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Yachats affordable housing developer finishes 24-unit Florence complex, plans two more projects

Exterior photo of an apartment complex. A parking lot is in front.
Quinton Smith
Yachats News
Our Coastal Housing of Yachats is holding a grand opening June 13 of its Oak Manor affordable apartment complex in Florence, where 22 of the 24 units are already rented.

This story originally appeared on YachatsNews.com and is used with permission.

A Yachats developer has completed a $10.9 million affordable rental housing project in Florence and has plans on the drawing board for two more projects totaling $22 million.

Our Coastal Village, led by Layne Morrill of Yachats, will celebrate the opening of the 24-unit Oak Manor apartments during a ceremony June 13 featuring Andrea Bell, executive director of Oregon Housing and Community Services.

With the completion – 22 of the apartments are already occupied – Florence has gained two affordable housing projects in the last six months. The 68-unit Shore Pines complex along U.S. Highway 101 opened earlier this year.

“This means that Florence has had 92 affordable housing units come online in the last six months,” Morrill told YachatsNews.

The project is the nonprofit’s third affordable housing project on the central Oregon coast.

Morrill developed two projects in Yachats — the 21-unit Fisterra Townhome apartments, which opened in 2019, the seven-unit Aqua Vista Square apartments, completed in 2013, and years earlier sold the site that was then developed into the 25-unit Fisterra Gardens.

Oak Manor Apartments has four, three-story buildings on 1.23 acres just south of the Florence Fred Meyer store.

Like most affordable rental housing programs in Oregon, the project was developed via a complex package of state grants, tax credits, and loans. Our Coastal Village added $450,000 from charitable donations and the city of Florence coordinated a 10-year property tax exemption from local governments that helped lower rents by 5 percent.

Oak Manor includes six one-bedroom units, nine two-bedroom units, and nine three-bedroom units. Six units are for households at or under 30 percent of the area median income with rent of $407 a month for a one-bedroom unit and $487 for a two-bedroom unit. Another 16 units are for households at or under 60 percent of the area median income with rents of $820 for a one-bedroom apartment, $984 for a two-bedroom apartment, and $1,137 for a three-bedroom apartment.

Meili Construction of Eugene, which also built the Fisterra Townhome project in Yachats, was the contractor and finished before the expected completion date.

Childcare project too

As ready as Morrill is to have the grand opening for his third project, he’s possibly more excited for his fourth and fifth – a combination affordable rent apartment complex adjacent to an early childhood learning center.

Our Coastal Village is in the process of purchasing a 1.16 acre site at Greenwood and 10th streets north of PeaceHealth’s hospital. It plans to start construction on the 38-unit Elm Park Apartments next April and finish a year later, Morrill said.

Chestnut Management is buying the one-third acre childcare property and Our Coastal Village plans to begin work on it in October 2025, finishing in July 2026. The pre-school/after-school will have room for 56 children.

The apartment project has an $18 million price tag, Morrill said, and the cost of the early childhood learning center is $4 million.

Florence plans to use a $1.9 million state infrastructure grant to build utility lines, roads and sidewalks in a several-block area surrounding the two sites. The road will also provide access to a 3.55-acre undeveloped city park.

Morrill said he got the idea for a dual project after watching the Legislature and state agencies develop programs to address affordable housing and childcare issues and the city of Florence “encouraged me to try to find a solution.

“They’ve been great to work with,” he said.

“It’s another push by the governor and the Legislature to solve the childcare crisis … which is as bad or worse than the affordable housing crisis,” he said. “And the Florence area is one of the worst for finding childcare.”

Our Coastal Village’s capacity is one project at a time, he said, even though he has approached the city of Yachats about helping with infrastructure improvements to land it owns adjacent to the Fisterra Townhomes to build more affordable housing to the south of it.

The 2024 Legislature authorized Oregon Housing and Community Services to issue up to $75 million in grants for infrastructure to help build affordable housing. The agency is developing a process that small cities like Yachats without the experience or capacity to deal with complex state grant applications can use, Morrill said.

Quinton Smith founded YachatsNews in 2019 after a 40-year career as a reporter and editor for United Press International and three Oregon newspapers. He worked in various editing positions at The Oregonian from 1984 to 2008 where he led a reporting team that won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News. 
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