Jul. 13—LA GRANDE — A La Grande apartment complex that could help put a dent in Union County's shortage of affordable housing may be 14 months from becoming a reality.
Preliminary excavation work is beginning for the $38.2 million, 82-unit Timber Ridge Apartments on a 4.79-acre lot on East Q Avenue between 26th and 27th streets. Work on installing the foundation will begin about Monday, July 25, according to Sarah Parker, the executive director of Northeast Oregon Housing Authority, which will own and manage Timber Ridge Apartments.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the project is set for Tuesday, Aug. 23, at a time to be announced, Parker said. The goal is to have the apartment complex completed by September 2023. One factor that could delay completion of the project would be supply issues preventing materials arriving in a timely manner, Parker said.
Paul Anderes, a member of the Union County Board of Commissioners, is excited about the project.
"This will take some pressure off the local housing market," he said. "This is a step in the right direction, but there is clearly still a lot of work to do."
Anderes said Timber Ridge will be in a good location.
"It will be near a lot of services," the commissioner said, noting that health care and banking services are among those nearby.
Timber Ridge Apartments will be built by Hunt Capital Partners, of Encino, California, in collaboration with the Northeast Oregon Housing Authority, and Community Development Partners Oregon, LLC, of Portland.
Hunt Capital Partners is the tax credit syndication division of Hunt Companies, Inc. Hunt Capital Partners' specialties include the sponsorship of federal and state low-income housing, according to a press release from Maize Marketing in Woodland Hill, California.
Northeast Oregon Housing Authority will be the owner and property manager of Timber Ridge Apartments, and Community Development Partners is serving as Timber Ridge's developer. Portland-based Bremik Construction is the general contractor and Ink Built Architecture, also of Portland, is the project's architect.
The apartment units will be available to households earning at or below 60% of the region's median income, according to the press release.
Timber Ridge's features will include an 8,000-square-foot community building that will have a large gathering space for community meals and social events. The community building will also offer residents office and study spaces, a classroom and an early childhood education center, where the Eastern Oregon University Head Start program will provide preschool instruction.
Once completed, Timber Ridge Apartments will provide 34 one-bedroom units, 26 two-bedroom units, 20 three-bedroom units and two four-bedroom units.
A total of $15.7 million of the project will be funded by federal tax credits provided to Community Development Partners through the federal government's Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.
The start of the construction of Timber Ridge Apartments has been delayed about a year by a number of factors including the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting supply chain issues and inflation, Parker said. She now feels good about the project's prospects.
"This is super exciting," she said. "It has been quite an adventure getting here."