photo file

Several large hotel, housing and healthcare construction projects set to start or open in 2022, fueling optimism for another prosperous year

Rogue Valley has been through a rough patch over the past two years, but is poised to usher in the New Year with a surge of economic activity.

Pacific Retirement Systems is preparing to begin the first phase of residential construction around the Centennial golf course valued at approximately $ 500 million this spring or next summer.

Four hotels are set to open, including the 111-room Compass by Margaritaville Hotel, which will have a tiki-lounge vibe.

This is the first Margaritaville hotel in Oregon and is built on Shell Indian lands on the South Pacific Highway, near the Harry & David headquarters. Its opening is scheduled for spring.

A total of 3,000 rooms will be available in Medford with the addition of new hotels. A 78.5% hotel occupancy rate this year represents a 35% increase over last year.

Long-awaited housing projects are also in the pipeline.

A 400 unit apartment complex has been proposed next to the Northgate Marketplace near McAndrews Road next to the mall which contains REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Trader Joe’s and other retailers.

Additionally, the Medford Urban Renewal Agency is working with a developer to build more than 100 low-rental housing units next to Les Schwab, near the city center.

“We have incredible momentum in the community,” said Eli Matthews, president and CEO of The Chamber of Medford & Jackson County, which has 1,250 members.

He said the hospitality industry, which includes restaurants, bars and hotels, has been battered during the pandemic and with the fires.

“A lot of attractions such as theaters, ziplines, restaurants and bars have come to a complete stop for a while,” Matthews said.

But he said more people were traveling statewide, and he pointed to the increased traffic along Interstate 5 and in Medford to underline that point.

Despite the lingering obstacles, including the need for housing and the headwinds of the pandemic, Matthews said, Medford has enough plans and momentum to keep the local economy booming.

He expects the new Rogue Credit Union community complex at Wes Howard Memorial Community Park in west Medford to further stimulate economic activity.

The project will include 140,000 square feet of space, which will house an event center and two indoor pools, all of which will be operated year-round.

The latest budget for the project is $ 65.5 million and it is slated to open by summer 2023.

Rogue Valley healthcare giant Asante expects to pump nearly $ 1 billion into new healthcare facilities over the next decade.

Asante’s largest project is a $ 420 million expansion of its Rogue Regional Medical Center, adding 323,600 square feet to the East Medford Hospital, an effort that will be completed over the next few years.

The hospital addition, one of the largest construction projects in recent Jackson County history, takes place on the north side of the existing hospital, with the top two floors of the six-story structure dedicated to women and children. The existing hospital and emergency room will undergo 79,000 square foot renovations.

Matthews said the valley continues to see significant immigration from California, which has driven up house prices and increased overall housing demand.

He said the challenges of the past two years have helped boost entrepreneurship.

“There are some people who just want to talk about the problems, and there are some people who want to talk about the possibilities,” Matthews said.

Contact freelance writer Damian Mann at [email protected]

Watch KTVL News 10 at 6 p.m. Monday to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on downtown businesses.