May 2018

Otak client Walter “Skip” Grodahl presented “Tigard, Where Collaboration Meets Goals” at the National Planning Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, with representatives from the City of Tigard, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn and Trammell Crow.

Grodahl and other panel members shared their story about “The Fields,” a 264-unit affordable multifamily development and 100,000-square-foot office development in Tigard, Oregon. The property is unique because it is an undeveloped infill site in a mostly built-out community.

Otak provided survey, civil engineering, architecture, land use planning, and landscape architecture services for the design of this ground-breaking project that makes housing affordable to those earning 60% of median family income. The site was challenging to develop because of its substantial slope, access constraints, and the desire to protect a substantial stand of trees on the site. The project team worked closely with city staff and nearby residents to design a project that met the city’s economic development goals and the neighbors’ desires, while providing attractive and well-located housing and office space.

“Affordable housing is important to me personally and to Otak as an organization,” said Li Alligood, senior planner on the project. “It has been rewarding to work with DBG, city staff, and the neighbors to create a project that is well integrated and attractive and serves people who earn 60% of median family income. This type of integrated affordable housing is what keeps our communities vital and accessible to people at all stages of life.”

This collaborative economic development success story unlocked a constrained site to create a mixed-use employment and housing development with infrastructure improvements that spurred economic activity and quality of life.

Skip Grodahl, doing business as DBG Properties LLC, is a visionary private developer who specializes in finding creative ways to fund and develop affordable housing for people who work hard for relatively low incomes. Grodahl’s connections with equity investors and people help him navigate public financing programs.

The Fields project won a Local Innovation and Fast Track Housing Award in 2016 from the State of Oregon Housing and Community Services.


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