Developers of the Jackstraw Project, the area under development next to the Box Factory in Bend, are looking for a $10.6 million multi-use tax break from the City of Bend.
Killian Pacific applied earlier this year. Next month, a vote will go to the Bend City Council and Bend-La Pine School Board.
Immersion Brewing, a Box Factory tenant, is trying to stop it. Co-owner Sean Lampe claims the developer doesn’t deserve the relief.
An Instagram post from Immersion Brewing last week claims Killian Pacific is leaving the brewery behind.
View this post on Instagram
“Intrinsically, you know, the tax break isn’t bad. But we felt it wasn’t going to the right kind of company for the right kind of development,” Lampe said. “They’re not really community focused.”
You have probably seen the cranes still towering over the Mill Quarter with construction underway. The project, a seven story multi-use facility, is estimated to open in Fall 2025.
To be approved, Killian Pacific must offer at least three public benefits, like affordable housing and childcare, and show proof the project couldn’t otherwise survive without the tax relief.
Immersion Brewing takes issue with what they’re offering.
“It’s only two affordable units. It’s only 20 slots at the daycare,” Lampe said. “It all felt so minuscule compared to the $10.6 million that they’re going to receive.”
Central Oregon Daily spoke with other current tenants of the Box Factory who said they feel the same way but declined an interview.
Lampe says he was previously hesitant to come forward under the threat of repercussions.
“Siphoning money away from the Box Factory and all our rents, our maintenance fees and things like that, but giving so little back,” he said. “There’s got to be stronger strings like this can’t just be given so freely.”
Killian Pacific told Bend Park and Recreation District (BPRD) in a Dec. 5 meeting that it’s aiming to be a community player.
“We really want this to be an important part of the Bend community where people can come and feel comfortable to hang out and spend time,” Killian Pacific Developmental Principal Michiko Slick said in the meeting. “We have very, very intentionally made sure that those two townhomes meet those requirements.”
BRPD unanimously approved the project after Killian Pacific’s presentation.
“It just hits home,” Lampe said. “It feels so wrong to take something away from the public like that.”
Central Oregon Daily reached out to Killian Pacific. Their voicemail said the office was closed until the new year.
The Bend City Council will vote on Jan. 3. The school board will then be the final hurdle, voting on Jan. 9.