Andy Starks, top, and Scott Schutt work on a condominium at the intersection of Poplar Drive and Morrow Road in Medford. - Jim Craven

Curious condos

Just a few years ago, houses and multiple-family complexes were shooting up everywhere in Medford.

Few multiple-family residential projects have appeared during 2008, however, making the six-unit condominium project rising on the northeast corner of Morrow Road and Poplar Drive all the more curious.

The two-story, 6,713-square-foot project is being built by Rogue Development & Investment Inc., the same firm that built 13 four-plexes on the corner of Corona Avenue and Hilton Road in 2006 and 2007.

The six units, designed by Steve Smith of Blue Canyon Design Group in Central Point, range from 1,068 square feet to 1,164 square feet.

Townhouses were the first choice, but zoning issues dictated something else. The finished condominiums will be a mix of Spanish and Tuscan in appearance, Smith said.

The condominiums are all single-level with stucco exteriors, Travertine tile and French doors.

"Each unit varies a little bit," Smith said, "because of the way of the layout ended up going."

RDI owner Art Osbourn bought the property for $195,000 last April. Former property owners Jerry and Ann Ackles acquired the site for $84,900 in March 1994. The previous 1,400-square-foot structure on the .32-acre site was condemned and demolished.

The city of Medford issued a building permit with a valuation of $678,753 on Oct. 3.

Michael Bauer of Windermere Van Vleet Real Estate in Medford said the units will be priced in the $230,000 range.

"They really cranked on the framing and it went up quickly," Bauer said. "We could have them done as early as four to five months from now. We just put a sign up and I've had four calls in the last couple of days."

The condos won't be listed for sale until December, but reservations can be made.

During the past decade, Osbourn has built a 22-home subdivision in Shady Cove and a series of custom homes in addition to his work in multiple-family units.

The builder said he hopes the local economy is headed in the right direction by the time the project is completed.

"I think our area is going to bounce back fairly quickly and once it's turned around, we'll be right about there," Osbourn said.

Across Poplar Drive, where 85 units at The Meadow Wood apartment complex were converted to condominiums in 2005, 35 condos remain for sale.

The Meadow Wood condos are listed from $105,000 to $165,000, according to Vic Nicolescu of Keller Williams Realty Southern Oregon.

"We're making progress selling one every couple months," Nicolescu said. "Two are in escrow at the moment."

He said 28 to 30 units for sale are presently rented.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 776-4463 or e-mail

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