Each month the Talent Urban Renewal Agency will publish a news article in the FLASH to explain and provide updates on the Gateway Project and to help residents understand the vision of Talent Urban Renewal. You can follow the conversation by visiting the links to the FLASH below:
The City of Talent, working through its Urban Renewal agency (TURA) seeks to promote a healthy, dynamic Downtown. It invests in public improvements and partners with private property owners to generate jobs and attract new businesses that attract more customers to Downtown.
As part of its Downtown Revitalization efforts, TURA recently purchased three adjoining parcels at the corner of Highway 99 and West Valley View Road, the “Talent Gateway” property. The City’s intent in purchasing this 4.23 acre property was to create a major new mixed use development at this eastern gateway to Downtown Talent.
TURA issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) in August 2017, seeking a qualified developer with a vision for the property that aligns with the City’s Downtown Revitalization goals. On November 1, 2017, the TURA Board selected local developer DOSO Properties, led by Jerryck Murrey, to partner with the City and TURA on this project. To view the press release, click here.
The TURA Board is now prepared to enter into an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement (ENA) with DOSO. The ENA is essentially a “letter of intent” between TURA and DOSO – it does not obligate either party to a specific course of action; rather it simply acknowledges that the two parties are committed to working exclusively with each other to identify a development program and site plan/concept design for the phased redevelopment of the site, along with any terms related to project financing including possible public participation.
In the coming months, DOSO and TURA will be working with the community to identify what mix of uses are appropriate for the site – appropriate both in terms of consistency with the City’s goals but also in terms of economic feasibility. The parties will also seek to develop a plan that meets community aspirations for the project – sustainable, pedestrian-oriented, ample opportunities for casual performances, a mix of shops and restaurants, a contribution to the City’s entrepreneurial culture, and housing choices serving households representing a variety of incomes and life stages.
As part of the project, the partners will be exploring a possible financial role from TURA. This role could take any of several forms – a “land write down” wherein TURA discounts the land sale price; a “vertical housing” tax abatement (a State program which encourages mixed use development); and/or TURA funds for systems development charges or other possible investments. TURA will only participate in the project if it can be demonstrated that their investment is necessary to render the project financially feasible, and that the project will generate a substantial “ROI” (return on investment) over time, with ROI measured in terms of property tax revenues, jobs generated, contribution to the economic health of Downtown Talent, and other considerations.
The partners hope to begin construction on the first phase of the project in late 2018.
Meet the Gateway Developer
Jerryck Owens-Murrey holds a B.A in Business Management and Corporate Communications from Western Illinois University, as well as a Masters in Real Estate with a focus on Development and Finance from Georgetown University. Prior to DOSO Properties, Jerryck worked in positions involving tenant/landlord relations, master planning, and construction oversight. With a knack for structured finance, Jerryck has executed financial analyses and development for a multitude of property types including: Student housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Properties, convention centers, and professional sports venues. Previously working with Brailsford & Dunlavey Inc., a boutique real estate consulting firm in Washington DC, he participated in the planning of nearly three million square feet of atypical and complex real estate projects. This exposure has afforded Jerryck the ability to handle the construction, transactional and risk based management of any development venture.
Additionally, his multidisciplinary approach to real estate comes from his extensive network, and experience in different facets of the industry. These positions include: working abroad with Portugal Best Properties, where he structured and packaged deals for British and Spanish investors; serving as an investment analyst for a franchise developer, where his primary duties were to locate undervalued developable sites between $400k and $1.5M; and in his youth volunteering as a Development Associate for a Community Development Company [CDC], building affordable, disabled, and transitional housing for the underserved community.
Jerryck currently resides in Medford Oregon with his wife and two children. Aside from real estate, Jerryck enjoys outdoor activities, painting, traveling, and culinary excellence. As the oldest of seven, he takes pride in the mentorship with the younger generation, largely through sports, given his previous life as a European Professional Basketball Player.
The Talent Gateway Project fulfills the community vision created throughout open houses, forums, and public meetings during the last several years. Some of those meetings helped produce the “Housing Needs Analysis” (HNA) and “Economic Opportunities Analysis” (EOA) for Talent, defining the expected housing and commercial needs in Talent, as well as potential business types that fit Talent’s needs and character. Some of the business types suggested in past meetings include health and personal services, additional restaurants, a makerspace, a brewpub, and small-scale production spaces. You can read all the goals of the EOA and HNA on the City of Talent website: http://www.cityoftalent.org/documents
These documents formed the foundation for Talent’s comprehensive plan amendments for the Economy and Housing. Talent Urban Renewal Agency (TURA) took the goals from those elements and refined them through several months and many hours of public input to create the vision for the Gateway Project. The goals were then incorporated into the “Request for Expression of Interest” (RFEI). The vision that was shared was for a walkable mixed-use area with a nice green space and businesses that serve residents’ needs, showcase Talent’s wealth of creativity, and bring new visitors to town.
True to the volunteer spirit of Talent, a non-profit named Talent Maker City formed in response to the makerspace goal created in the EOA. A makerspace provides economical access to tools and space for creating many forms of arts and manufactured products, including high-tech products. It is a center for creativity as well as business incubation, so ensuring there is an appropriate space for it became an integral part of the vision for the Gateway. Talent Maker City is currently expanding their organization and events, as well as pursuing additional funding, with plans to be self-sufficient in the designed space. Read more about them at http://www.talentmakercity.org/
Housing is another key element of the Gateway project. Data in the HNA confirmed that the shortage of housing in Talent is drastic, especially at lower income levels. To help address this, multi-family and “missing middle” housing is incorporated into the plan. The number of units and form it takes will be finalized over the coming months, but increased density is planned to increase affordability, while also creating more customers for downtown shops and restaurants. Read more about “missing middle” housing types here: http://missingmiddlehousing.com/
The open space and infrastructure of the Gateway Project will also enhance downtown’s appeal and further long-term City goals. The arm of the roundabout which is designed to eventually connect to Wagner Street is planned to be built as a main access point to the Gateway Project. The space within the project will be designed to be as walkable and pedestrian-oriented as possible, with a large green space designed to support small musical and other events. This will provide recreation for local residents as well as compliment nearby businesses. This will ensure that the City is moving toward more concentrated growth and future road connectivity, but maintains the walkable and relaxing community feel of Talent.