New buildings proposed on Newport Avenue

  • Developer Sean Cavanagh is proposing two buildings on the half-acre lot at 69 Newport Ave. (Andy Tullis/Bulletin photo)

Recession left site north of Bend Brewing Co. vacant

Vacant for the past decade, the lot on the north side of Bend Brewing Co., near the Newport Avenue bridge, could be the home of two new commercial buildings.

Developer Sean Cavanagh of Cavanagh Inc. recently filed a site plan and other land-use permit applications with the city of Bend Community Development Department. The plan shows two buildings, each two stories, at opposite ends of the half-acre lot, which stretches from NW Brooks Street to the Deschutes River.

The east end building would face Brooks Street adjacent to Bend Brewing Co., while the west end building would replace a former residence that’s closer to the bridge. A parking lot with 18 spaces would serve both buildings.

Cavanagh envisions the ground floor of each building occupied by a restaurant and hopes to work with local entrepreneurs. The second level of each building will be offices.

“Building and creating are a personal passion of mine and my family and business partners,” said Cavanagh, who moved to Bend two years ago from Colorado, where his partners are based. “Creating something new on this particular site in Bend is a real opportunity and something we wanted to take on.”

The plan hinges on the city granting two requests from the developer. One is to rezone the riverfront part of the property from residential to commercial use. The other is a variance on the ratio of building area to the size of the lot.

“It’s probably one of the most complex sites (in Bend) because of the zoning,” said architect Jim Landin, who designed the project for Cavanagh.

The city approved a more ambitious plan for the property at 69 Newport Ave. before the Great Recession. The previous owner planned two three-story buildings with condominiums in the upper stories, plus underground parking, Senior Planner Aaron Henson said. The previous plan would have used land on either side of Bend Brewing Co., he said.

The previous owner, Eriksen River Properties, demolished small commercial buildings to make way for the condominiums, but then the recession hit, and the project halted, Henson said. Bend Brewing Co. has since bought the land on the south side of its pub and installed a parking lot.

Cavanagh said his company’s strategy is to build at a scale that will require minimal debt. “We’re a long-term-thinking development company,” he said. “We’re looking to build something of quality and that’s going to last a long time in the community.”

Each building will have a different look, Cavanagh said. The east building facing Brooks Street will have a brick exterior to blend into downtown, he said. Although it would be adjacent to Bend Brewing Co., it won’t entirely cover the north wall of the brewery. So he hopes the city will grant permission for a mural, which Cavanagh would change every couple of years.

Overlooking trees along the Deschutes River, the west building will have “mountain modern” feel with stone and reclaimed materials, Cavanagh said. The developer does not plan to make any changes to the 30-foot buffer along the Deschutes River, Landin said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7860 ;,

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