The underground infrastructure work for the industrial flex space and the storage facility portions of the Lepman development have been completed. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The construction of a three-level storage facility and a warehouse complex for light industrial tenants should see significant progress in the coming months if expected timelines remain in place.

Developer Scott Lepman said the goal is for both of those projects to be completed in 2023.

“We’re planning on building the storage facility this winter,” Lepman said, “and after the storage facility’s built, we’ll work on the industrial flex space.”

Walls should be going up at the storage facility site in about three weeks, he added.

In addition to the industrial flex space and the storage facility, the Lepman development also includes a 175-space RV park. The city and developer are planning to hold a pre-construction meeting on Sept. 16 to make sure everyone is on the right page as the project moves forward.

Site preparation work at the former mill site started in May 2021.

“We’ve got all the underground done for the flex space and the storage facility and we put in the infrastructure to the RV park last summer and this summer,” Lepman said. “So the underground, grading, rocking and putting in all of the storm detention and water quality improvements have been completed.”

Pipe sits on the site of the future Tall Timber RV park. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The RV park will be called Tall Timber, Lepman said, with access from North 19th Street.

The storage facility will be the second-largest in Benton County when completed, Lepman said. Plans call for the light industrial flex space campus to include nine warehouses with each floor plan encompassing approximately 2,000 square feet.

“These two projects will be accessed off of Main Street,” Lepman said. “The Oregon Department of Transportation provided us access and we’ve completed all the road improvements.”

Lepman said most of the pipe that has been ordered for the RV park is now at the site. He added that it took over six months to receive the type of water pipe that will be used.

“We’ve had problems securing various components that have delayed the job but then we transitioned to other work while waiting for parts. Overall, I’m pleased with the progress that we’re making,” Lepman said, adding that his brother, Spencer Lepman, is the project team leader.

The three-level storage facility will be the first structure to go up. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The development was met with some opposition during the city approval process. In fact, the Planning Commission denied Lepman’s proposed master plan overlay 3-2 in August 2019 after determining that the development did not meet goals as outlined in the city’s comprehensive plan. The City Council later reversed the decision, 4-1, in a November 2019 meeting that lasted past midnight.

The Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals struck down a challenge to the city’s approval of the development in July 2020. And the Lepman project’s approval led the Planning Commission to scrutinize and work on code changes for future RV park applications.

Said Lepman, “We’re excited about our projects and we’re excited about the progress we’re making.”

Brad Fuqua, Philomath News

Brad Fuqua has covered the Philomath area since 2014 as the editor of the now-closed Philomath Express and currently as publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He has worked as a professional journalist since 1988 at daily and weekly newspapers in Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, Arizona, Montana and Oregon.