|The staple racks on Winter St at Union St.|
|The cluster of nine cottages and courtyard at center|
The 500-square-foot cottages are currently located at 155 through 171 Gerth Avenue NW. Northwest Human Services wants to move them in the next 45 to 60 days to make room for an expansion of the agency’s clinic which will provide primary medical, dental and mental health services.There are lots of interesting things here:
Over the past two years, NWHS has searched for a non-profit, governmental agency or low-income rental property developer who can relocate and manage the properties to rent out to families and individuals in need, NWHS CEO Paul Logan said.
The company contacted entities such as Polk County, the Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde, Community Resource Trust and smaller property developers, but were unsuccessful in striking a deal. The biggest hurdle, Logan said, was finding suitable land for the relocated cottages.
Without any takers, the houses will be demolished when construction begins.
- The shift in the Edgewater district to be this monoculture of clinics.
- The potential loss of affordable housing in this walkable area.
- The failure of the new "Edgewater/Second Street Mixed Use" zoning to induce the desired mixed-use facilities.
- In the absence of zoning reform, the difficulty in finding new land in West Salem to relocate the cottage cluster (as distinct from any difficulty in cost and financing).
This story, if the paper chose to develop it further, could be a useful lens through which to examine the "Our Salem" project and the impediments that remain to the kinds of development our policies seek to encourage.
In any event, the demolition or the location of these cottages is something we'll follow at least peripherally here.