The state announced Monday it has reached a $22 million agreement to sell the 382-acre Stevens Road Tract in southeast Bend, a transaction officials say will add much-needed housing to the city and benefit Oregon’s public schools.
The State Land Board in December last year approved the land to be listed for sale with broker Cushman & Wakefield. In 2016 the City of Bend annexed the land bringing it into the Urban Growth Boundary. The remaining 261 acres of the Stevens Road property, which are outside the city’s urban growth boundary, remain in state ownership.
The property on the corner of Stevens Road and 27th Street is school lands, managed to obtain the greatest benefit for Oregonians and their schools.
Sale proceeds go to the Common School Fund, which sends twice-yearly distributions to Oregon’s K-12 public schools.
“This is an outstanding outcome for Oregon’s schools,” says DSL Director Vicki L. Walker. “The more dollars we put into the Common School Fund, the more our students benefit.”
Bend-La Pine Schools in 2019 received about $1.92 million from the Common School Fund. The total Common School Fund distribution for 2019 was $60.86 million.
The city’s comprehensive plan envisions the development of a complete community with a mix of housing and businesses. More than 50 percent of the housing in the area would need to be multi-family or single-family attached, according to the testimony at a hearing last year.
Currently the land is a popular place for dog walkers, hikers and joggers. Several public meetings were held last fall asking for public input on the proposed sale.
A report on the city’s urban growth boundary extension estimates the development impact of the acres at more than $450 million after full build-out and estimates the addition of more than 800 jobs through 2028.
But the land’s potential to provide the full range of housing types needed by Bend’s rapidly growing community has been the most-noted benefit.
“The Bend community and its elected officials asked the state to quickly list the property for sale, kicking off the development processes that will result in housing needs being met,” Walker says.
Bend Mayor Sally Russell, State Rep. Cheri Helt and State Sen. Tim Knopp all testified to the State Lands Board last fall in favor of the sale.
Lands Bend Corp. will take on the remaining steps in the development process, including annexation and the master planning work that will engage the Bend community in discussing development details. Principals Gary Miller and Harry Crowell have collaborated for more than a decade on many projects in Bend, including the Stone Creek Community.
Miller says, “We are really looking forward to working with the state, city officials, and community in the design and development of a masterplan that benefits and contributes to the future of the City of Bend. We really enjoy working in Bend, it is a fantastic community.”