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Port hosts Lot 1 open house

Public feedback taken on Sept. 15

The Port of Hood River will hold an open house next Tuesday to share planned developments for Lot 1, the largest remaining undeveloped patch of land on the waterfront.

Lot 1, bordered by Second Avenue, the Nichols West Edge Trail and the Event Site, meets the eye of every visitor heading north from downtown Hood River, but has remained bare for years except as a parking lot during seasonal events.

The Lot 1 public open house will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Port of Hood River conference room, 1000 E. Port Marina Drive. Public comments can be made in person at the event or written in advance and sent to porthr@gorge.net.

The public open house will feature a presentation by landscape architecture planning firm Walker Macy, who will provide an overview of the project, key issues and objectives.

Michael McElwee, Port of Hood River executive director, said the open house event will be a chance to “look conceptually” at the Lot 1 layout and discuss how to merge the newly finished Nichols West End Trail with the parcel’s original development plan.

The development strategy is part of the city’s Waterfront Refinement Plan, adopted in December 2014, to address zoning and design standards on undeveloped areas on the waterfront. The plan guides the current development and provides parameters for potential building types, sizes and allowed uses.

The seven-acre plot is zoned light industrial, and has proven challenging to divide up into separate lots for potential tenants thus far.

Some top challenges include storm water drainage and meeting parking, storage and pedestrian access needs for light industrial tenants in that spot, according to a February 2013 report by Group Mackenzie planning firm.

“The intent is for small and medium size companies to have buildings that are flexible to meet their initial needs and accommodate future growth,” according to the report.

As an example, McElwee said a legitimate business might want the property but have too demanding of trucking and storage needs for the waterfront location. In that case, the port would have to turn the business down.

Another challenge is building in context of new businesses and the Nichols development, said McElwee. These properties, established over the last several years, “raise the importance” of Lot 1 in value and marketing, but change the context of the property.

McElwee indicated the next step for the port upon finalizing the plan will be to designate legal lots within the greater, undeveloped parcel.

“All of this is intended to lead to an application for legal lots lines to be created down there,” said McElwee.

For more details on Walker Macy’s Lot 1 concept, go to the Port of Hood River’s page dedicated to the project: www.portofhoodriver.com/waterfront/lot1.



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