Naito proposes hotel for Nichols boat basin

April 22, 2011


NICHOLS Landing site plan, by Surround Architecture, Portland

"We thought Nichols Landing would be a good name," developer Bob Naito said of a new proposal for the waterfront property known as Nichols Boat Works.

Naito Development Corp of Portland plans to build three structures - a small waterfront hotel and two commercial/office buildings - on its commercially zoned land at the south side of Nichols Boat Basin, a former industrial site.

Naito said a hotel management company will be hired to handle the selection of the hotel company that would take on the new property, but he is in talks with three hotel companies, Hilton, International and Marriott, to operate the "limited service" hotel

Naito would like to break ground as early as this fall, but said a likely timeline is to begin construction in early 2012 and open the hotel by mid-2013.

Naito will meet Tuesday with City Planning Director Cindy Walbridge for a session known as a "pre-application" meeting.

Here's the profile of Naito's initial proposal:

An 85-100-room hotel, positioned on the southeast corner of the property, three stories, 15,000-square-foot "footprint," total 45,000 square feet

Commercial building, three floors, at the center of the property, 13,000 square feet on three floors, for retail/restaurant

Commercial building, located northwest of the hotel, 5,000 square feet on two floors

The hotel would be located next to the access road to the Spit, and would feature views of both the Columbia and Hood rivers.

A new public road connecting First Street and Riverside Drive to the Spit. Naito said this will provide pedestrian access throughout the area.

The existing road would become parking, along with the vacant land on the site where Windwing is now located. (That one-story building would be removed.)

"The buildings are designed for maximum flexibility for a changing and evolving set of industries, and can easily be configured for single or multiple tenants," Naito wrote in a narrative submitted to the city along with site plans.

In 2008, Naito had submitted preliminary plans for a condominium project on the property.

"The world changed," Naito said of the reason that project was abandoned. "We put a lot of time and money into developing that plan, but then the real estate market cratered."

A market study done in 2006 and updated in 2010 gives strong support for a commercial development on the site, according to Naito. He now foresees a development that offers commercial opportunities for a restaurant or brew pub to complement the hotel, and a "waterfront headquarters" facility for a corporation.

Naito said he anticipates little opposition to the project, because of its modest scale and the fact that no zoning change will be needed.

"As long as we stay within the four corners of the planning requirements, I don't foresee too many issues," he said. "We feel the smaller scale is in the right context for downtown and waterfront Hood River."

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Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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