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Ashland developer brings back proposal for elevated residences in Medford

 Posted: 4:40 PM February 17, 2014

A proposal to build an elevated residential complex above a parking lot on Central Avenue in Medford has resurfaced after the city took a pass on the project in December 2013.

"We're just trying to get it back," said Mark McKechnie of Oregon Architecture in Medford.

The 25-unit project, originally called "Skybox" but now known as "Sky Park, will go before the Medford Urban Renewal Agency board at 6 p.m., Thursday.

The MURA board will decide whether it wants to enter into an exclusive 90-day negotiation period with McKechnie and Ashland developer Allan Sandler.

In December 2013, the project appeared to unravel over a disagreement with the city about who should retain ownership of the parking lot, located across the street from the Medford library at the northwest corner of Central Avenue and 10th Street.

Under the original proposal, the city would have retained ownership of the land and the developers would have paid $1 for "air rights" to build the residential complex. The parking lot would have remained open to the public.

Then, the developers asked the city to sell them the land, which they would lease back to the city for up to 100 years. At that point, the city decided not to renew an exclusive 90-day negotiation period.

— Damian Mann

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