Village Green plans call for new housing

As The Village Green completes its sales process, its new owners have released information to the City of Cottage Grove regarding plans for the 61-year-old facility.

“We are excited about creating a vibrant, mixed-use development that supports the local economy and provides new housing,” said Colin Kelley from Timberview Construction in the release.

The plans call for redeveloping the majority of The Village Green’s buildings and garden area to accommodate two-story apartment buildings.

The new apartments will consist of two-bedroom, two-bath units and will include an on-site apartment manager and leasing office. Residents will have access to on-site parking and open space.

Two new commercial lots will also be created with frontage on Row River Road.

“These commercial lots will be attractively designed for small businesses serving the surrounding neighborhood and region,” states the release.

There are no plans, however, to close the RV Park, which provides an affordable housing option for its residents.

Still, the fate of the rest of the facility has yet to be decided.

“The Village Green Hotel main building, including the restaurant, may be retained if a new business owner is found that can economically operate a smaller scale hotel in a sustained manner,” states the release. “It is also possible that this portion of the site will be redeveloped for a new multi-story hotel with modern amenities.”

A number of issues with the property have impacted the new owners’ decision to renovate.

There are buildings formerly used by the hotel on its northern side, for instance, that are in deteriorating or substandard conditions. One building has been stripped down to just skeletal remains while another has been hidden behind so much garden and bush debris that the hotel rooms are inaccessible.

The release also lists some key problems, namely: that the hotel is not operating in a sustainable manner due to a substantial decline in the hotel and tourist industry; increased hotel competition in the region; insufficient modern amenities; several substandard or blighted buildings; and maintenance of the 6.5-acre garden, seasonal pool and hot tub is too high of an operational cost to be financially viable.

To complete this project, the new owners will likely have to go through an approval process, including applying for permits. This process will go to through Planning Commission and possibly the Cottage Grove City Council for approval, where there will public hearings.

“So, there's a public process to come depending on what they plan to do,” said Public Works and Development Director Stewart. “It sounds like they’re going to make some changes, so that will likely be required.”