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Massive housing plan moves forward

Centennial Village, a 470-acre, half-billion dollar project heads to the Medford Planning Commission
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Golfers make their way from the ninth hole to the 10th tee at Centennial Golf Club in Medford, where the land surrounding the course is to be developed into housing.

One of the largest housing projects in Medford’s history is ready to swing into action on 470 acres surrounding Centennial Golf Club next to Rogue Valley Manor.

The Medford Planning Commission on Aug. 11 will consider zone changes for the property that will provide the foundation for a development that will have about 1,500 residential units and be built in 14 phases.

Centennial Village would be built to the west of North Phoenix Road, and the 18-hole course is one of the main features of the housing plan.

The Southeast Plan, previously approved by the city, spans 1,000 acres on the east side of North Phoenix Road.

The zone change is the culmination of years of effort by Pacific Retirement Services, the parent company of the Manor, to develop the property around the golf course.

“I think that it is clearly one of the larger master plans in Medford, and it is a complement to the Southeast Plan,” said Councilor Mike Zarosinski.

Centennial was completed in 2006, but the Manor had been working on plans for residences prior to that, designing the golf course to accommodate the future development.

Zarosinski, who lives in southeast Medford, said the development around Centennial is part of Medford’s effort to expand its urban growth boundary.

“It’s all intended to create this housing stock that we need, and everybody’s kind of suffering with housing right now,” he said.

Jackson County’s lack of adequate housing grew worse after the 2020 Almeda fire wiped out 2,500 residences.

The Centennial property represents about 25% of the total new acres set aside for development in the city’s urban growth boundary.

Pacific Retirement Services has estimated the value of the project at about a half-billion dollars.

A number of zone changes are being proposed to accommodate the development, with about 100 houses per phase.

On 38.4 acres, a multifamily residential zone would allow for 20 to 30 dwelling units per acre, or at least 760 units. Another 124.7 acres would allow for four residential units per acre, or about 400 houses.

Commercial zoned land would be on 114.5 acres, and 12.3 acres would be set aside for office space. Additional residential units would be built in the commercial areas.

The golf course would be set aside as 179 acres of open space.

Zarosinski said the Manor is planning to build housing for its workers within the project area.

With a 668-acre campus and its familiar high rises on Barneburg Hill overlooking the valley, the Manor has proposed a 55-plus gated community overlooking the golf course as part of Centennial Village.

At the Centennial development, the housing mix proposes duplexes, condos and apartments, and the gated community would be a potential stepping stone to the high rises on the hill for retirees looking to simplify their lifestyles as they grow older.

North Phoenix Road on the eastern edge of the project also is set for improvement in the future by the city of Medford.

As part of the roadway improvement plan, the city is scheduled to build an extension of South Stage Road on the east side of the freeway. Long-term plans call for an overpass on Interstate 5 for South Stage Road, which ultimately would connect into North Phoenix Road. The project, called a “mega corridor” by the city, is part of a plan to create an alternative route to I-5.

Medford and the city of Phoenix are looking at long-range plans to create an employment center just south of Centennial to attract corporations and other businesses, eventually filling in the area from Home Depot to the north.

The Manor currently offers about 800 residential units and has 1,000 residents.

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