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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Downtown luxury with a historic flair

Plaza West

Downtown luxury with a historic flair

Story by Cheri Hammons

 

The Plaza West building in downtown Ashland, built on the site of the historic Copeland Lumber Yards, is adding sleek and sophisticated luxury to the historic district. The mixed-use building combines state of the art energy efficiency with all-around convenience. On the ground floor is commercial space—occupied by Washington Federal Bank and Pony Espresso Café—and on the first, second and third floors are 10 residential condominium units, each averaging 1,500 square feet.

“Mixed-use developments allow people to live in a downtown urban setting that has commercial shopping and businesses, and live right in the area that they work,” explains Randy Jones, a partner with developer First Place Partners, LLC and builder Mahar Homes, Inc. “It’s not an uncommon thing to do, it’s just newer for our region.”

Since the building is located in the historic district, Ashland’s Historic Commission is involved with the design, finishes, colors and material treatments.

“It’s designed to look like it was built in another era, even though it incorporates modern technology,” says Jones.

Architect Jerome White of Kistler, Small and White Architects took this into consideration with his design by including many historically compatible features and materials, such as brick on the first two stories and wood casement window openings. The third story sits neatly atop the building, with recessed corner balconies to give the building an elegant look that is reminiscent of historic craftsmanship.

The building just received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Rating Certificate, meaning the components and renewables that were used in the building reach the highest possible standards in energy efficiency and renewable design.

“Everything we did was designed for energy efficiency and quality,” says Jones.

The lighting, designed by Julia Rezek, makes use of the most current technology in energy efficiency and lighting control. The smart dimmers and pre-set controls allow residents to fit the mood or highlight art. The LED lights that are used in the public living areas are 80 percent more efficient than standard incandescent sources and the halogen sources used in the bedrooms were intentionally placed there for their dimming qualities, which have been shown to benefit natural sleep and wake cycles.

“This building is actually one of the first buildings in the western United States that has this level of lighting sophistication,” says Jones.

Other features of the interior include cork underneath engineered wood and carpeted flooring, quartz stone countertops with designer tile back splashes, Pella wood windows, natural gas fireplaces and appliances and top of the line, split-zoned, ductless heating and cooling systems. The kitchens feature stainless steel appliances, the bathrooms include radiant floor heating and jetted tubs, while other rooms include built-in desks and bookshelves.

Deeded underground parking and temperature-controlled storage lie beneath the ground floor, as well as electrical car charging hook-ups metered to each unit and on-site private parking for guests. Security features include security cameras, coded locks, a visitor intercom system and secured lobby entries for each residence.

The Plaza West building is the first of what will be several buildings at the location. First Place Partners is currently in the design process for the aptly named Plaza Central, Plaza East and Plaza North buildings that will complete the site.

“When complete you’ll look along Lithia Way and it will give the appearance of three historic buildings,” explains Jones. “They will all be three stories, and they will look separate but compliment each other in their historic design. The final building will be on First Street and that will be a smaller building,” he says.

With Lithia Park, Shakespeare Festival theaters and all the wonderful shops and restaurants downtown Ashland has to offer, Jones says the location can encourage a more active lifestyle, one that is less dependant on the automobile. “People like this location because they can park their car in their secured space then walk about town. It’s fairly unique in this area to have all the amenities in one location and be able to work, play and live within walking or biking distance,” he says.

Units at Plaza West are being sold now through John L. Scott Realtors’ Ashland office. Those interested can contact brokers DeAnna Sickler and Dyan Lane.

DeAnna Sickler & Dyan Lane

541-494-5353

www.livinginsouthernoregon.com

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