BEND, Ore. - Rumors have been swirling about construction happening in the Box Factory area in Bend. On Thursday, NewsChannel 21 spoke with developers, business owners and the city of Bend to find out what's going on.
The entire area on Southwest Industrial Way and Bond Street is getting a major makeover, from an apartment building to a pedestrian promenade. The city of Bend is working with developers to create a new and improved urban space, said Russ Grayson, development services coordinator with the city.
"So it’s kind of in line with what we have in our new comprehensive plan that was updated with the urban growth boundary, to kind of intensify the uses in that area," Grayson said. "That area was determined to be a good place to urbanize and kind of have some more vertical mixed-use buildings in there."
The parking lot is expected to be complete before winter and will add an additional 122 spots for the Box Factory.
Unfortunately, that means one business will have to relocate. Mill Quarter Coffee is a coffee stand that's been in the Box Factory parking lot for seven years. Owner Jessie Anderson found out in April she would have to move.
"I’ve worked real hard for a lot of years to make this establishment what it is," she said. "I did a lot of damage control, a lot of hard work, my heart is in this business, and so I just need a location."
"Every day, customers come through asking what I’m going to do, where I’m going to be, hoping for good news, and I just don’t have an answer," Anderson added. "I barely have an answer of why I have to leave this area, let alone where I’m going to be next month."
Other projects include creating a pedestrian promenade in front of the Box Factory that would expand the sidewalk to 25 feet.
The front of the factory is also getting a makeover, with new businesses coming in, hopefully by the end of the year, including River Pig, a saloon bar, and Foxtail Bake Shop.
Killian Pacific, the developer behind all this work, said it wants this area to be more than an extended ramp to Highway 97.
Jeremy McPherson, vice president of development for Killian Pacific, said he wants to make sure the area around the more than century-old Box Factory -- named for its role in the city's lumber-mill past -- maintains its historical significance.
McPherson said the company's goal is to "really provide what the community is needing in the Mill Quarter area, but never deviate from that historical approach and that cultural look and feel that we're going for with the Box Factory, just keep going with it."
Killian Pacific is also developing a seven-story apartment complex between the parking lot and Spoken Moto. Officials expect the L-shaped building to have 80-130 units. It isn't expected to be finished until 2019.