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PORTLAND-Construction has begun on the Station Place Tower, a 14-story mixed-use structure that will feature 176 units of affordable senior housing, common spaces, 20 ground-level parking spaces and 1,533-sf of ground-level commercial space.

Located at the northeast corner of NW Ninth Ave. and NW Lovejoy Street, the tower is the first phase of the $44 million development known as the Station Place being developed and managed by REACH Community Development for the project’s owner SP Tower Limited Partnership. Construction of the 420-car public parking structure began simultaneously with the tower and should be completed within 12 months. In the final phase, a retail space between 25,000-sf and 35,000-sf will house a large user such as a full-service grocery store. Construction is set for June 2004 with completion scheduled for December 2004.

Built at a total cost of $28 million, the residential component will feature a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, a computer room and a multi-purpose common room with exercise facilities, kitchenette and library. Construction is expected to take 18 months. Located on the site of the old Lovejoy viaduct, significant infrastructure improvements such as new streets, sidewalks and utilities were completed by Stacy & Witbeck general contractors at a cost of $2 million.

Of the 176 apartments, 76 have been set-aside for households earning at or below 30% of the area Median Family Income that is currently $46,050 for an individual since seniors will occupy these units. Another 81 units will be set aside for households earning less than 50% of the MFI, and 19 units will be for those earning below 80% of the MFI.

The Portland Development Commission is providing $13.5 million in tax increment funds for the project with other financing provided by state issued tax-exempt bonds, Low-Income Housing Credits from the National Equity Fund, a developer loan, grant monies and systems development charge waivers. The bonds will be credit enhanced by Wells Fargo Bank during construction, and by Fannie Mae after construction and will be serviced by GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp.

“This is an important project because it brings much need affordable senior housing to the River District,” says PDC Executive Director Don Mazziotti. “It also brings other critical components to the livability of the River District – including additional public parking – which is very much in demand in this dense urban neighborhood.”

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