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PENDLETON — The city plans development of commercial and residential properties on about 250 acres south of I-84 between Exits 210 and 216, within its urban growth boundary. A road connecting Highway 11 near the Red Lion with Highway 30 at the Exit 216 intersection is estimated to cost $8 million. Given elevation changes, the project will require a $3 million water boost station, according to City Manager Robb Corbett.

“It’s probably the biggest ever in Pendleton,” Corbett said. “It’s three times the size of the Sunridge subdivision south of the middle school, but with an arterial road, allowing access to neighborhood streets. There could be 1,000 homes, plus commercial development in the western parcels.” 

McDonald’s, Super 8 by Wyndham and Holiday Inn Express currently adjoin the planned commercial zone on its west.

Eastern Oregon Regional Airport covers nearly 3000 acres, not counting developments off Airport Road on N.W. Avenues A through N. But homes and businesses south of the airport and north of Westgate cover less area than the planned project.

The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners approved a $2 million revolving fund to Pendleton for the road in November and December last year. The city is applying for state and federal grants for the water and road projects now.

“Pendleton’s policy is that developers have to pay their own way,” Corbett said. “The city is trying to put the money together, with the understanding that the developer would pay us back. We’re doing just enough right now, then we’ll create a reimbursement district, allowing property owners to repay us, based upon their development. There are huge upfront costs. We’ll partner with developers to jump start the project. Once repaid, the money will be reinvested.”

The city used its $2 million from the county to make a loan to another developer building house on S.W. Nye Ave.

“The houses will be built and the loan repaid before the (Highways 11 and 30 connection) project gets off the ground,” Corbett added.

 The properties are still being farmed. They belong to the Rees and Goad families and Jim Whitney, Corbett reported. 

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