Library Board Enters Tentative Agreement on Future Central Library Land
Posted By: Todd Dunkelberg
Date Posted: 6/30/2022
After an extensive property search throughout Bend, the Deschutes Public Library (DPL) District Board approved moving forward with a letter of intent to purchase 9.37 acres at the northeast corner of 27th Street and Wilderness Way in SE Bend. The Board voted 4-1 to pursue the agreement to purchase the land for $10,250,000. The Board now enters into a 90-day due diligence period to investigate the feasibility of building a library on the property.
The Board reviewed more than 40 properties across Bend that ranged from 5 to 15 acres in size, including properties that were off-market. These included potential sites in all areas of Bend, including the proposed Central District.
According to DPL Board President Ann Malkin, “We researched all available possibilities and this land consistently rose to the top of the list. It provides great access for citizens, will work well for distributing materials throughout Deschutes County, and meets the needs of our growing population.”
The parcel of land is part of the Stevens Ranch development, formerly owned by the State of Oregon. More than 1,400 new housing units, plus parks and schools, are planned in the Stevens Ranch and Stevens Tract developments. The property is adjacent to 10-foot-wide biking and pedestrian paths that will serve east Bend and connect into the Deschutes River Trail.
“We want to ensure that we are meeting the needs of Deschutes County residents in every way, providing gathering spaces, room for more books, and space to support vibrant programming and services,” said Library Director Todd Dunkelberg. “The future Central Library will serve all of our neighborhood libraries in Bend, Sisters, Redmond, La Pine and Sunriver enabling faster, more efficient access to books and materials and allowing us to expand outreach to service points throughout the county as our county grows.”
The District has 90 days to conduct due diligence to ensure the suitability of the property for construction of a new Central Library, which was the centerpiece of a $195 million bond issue approved by voters in November 2020. The zoning of the 27th Street site allows construction of a library as an outright use.
“We’re excited to take this important step forward in providing the new libraries that Deschutes County citizens have voted for,” said Dunkelberg. “This will be the first new library constructed in Deschutes County in more than 20 years and will set us up to meet the needs of our current and future generations of library users."
Please contact Todd Dunkelberg for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org or (541) 312-1021.