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Northgate expansion planned

A long-awaited expansion of Northgate Marketplace could begin next summer, offering a hotel, office buildings and more shops for north Medford.

The project, under development by Northgate Center LLC, would be built just north of Chick-fil-A and would house six buildings and a large parking area.

“We have deals on most of the parcels that are coming together,” said Dan O’Connor, a Jacksonville lawyer representing Northgate Center.

He said he’s been in discussions for a multistory hotel, aided by the upcoming opening in 2023 of the Rogue Credit Union Community Complex, estimated to cost $65.5 million.

“We’re holding out for a higher-end hotel,” O’Connor said.

The Rogue Community Complex, which will feature a large events center and two indoor pools, will be located about a mile from Northgate at Howard Memorial Sports Park at Ross Lane and Rossanley Drive.

Medford has been on a roll recently with hotels, with existing hotels and four new ones under construction already adding up to 3,000 rooms available for visitors.

Lots of construction projects are queueing up for 2022, setting the stage for both commercial and residential growth in Medford.

O’Connor said the initial construction phase for the new Northgate development will include driveways, utilities and other site work, which he hopes will start this summer.

Entrances to the project will be from North Central Avenue and from existing entrances from Northgate Center.

The developer will create “shovel-ready” sites, O’Connor said.

As deals are finalized with businesses, the construction of the buildings will begin.

While many of the other businesses in the surrounding area are primarily retail, the new development is mainly an office park.

Preliminary drawings that have been submitted to the Medford Site Plan and Architectural Review Commission show two-story buildings similar in style to other buildings in the Northgate area.

O’Connor said Medford’s growing population has triggered a wave of interest in locating businesses here.

“A lot of these national outfits that haven’t been here before are definitely kicking the tires,” he said.

O’Connor said he couldn’t reveal the names of the businesses, citing nondisclosure agreements, and he didn’t have a cost estimate available for the project.

He said developers have been in discussions with the Oregon Department of Transportation and Medford officials over the impacts of the project on traffic.

This is the second major recent development in the rapidly expanding retail area at the busy intersection of Crater Lake Highway and Highway 99.

A 400-unit apartment complex has been proposed 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 estimated $70 million three-story apartment complex could be started later in 2022.

With the latest project advancing, the Northgate area will provide a mix of retail, office and hotel offerings. Asante and several other health care businesses are setting up shop in the area, as well.

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