My wife and I were early investors in Sustainable Fairview Associates (SFA), the group that took over the 275 acre former Fairview Training Center property.
We had high hopes that a model sustainable community would sprout in Salem—which sorely needs some Green pizzazz to offset this not-so-fair city's deservedly bland image.
As I said in my "We check out of Sustainable Fairview" post, about a year ago we sold our shares after a bittersweet and often frustrating relationship with the management of SFA. Nonetheless, we still had high hopes for the 246 remaining acres (one chunk was sold to Pringle Creek Community, which is doing a great job).
Yesterday the Salem Statesman Journal ran a front page story, "Fairview project is developing," about how things are coming along. The story began with:
Plans are taking shape to develop the former Fairview Training Center property into what is expected to be one of the largest mixed-use projects in Salem's recent history.
Pacific Development and Associates, a company owned by Portland-area developer Phil Morford, has submitted a preliminary site plan to the city for the proposed Fairview Village development at 2550 Strong Road SE. It calls for 816 single-family homes, both detached and attached, and open space on the southern portion of the 246-acre property.
The northern 96 acres is expected to include multi-family homes, retail and office space, a 5-acre park and sites for a school and possibly a YMCA, Morford said.
The entire property, which is bordered by Reed, Pringle and Strong roads SE, will comprise more than 1,650 residential units, Morford said. The amount of commercial space will be driven by the market.
Hmmmm. It seemed strange there wasn't any mention of "sustainable" in the first four paragraphs. That came later, but it was telling that the reporter didn't focus on the sustainability aspects of Morford's plans.
I suspect that's because he's emphasizing the mixed use character of Fairview Village—which has to be one of the most uncreative names Morford could have chosen. Four years ago I did much better. But, hey, if you pay more than $21 million for a property, you get to name it however you want.
What I'm more disturbed about is the site plan that accompanied the newspaper story. Wow! That's a lot of dwelling units and not much green space. Excellent for maximizing developer profit. Not so good for other reasons.
Here's how the Sustainable Fairview Associates Master Plan looked. A lot different. Now there's no "The Woods." Nor, "The Orchards." These are beautiful parts of the property with many trees. Which apparently will be chopped down so more homes can be crammed in.
It looks like wildlife corridors also have been sacrificed. I sat through quite a few SFA meetings at which the notion of allowing wild furry creatures a safe way to get around the development was passionately argued for. Last I knew there were deer and lots of other wildlife on the 246 acres. They won't be happy with the current Fairview Village Plan.
Tony Nielsen is quoted in the story. He's a developer who was a principal in SFA and won a 1000 Friends of Oregon Citizen Award for keeping Oregon "livable and lovable."
Reading between the lines, I suspect he isn't wildly happy with Morford's site plan.
"We never expected a developer to come in with exactly our plan, so some modifications and adjustments are to be expected, but the general principals we hope will be applied," he said. "They may be applied in variations or in different shades, but we have high hopes that it will be a great neighborhood."
Well, me too. But at first sight, Fairview Village isn't looking all that Green to me.
WHY WOULD YOU BUILD HOUSES ON TOP OF AN ABANDONED MENTAL FACILITY?
DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ALL OF THE FUCKED UP SHIT THAT HAPPENED THERE!
YOU ARE ALL CRAZY AND IM GLAD YOU WENT BANKRUPT.
Posted by: doesnt matter | January 31, 2008 at 03:24 PM
I would like to know who actually owns the place. i want to write to ghost hunters.they need to check that place out. my mom worked out there for many years, and told me some crazy stuff. what famliy is going to want to live in a haunted house. all that land is haunted!!
Posted by: Ashley | March 11, 2008 at 01:22 AM
Why spend millions of dollars in rebuilding when most of the people in the area know the history of the place. Money will be wasted because people in thier right mind would never move there. Why not put it to good use as a museum. Think of it as the "Alcatraz" of salem. Money could be made there and the natural animal habitats wouldnt be disturbed. The owners should make it as a memorial to those who lived there and maybe the spirits who walk can finally rest.
Posted by: annonymous | March 24, 2008 at 10:10 AM
Well i'd like to send a message to all up and coimng ghost hunters Leave Fairview Alone!, what they plan to do out there is greatly needed, and what PCC is doin next door is also wonderfull, quit harrasign the poor security guards, by goin out there "lookin for ghosts" then callin the security guys "devil worshippers"!
Posted by: Kye | June 20, 2008 at 10:11 PM
Hey since you investors in Sustainable Fairview Associates did you know Tony Nielsen, planning coordinator for Sustainable Fairview Associates, said DeMuro was on their radar screen because of his track record for restoring historic properties like Portland's Telegram Building and the Creative Services Center.
One of the important aspects of sustainability is the historic restoration and adaptive reuse of the buildings, he said.
Nielsen said there are about 50 buildings totaling 700,000 square feet on the Fairview property.
I think we'll probably save about 20 (percent) to 30 percent of them, he said. A lot of them will need to be evaluated. We will carefully demolish and recycle the ones that aren't saved.
Nielsen said the idea is to recruit developers based on their individual goals.
One of the exciting parts of a master-planned community is the ability to create a palate of opportunity where people can come in and do their best work at a scale that is appropriate for the developer and the market, he said.
Posted by: temporary office space | August 06, 2008 at 09:36 PM
I believe the property should finally be put to better use instead of just rotting away. As for "spirits" and ghost hunting, I work with a paranormal investigating team in Salem and although it would be great to investigate the site, we've all done our research and are working on a documentary in honor of the history. It's time to let go of FTC and the grounds and use it to accomodate a growing city. Sustainability and going green are extremely important aspects to keep in mind while building new developments.
Posted by: Rikki | May 20, 2012 at 06:32 PM