When Hank's Thriftway in downtown Hillsboro, Oregon closed the area lost the best and only major grocery store. They had legendary service and the decades old business had fed families for two generations. The family eventually put the real estate up for sale. After several developers tied up the 1 acre plus lot and failed to bring plans ahead the City of Hillsboro bought it.
Several years and many meetings in the rear view mirror now the community is getting a look at what the final product for Block 67 might be. While a good percentage of people asked during the preliminary meetings wanted a grocery store and affordable housing, it appears that neither of those wishes will come to fruition.
In a meeting this week the City of Hillsboro and the staff of Holst Architecture presented the latest plans and drawings. They are big, mutli-faceted, and impressive.
The current proposal notes presented last week said:
" Project aims to deliver a multifaceted development that offers housing, office space, retail, and public spaces both indoors and out. The development will create entry points throughout the block — promoting walkability and gathering spaces, and inviting in visitors and people who live and work near the site.
Larger buildings, including offices, will be concentrated on the south end of the block (on the Baseline Street side). An east-west alleyway will run through the middle of the site. The north side, closest to the neighborhood of single-family residences and MAX Light Rail, will feature smaller-scale multi-family residential structures.
The developer estimates the project will offer 269 apartments, ranging from studios to three bedrooms, at market rates. Apartment buildings are expected to be between three and six stories, and would reflect a modern interpretation of the historic area."
What does this mean for downtown and the Block 67 area real estate prices?
Let me say that this project will increase the value of the properties within about 1/2 a mile considerably. The additional medical offices will surely expand the reach and economic power of Tuality Hospital and Pacific University. The proposed shops and stores and meeting areas will increase public engagement. The retail stores, shops, and potential eateries will draw a professional and progressive crowd which has already started to enter the area.
What happened to the Orenco area after the Platform District finished up will in many ways happen in the downtown core. The apartments will add much needed consumers to the mix who will frequent the many small businesses along Main Street and Washington and the surrounding area. I have no doubt that the market will increase significantly during construction and even more after Block 67 is done. Now would be the right time to invest in the area as prices are flatter and the project is not going up yet.
The potential opening of the Venetian Theater has people talking and a new midrise retriement housing project along Main Street at about 4th will add to the allure. The reality is with the MAX light rail running constantly, a major college, the hospital, and with City and county services all being right there employing thousands - the area is primed to rise.
Many of us are saddened by the lack of a grocery and affordable housing. Once again the calls for these sort of important community assets have been left unaddressed. That is America and economics I suppose. That sure does not make it feel any better.
Investors and homebuyers will be well served to get in the game and acquire something now. Commercial properties are being bought up too and as the next 5 -15 years go along my 35 years of real estate expertise tells me we are heading for a 50-100% increase again. I hope an pray as many of you locals who can take advantage of these events and of the value enhancement that Block 67 will create. As a top real estate professional I have a daily list of properties I am sending to my customers specifically designed to help you take advantage of these events.
Buying or selling you can Count on me for my expertise and professional assistance. Call me at 503-799-8383 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Block 67 is a gamechanger and we all know it.