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Hwy. 26 land purchase opens opportunities for Mtn. community posted on 01/02/2018

A local general contractor has purchased four lots on Hwy. 26, and the land acquisition affords many possibilities for the future.

Kip O’Connor, owner of Big Mountain Company – excavation and timber frame business – has obtained four lots that run from the electric vehicle station to the Lions Club parking lot, from the south side of the highway to the north side of the access road to Welches School.

The property is 300 feet wide and is made up of 75-foot wide and 110-foot deep lots with shared access to Hwy. 26.

“It is currently going through the permit processes with ODOT and preliminary applications with the county” O’Connor told The Mountain Times. “It is zoned rural tourist commercial, and can have multiple buildings and businesses on the same property.”

The county is currently considering allowing 8,000 square feet for primary use and less for accessory uses. The Oregon Trail School District has verbally agreed to limited access at the Welches School side of the property.

O’Connor plans to move his contracting business to the site and that portion of the property will feature timber frame homes or cabins from locally harvested salvaged or blown-down trees to make timbers, wide plank flooring, siding and firewood. An equipment rental business is also under consideration.

But that will only encompass two of the four lots.

“I would like to sell, build to suit, or lease the other lots,” O’Connor said. “Ultimately, I have always looked at those lots as a great opportunity for the Mountain community. Rural tourist commercial property availability is very rare.

As the property is open ground, the options are many.

“It is located near the school and the county took away the option of the Dorman Center years ago,” he said. “Some type of children’s day care facility would be great.”

O’Connor added that with the close proximity to the Hoodland Fire Station, and the Life Flight landing location being virtually on-site, the viability of an urgent care facility is another possibility.

“While I really was inspired to expand my contracting business by getting more exposure on the highway, truly, I would like to see something happen on the other lots that benefits our community in a healthy and sustainable way,” he said.

A pharmacy and community center are other considerations being mulled by the contractor.

By Larry Berteau/MT

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