In 2008, the city of Lebanon Urban Renewal Agency partnered with Lebanon Community Hospital to start an urban renewal area across the street from the hospital on vacant and underutilized land. The urban renewal area was established to provide the financing for the construction of the street network and utilities to the area. The main objective was the development of the Western University College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific Northwest. The first new students enrolled in 2011. The resulting development on the medical school campus has been unprecedented in Lebanon. As a new urban renewal district without any available tax increment, the City entered into a development agreement with Samaritan Health Services whereby Samaritan would pay for the infrastructure improvements and be reimbursed as the tax increment becomes available. To date (October 2015) a total of $4,082,228 was spent on infrastructure improvements and reimbursements for system development charges (SDCs) and building fees. The estimated value of construction is $47,278,342, an effective $11.58 return for every dollar invested. Since the summer of 2011, the following was either completed or is currently under construction.
- Western University Medical School Campus
- Event Center
- 85 room hotel and restaurant
- Healing garden
- Medical office building (kidney dialysis)
- Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs 156 unit home
- Medical office building and pharmacy (under construction in 2015)
- Linn Benton Community College Occupations college building (construction to being in fall of 2015)
- SamFit Center
- Locating a medical school in the community
- Housing for veterans
- Medical office buildings serving the community
- Apartment housing
- It is estimated development at the Campus created 350 to 400 jobs.
- While particular numbers are not available, anecdotal evidence suggests the developers utilized area businesses where feasible, especially at the new hotel. The Samaritan Campus occupies nearly one-half of the URD’s 116 acres and is approaching 50% build-out. This level of development spurred development of a 50-acre mixed-use project to the north of the campus to provide housing and additional commercial services.
- The proximity of the medical college, hospital and veteran’s home creates an attractive venue for bio-technical firms.