Hammers start swinging at Red Fig site on Fremont

By Ted Perkins | The Hollywood Star News on 02/11/16

Work is now underway on Ethos Development’s four-story Bridgetown mixed-use development in Beaumont Village and Lovett Deconstruction has begun disassembling two 1920’s-era homes adjacent to the former Red Fig site. The deconstruction process for the houses began the week of February 8 and is expected to last about four weeks.

Lovett will be salvaging lumber and other building materials from the structures by carefully removing materials by hand. Rather than ending up in a landfill, much of the building material from these deconstructed houses will be re-used in new construction, re-purposed in remodels, or up-cycled into new products.

“As opposed to mechanical demolition, deconstruction can play a crucial role in keeping neighborhoods healthy,” said Scott Yelton of Lovett. “Hand demolition decreases noise and dust, while increasing the likelihood of discovering unabated hazards like lead and asbestos.”

As part of an incentive program to promote deconstruction over mechanical demolition, the project team was awarded a small grant from the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. During the spring and summer of 2015, the bureau convened a panel of industry professionals, concerned citizens and strategic partners. This group’s recommendation led to the grant program, which is intended to encourage a shift toward more salvage and reuse of building materials.

Because the Bridgetown project has a single demolition permit, and not one for each of the structures, a single grant of $2500 from the bureau will be applied to the cost of deconstruction. The Bridgetown project is the first, and so far only, commercial project to take advantage of the incentive program.

“Deconstruction is done at a human scale and pace,” said Paul Del Vecchio, Ethos Development’s principal. “Because we have approached this project with a green, community-oriented vision, it was a natural fit to use a process that honors the environment and offers a respectful start to our transition within the community.”

The two residential properties on the western edge of the property were chosen to begin the deconstruction process because there is more immediate value in the material that can be salvaged from them. The former Bumblekiss property to the north of the site was built in the 1960s and the Red Fig property on the corner has been significantly altered over the years through multiple renovations.

Ethos purchased the site from the F & E Strange Family Limited Partnership in August and announced plans for a mixed-use development with a light environmental footprint in September.

“The project team, including Jean-Pierre Veillet and Siteworks, is working with Energy Trust of Oregon to study our project and implement green building strategies – including solar power,” said Del Vecchio. “As a result, power usage for the building’s public areas is planned to be Net Zero.”

When complete, The Bridgetown will offer 50 units of housing and 6000 square feet of retail on the ground floor, with two to four commercial spaces available for lease. The project will incorporate an open atrium and social space, that will transition into the building’s lobby, and an activated terrace that will be accessible to retailers. The exact size and number of commercial spaces is still being determined.

“Our leasing strategy will include a heavy preference for local businesses,” said Del Vecchio. “We are committed to building a high-quality, mixed-use project that includes innovative green features, is architecturally appealing and energizes Fremont from a restaurant and retail perspective.”

For more information on leasing opportunities or questions about the project, email paul@ethosdevelopmetllc.com.

  1. Lovett Deconstruction has begun disassembling two homes adjacent to the former Red Fig site in Beaumont Village to make way for Ethos Development’s Bridgetown project. (Ted Perkins)