar in design to the one proposed in Medford.

Medford’s housing shortage could get some much-needed relief with a plan to build up to 400 apartments next to the Northgate Marketplace.

“We’re aiming so the average household can afford them,” said Blake Gesik, investment manager for Creations Northwest LLC.

His company proposes a complex with mostly one- and two-bedroom units on a 14-acre property off McAndrews Road adjacent to the shopping plaza that contains REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Trader Joe’s and other retailers.

The three-story walkup apartments would also have a pool and clubhouse.

Gesik said full build-out cost would likely hit around $70 million.

If Creations Northwest can work out all the details, it hopes to begin building the first phase of the two-phase project toward the latter half of 2022. Full buildout isn’t expected until 2025 or 2026, Gesik said.

“The goal is to build over 200 units in the first phase,” he said.

Creations Northwest has built other projects in Salem, Bend, suburban Portland and Idaho.

The company is currently completing a 156-unit apartment building in Madras that is similar in design to the one proposed in Medford. Phase two of that project, which will include townhomes, will begin soon.

Gesik said his company has built more than 1,000 units over the past decade.

Creations Northwest has submitted a pre-application proposal to the city, and Gesik said the company is still working on infrastructure plans for the project before it submits the complete application documents.

The Medford apartments would be built for median-income households, and the rent on the lower end would be around $1,200 a month, Gesik said.

For many years, the city hoped to attract an apartment complex next to Northgate Marketplace, which has a number of popular shops. The original proposal for the site was a project called Alba Village, but it never got off the ground. Instead the property changed hands and was used to create 80,900 square feet of stores such as Petco and Ulta in 2012.

The new development would be built just south of the complex of shops and is roughly bounded by McAndrews Road, North Central Avenue and Court Street.

The first phase of the project would be built to the east of Cottage Street, which leads into the shopping center’s roundabout.

The second phase would be built to the west of Cottage.

Most of the apartment complexes built by the Northwest Creations are three stories, which avoids the extra cost of elevators.

Medford needs all types of housing, including low- and median-income units.

Another low-income housing project is being considered on Central Avenue next to Les Schwab.

The Medford Urban Renewal Agency Board has entered into negotiations with Rubicon Investments of Medford, which has formed a partnership with Portland-based Edlen and Company for the project.

In 2019, MURA bought a warehouse and the surrounding 3.25 acres for $1.75 million in hopes of attracting a developer to build affordable housing.

If both projects come together, they would add more than 500 housing units in Medford.

Matt Brinkley, Medford’s planning director, said an apartment complex next to Northgate Marketplace has been on the city’s wish list for some time.

“My understanding is they’re pretty eager to get going,” he said.

Reach freelance writer Damian Mann at dmannnews@gmail.com.

Ripple Effect

Watch KTVL News 10’s 6 p.m. Monday broadcast for in depth coverage of how hobby stores have helped remake downtown Medford.