Photo submitted##Artist’s rendition of what the Gwendolyn Hotel project would look like if approved.
News-Register file photo##Photo of the corner of Third and Ford streets, where a hotel development is under consideration.
By ANDREW CLARKE
Founder, Hugh Development LLC
Hugh Development, a Portland-based real estate development company, is under contract to purchase three properties on Third Street in downtown McMinnville for the development of a new hotel with restaurant, spa, salon on the roof and a swimming pool, as well as storefronts and basements. car park.
As the promoter of this hotel, named the Gwendolyn after my aunt, I thought it was important to let you know me and my intentions better.
I am an Oregon native with a long history with Yamhill County. I love all of the communities in our great state, and I share in being inclusive and welcoming to people who contribute positively to those communities.
My daughter’s grandparents lived in McMinnville for over 50 years. They are hard workers who have raised four adult children and now have several grandchildren spread across the region.
I have spent many long weekends in Yamhill County with my family, extended family and friends. Through this I learned about McMinnville’s role as the heart of the county, its growth and development, and how special it has become to so many people.
Our goal is to maintain and embrace the community and create a place where visitors and residents of McMinnville can come together and be proud. Our design intent is to pay homage to the beautiful and charming architecture of Third Street and to merge our structure with the streetscape.
My team and I at Hugh Development believe that the Historic Landmarks Committee and the Planning Commissioner of McMinnville were right in wanting us to work harder to design a building that matches the existing context as closely as possible. It pushed us further in our design, and I think we came up with a much better build as a result of that process.
Change is hard, but we are committed to making our presence a positive presence for everyone in the community. Here are some of the many benefits we hope to provide:
– Size, design, scale and parking:
Our project is large in scale, but its meticulous design standards will complement the historic look and feel of downtown McMinnville. With setbacks at the upper level, the scale experience at pedestrian level will be comparable to that of neighboring buildings. And our underground parking lot will provide significant compensation for downtown congestion that can result from new developments.
We will provide immediate construction jobs for skilled tradespeople. Later, the hotel would provide career opportunities by hiring around 70 people as waiters, bellboys, cleaners and managers, earning up to six figures. We will connect with Chemeketa Community College to provide a pathway to employment through their homestay program.
The hotel will bring significant capital to the region through the CPACE program that we led. The program will help fund the positive environmental aspects of the hotel and will remain in place to support other local organizations in infrastructure projects and new area development.
– Financial impact:
Our hotel will significantly increase local revenue going to the Temporary Lodging Tax Fund, and 30% of that revenue will go to the City of McMinnville General Fund. Our high project permit values will go to the city budget and will be used in part for local affordable housing projects.
– Environmental sanitation:
We will remediate historic gasoline contamination and eliminate the lead and asbestos that currently proliferate at all three sites.
– Development of the city center:
We will contribute positively to the McMinnville Third Street Improvement Project through our work. For many years, all property taxes on our development will go to the McMinnville Urban Renewal District to help fund other downtown developments.
– Civic contributions:
Our hotel group and all of its partners will identify local community organizations for our resource contribution and visibility through partnerships in our community benefits program. We will be contributing members of the McMinnville community.
In fact, we already have the first contribution in the works – 50 McMinnville Downtown Association gift cards, each covering $50 in spending at downtown merchants, for clients of the Henderson House Domestic Violence Center.
These net benefits to McMinnville and the entire Yamhill Valley region are very much in line with the community’s written vision to be a leader in hospitality services in the region. Visitors who come to McMinnville year-round will support local retailers and other businesses, which in turn will better serve local residents.
I appreciate the opportunity to share some thoughts on Hotel Gwendolyn. We welcome any ideas that will help us make this contribution to Third Street the best it can be for McMinnville.
Andrew Clarke is a Portland-based real estate and development professional. He combined studies in economics, real estate, community development and urban affairs into his degree program at Portland State University, and has been applying them in the field ever since. His projects include, but are not limited to, the Frances Penthouses development in Lake Oswego, as well as the Kenton Hotel development and Emmanuel Church expansion in Portland.